There are two schools of thought when it comes to choosing grout - let it disappear and let it shine!
The former is the more typical approach, but with the myriad of creative backsplash designs entering the kitchen design scenes these days, we say, "let the glitz and glam games begin!"
We're still fans of one of the premier tenets of choosing grout - go with a slightly darker shade since grout tends to darken overtime naturally. The exceptions to this are white grout, popular with many glass tile enthusiasts or times when paler grout hues are used in lighter traffic areas, in which case it's easier to maintain the lighter grout's light-ness (baking soda and white vinegar works wonders).
In the meantime, here are tips for working a little glitz and glam into your grout selection, so it has a chance to shine at the party - rather than fading to mere wallflower status.
Have you considered glitter?
Yes, that's right, we said, "glitter." Grout with glitter or shimmery mineral accents is becoming increasingly popular. There's nothing overly showy about it - if you don't want there to be. Rather, it adds metallic or shimmery flair that provides a pop of energizing accent. In fact, quartz and other natural stone products almost always have a little shimmer or sparkle as the result of embedded mineral flecks, so glittery grout options often enhance or support what Mother Nature has already created.
The glitter in this glass subway tile design helps to enhance its inherent luminescence, rather than dull it with a plain white grout. Remember that it doesn't have to be bold or overly sparkly. Even a small amount of shimmer, like the silver glitter grout used in this traditional kitchen backsplash, is enough to add demure pizzazz, without turning your tile into a showgirl.
Show off your tile's shape and style
If you've selected a uniquely shaped tile, like honeycomb, or you're going with a more artistic mosaic design, a contrasting grout color will help to show off unique shapes, curves and patterns.
For example, this French country kitchen has a beautiful tile shape. Thus, homeowners selected a mauve/tan grout color to show those off. The grout isn't so dark that it detracts, but it provides just enough contrast so the lovely tiles are fully appreciated. Darker grout is a smart way to add a hint of color to an all-white kitchen.
Add geometric flair
Contrasting grout hues creates better definition for linear and geometric patterns too. Let's compare the subway tile in the Prestigious Buckingham Kitchen from our own gallery with the Marvin Project's subway tiles. Notice that the Buckingham Kitchen's subway tile has a more subtle effect - visible but not bold in any way.
On the flip side, the Marvin Project kitchen opted to work black-and-white contrasts using black grout. It's the same backsplash pattern with two different, pleasing effects - and only you can be the judge of which you prefer for your own kitchen.
Use grout to pull in surrounding hues and style
What other hues or tones could be used to enrich your backsplash or countertop design? Not sure what we mean? Take a look at this cozy cottage kitchen. White cabinets are paired with warm, natural wood finishes and woven textiles add additional, earthy elements.
The owners smartly selected a reddish-hued grout, warming up the tiles and pulling in reddish-gold wood accents. Imagine if the grout had been tan or gray, and you can see what a wise choice the warm grout was, considerably enhancing the overall effect.
Unless you're a design professional, it can be tricky to determine how different grout options will affect your tile work's presentation and overall kitchen style. Keep in mind that for a minimal extra cost, your contractor can do small mock-ups for you so you have a better idea of which look you like best - a very smart investment that will have tremendous payoff when you're project is completed.
Looking for assistance getting glitzy and glamorous with your own grout selections? What fun! Come on in to Kitchen Magic or schedule a consultation and we'll help you sort through a range of choices until we narrow down the right one for your kitchen remodel.