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Q: We have found a tile we LOVE for our bathroom floor, but are not certain how to best select the grout color. Is it best to go lighter? Darker? Also, what is the best type of grout for minimal cleaning, staining, and upkeep?”

A: Selecting the right grout color and material is an important part of installing new tile floor. You’ll want to choose a grout that protects and enhances the tile design. In terms of color selection, grout comes in variety of colors and shades. Light colors will fade into the background, making your tile visually pop. On the other hand, darker grouts can create visual contrast with the tile, which will make the grout itself a bold part of the overall look. Neutral grout colors fall in between these dark and light options. Gray, beige and brown are reliable grout colors that look great with almost any tile design.

The ideal grout color really depends on the type of tile design you are trying to create. A word of caution: light colors tend to show dirt more easily than dark colors. So if you are choosing a grout for a high traffic bathroom, you may want to go with a slightly darker grout color. Mock up a variety of tile and grout color combinations to find out which you like best.

Grout, rather than tile, can be the cause of some of the most difficult problems with tile flooring. Choosing the right type of grout material before installation can save you from headaches later. Grout commonly comes in two varieties: cement and epoxy. Cement is the most commonly used and widely available type of grout. If you are looking for a resilient cement grout, you’ll want to select a sanded grout, which will be more resistant to cracking and shrinking. For extra durability, consider sealing the cement grout with silicon or latex to further protect it from moisture. Epoxy grout is a bit more expensive than cement, but has greater resistance to stains, water and chemical damage. Weigh the color and material options carefully and select a grout that will best enhance the tile design.

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