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Q & A

How to Change Grout Color With high-Quality Grout Colorant

Posted by Jennifer Kingsley on

Have you decided you want to change the color of the grout between your tiles? If so, grout colorant may be your best bet. Here's a guide on how to change grout color with high-quality grout colorant.

If your tile is looking old and dingy and you're ready to scrape it all out and re-grout it or call a professional tile setter, you don't have to.

Removing your current grout and starting isn't always the best solution. Grout colorant may be your answer.

Yes, you can color your grout!

We're going to walk you through everything you need to know about changing your grout color so you end up with a professional finish without paying for one.

Grout Basics That You Need To Know

The first question to ask is, "Can I color my grout?" In most cases, the answer is yes. Your grout is likely sanded or unsanded, depending on the installation.

Sanded grout is made with sand particles. The sand thickens the grout, making it stable and preventing shrinkage in the joints. Because of its durability, sanded grout is commonly used in:

  • Bathroom floor
  • Kitchen floor
  • Shower pan

Unsanded grout - surprise - doesn't have sand. It's a mixture of Portland cement, powder fillers, water, and polymers. Because it doesn't contain sand particles, it's not as stable. It's also stickier and smoother than sanded grout and holds up well in vertical installations.

Unsanded grout is thinner and used in joints less than 1/8" wide. In other words:

  • Rectified tile (tile where the edges have been ground or machined after firing for straight edges and exact measurements)
  • Shower wall
  • Bathroom wall
  • Polished stone

There are some instances in which unsanded grout is used for kitchen and bathroom floors or shower pans, such as joint widths 1/8" or less. "Scratchable tile" like stone, glass, ceramics, and certain porcelains also use unsanded grout.

If you are changing the grout color of your tile backsplash but have granite or quartz countertops, leave a space between the two and fill it in with colored caulk to match the grout. Natural stone countertops use caulk, not grout.

Which Grout Colors Look The Best?

After you confirm that you can change your grout color, you have to know which grout colors look best for your tile.

Kitchen and bathroom remodelling will make up 40% of home improvement projects in the next 12 months. They're also among the priciest. Bathroom remodels cost an average of $9,742 while remodeling your kitchen will run $22,595 on average.

That makes choosing a grout color important; the goal of home improvement is to improve your home, after all. That means making sure your grout and tiles are complementary is important. Do you want your grout to blend with the design of your space or do you want it to make a statement?

For blending, beiges, grays, and creams work well with natural tile colors. If you want your grout to pop, go with a grout color that is either lighter or darker than your tile. If you have multicolor tile, choose white or charcoal to make your statement.

Grout colorants aren't limited to whites, beiges, or grays. There are hundreds to choose from.

What Kind of Tile Do I Have?

Coloring your grout isn't as scary as it sounds, but there are steps that you need to follow to get the high-quality, professional-grade finish you're after. The first thing you have to do is determine what kind of tile you have - porous or glazed.

If you are using grout colorant on a porous tile or natural stone floor, you must seal it first or the colorant will penetrate the tile.

Porous tile includes:

  • Unglazed ceramic
  • Unglazed porcelain
  • Brick
  • Travertine
  • Limestone
  • Concrete

Porous tiles reduce traction but dirt and moisture can seep into the pores, causing stains and making it harder to keep clean.

If you have glazed tile, you don't have to seal it but you do have to color the grout to the edges of the tile to seal out moisture.

Glazed tile is typically:

  • Glazed ceramic
  • Glazed porcelain
  • Glass

How You Can Tell the Difference

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are popular choices and, as you learned, can be either porous or glazed. Knowing the difference is important and if you're unsure, touch them and look at them.

When glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles are clean, they feel polished and smooth to the touch, like glass.

You're working with tiles that are already laid but if you have extras, pick one up and look at the side of the tile or underneath. Since glazing only covers the surface, if the bottom doesn't match it, it's glazed.

Porous tiles feel rougher and the sides or bottom of the tile will be the same color as the surface.

Prep for the Grout Colorant

Now that you know what color you're using and what type of tile you have, it's time to start prepping!

  1. Clean your floor or wall and remove loose particles, residues, or soaps.
  2. Clean your grout joints (the space between the tiles)
  3. Wipe your joints with a sponge using clean water.
  4. Allow the grout to dry

If your grout has an existing sealant on it, you'll have to strip it off. You know if the grout is sealed if water beads up on the joints as you're cleaning it. In most cases, discolored or stained grout doesn't have sealant.

Manufacturers have their own steps to follow for their colorant, so make sure you follow the instructions provided. In all cases, take note of all product safety precautions and warnings.

A Note from Grout Getter

When it comes to tile grout and caulk in your home, we're your online authority. We carry a wide array of grout and caulk products to help you finish your kitchen or bath projects.

Our grout colorant Kits come in several colors including the brand-new hues and the hard-to-find original grout colors originally used in your home. We also carry a complete line of colored caulking so you can match your grout colorant.

Our blog has several tips, tricks, and advice on how you can give your DIY project a professional quality finish that you will be proud of for years to come. If you can't find the answers you need, contact us and we'll be happy to help.