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Choosing Grout Color

Grout Color: a Surprisingly Significant Decision

When you decide to redecorate your bathroom, there are a lot of things you will need to think about. One thing that people very rarely think of when they decorate their bathroom is the grout color.

Before we get into the color concerns though, we first need to know a little about the grout we’re dealing with.

Grout comes in several different forms and consistencies, each with their own unique characteristics and additives (those additives are typically minerals though some use plastics and chemicals). One of the most common types of grout in a bathroom or kitchen is “sandless.” Sandless grout is good for tile patterns that have a gap of less than 1/8 inch between them, which, as it turns out, is pretty common in bathrooms because it seals out moisture more effectively. While grout with sand in it is good grout, it is tricky to use in such tight patterns. It can slide the tile around too much and the pattern won't be perfect. That's why sandless grout is the preferred one to use there. Grout with sand in it is better for patterns with larger gaps.

Sand isn't the only additive that can be in grout. Grout needs to be sealed to keep the water out of it. There is an additive that can eliminate the step of sealing. Acrylic latex seals the grout while it's applied. There are grouts that include it, but it can be bought separately and added into the grout. For a person who is grouting and tiling their own bathroom as a DIY project this is a good idea because it's one less step to have to worry about.

Once the decision of what kind of grout to use is made the next choice is what color. The color of the grout is really dependent on 2 things: the colors of the bathroom décor and the ease of cleaning it.

When choosing the color of the grout based on the colors already in the bathroom there are a few ways to do it. One is to match the colors of the tile exactly. This is much easier when the tiles are one solid color and that color is going to be the primary color of the bathroom.

Another way to choose the “best” grout hue is to go with a contrasting color. This color could be an accent color that is going to be used in other places in the bathroom, like a shower curtain or bath linen. Or for a multicolored tile or multicolored pattern the color could be one of the colors in the tiles.

However the choice of color is made the last consideration should be how easy it is to clean. One color that people think of is white, or something off-white. But, white shows every little speck of dirt. Once it gets any dirt or mildew on it, that white grout will never be white again. Primary colors are also very difficult to clean. Their color can also bleed onto the tiles. There is one way to clean them. That's with a cleaner that uses an acid base. This kind of cleaner should be used very sparingly as it can damage the tile around it.

The colors that work best are ones that are considered neutrals like tans or browns. Beige is a very good color for people who want something light, but choose to not go with white. Those colors don't discolor as easily and won't show the dirt easily.

Choosing the right color of grout can really make or break the bathroom. Not only can it complete a whole color scheme, but making sure that it is easy to clean keeps the whole bathroom looking good.
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