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While the traditional choice of grout has long been white, gray offers a new modern look and perspective to tile designs. Let’s imagine white tiles paired with dark gray grout or gray tiles with light gray grout; it’s the perfect pairing and a departure from the ordinary white grout. Gray grout is not just a design choice; it’s a unique way to add depth and modernity to your space.

I think it’s safe to say that Gray grout is the new white grout. Gray grout is a neutral that is safe and simple yet daring.

So, if you’re remodeling or updating your kitchen or bathroom and need to decide whether to choose gray grout, I’m sharing all the pros and cons of this color grout. While gray grout is my go-to color grout, it has some nuances and stand-out aspects, so it’s important to understand. The grout color you choose can play a huge role in the outcome of your space’s design and aesthetic.

kitchen with gray backsplash
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Pros of Gray Grout

1. Subtle Visual Appeal

Gray grout has the power to enhance the appearance of your tiles subtly. It emphasizes their shape and pattern, producing an understated yet impactful visual effect. Pairing gray grout with white tiles will create a soft yet distinct contrast, allowing each tile to stand out individually while forming a cohesive and visually pleasing pattern.

2. Hides Dirt

One of the perks of gray grout is its ability to hide dirt and stains effectively, similar to black grout. Gray grout is more forgiving when hiding dirt and stains than lighter grout options. This means it is much easier to maintain, and even with everyday use, your space will maintain a cleaner appearance.

This is particularly beneficial in high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, where spills and messes are common. With gray grout, you can enjoy the beauty of white tiles without worrying about constant cleaning and maintenance.

3. Timeless Touch

Gray grout introduces a touch of timelessness to your design. It combines contemporary aesthetics with a classic feel, ensuring that your space remains relevant and fresh over the years.

4. Design Flexibility

Gray grout works well with just about any tile pattern and color, including classic white subway tiles, mosaic tiles, and herringbone tiles. It can also be used on the bathroom shower tile, kitchen tiled backsplash, and bathroom floor, allowing creative and versatile design combinations. It complements different tile sizes, shapes, and patterns, making it adaptable to various design styles.

kitchen with gray grout and gold hardware
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Cons of Gray Grout

1. Deceptive Cleanliness

While gray grout might appear clean, it still requires regular maintenance. Dirt and mold can accumulate over time, so routine cleaning is essential.

2. Challenging Installation

As with all grout installation, installing gray grout can be tricky, especially if you’re attempting a do-it-yourself approach. Precision is crucial, as any mistakes can be hard to rectify and might affect the overall look.

3. Managing Grout Lines

The thickness of the grout lines can impact the overall appearance. Thinner lines generally create a more sophisticated look, while thicker lines might appear busy.

Tips for Choosing the Right Shade of Gray Grout

renovated bathroom

Gray grout is a versatile, neutral option that provides a wide range of tones and depths. It is an excellent choice for tile installations as it adds visual texture without being too bold or saturated in color. Choosing the right shade of gray grout is essential to achieving the desired look. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

Consider the overall design style.

Before you decide on a shade, you must first decide if you want to highlight or downplay the pattern of the tile installation. If you want a more subtle and cohesive look, selecting a grout color matching the tile is ideal. This allows the tile to be the focal point while the grout seamlessly blends in. This can be especially effective on floors, making the room feel more spacious. 

Alternatively, if you opt for an opposing grout color, either lighter or darker than the tile, it can make the pattern stand out and add visual interest.

The shade of gray grout you choose should also align with the overall style of your space. If you’re going for a more modern and minimalist look, opt for a lighter shade of gray. If you’re aiming for a more dramatic and bold look, a darker shade of gray grout may be the way to go. 

Consider the undertones

Gray grout comes in a variety of shades, each with different undertones. Some may have blue or green undertones, while others may have warmer or cooler undertones. Consider the color scheme of your space and choose a gray grout that complements it. 

Test it out

Before committing to a specific shade of gray grout, it’s always a good idea to test it out. Apply a small amount of grout to a sample tile and let it dry. This will give you a better idea of how the grout will look against your tiles and in specific lighting conditions.

The shade of gray grout you choose can significantly impact your space’s overall look and feel. Take your time to consider all the factors and choose a shade that enhances the elegance of your white tiles and complements your style.

Tips for Maintaining Gray Grout

Seal it 

To maintain the appearance and longevity of gray grout, it is important to seal it. Gray grout tends to absorb dirt and moisture due to its porous nature. Applying a sealant creates a protective barrier that helps prevent staining and keeps the grout looking fresh and clean for years to come.

Clean gray grout regularly.

To maintain the quality and appearance of gray grout, it is essential to clean it regularly. Avoid using harsh cleaners such as pine sol and bleach, as they can damage the sealant and cause discoloration and fading. Instead, opt for gentle cleaning products with a neutral pH balance. These will effectively clean the grout without compromising its integrity.

Have a gray grout pen handy.

Gray grout pens are convenient tools that allow you to touch up and recolor your existing grout quickly. These paint pens are designed to be waterproof and mess-free, making them a suitable option for maintaining the color and appearance of your grout. Whether you need to touch up visible fading or want to keep your gray grout looking fresh, a grout pen is a great solution.

When should I use gray grout?

Gray grout is a versatile option that can be used in a variety of situations. It is often chosen to complement light-colored tiles or to create a contrast with darker tiles.

Gray grout can also be a good choice for high-traffic areas or tiles with irregular edges, as it can help hide imperfections and stains. Ultimately, the decision to use gray grout will depend on your personal style and the overall look you want to achieve.

Should grout be lighter or darker than tile?

It depends on your design preference and style. The shade of gray grout you choose should also align with the overall style of your space.

If you’re going for a more modern and minimalist look, opt for a lighter shade of gray. If you’re aiming for a more dramatic and bold look, a darker shade of gray grout may be the way to go. 

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Hopefully, you have found this list of pros and cons of gray grout useful. Incorporating gray grout in your design aesthetics is a great way to add a touch of elegance and contemporary flair to your living spaces. Just have fun with it as you consider your design options. Reflect on the subtlety and charm that gray grout can bring – a simple yet effective way to transform tiles.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think about choosing white tiles with black grout? Please leave a comment below. Feel free also to follow me on my social media pages – Pinterest and Instagram or subscribe to my mailing list for other design inspiration and home decor ideas. 

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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