Choosing the right grout color may not be top of your list when designing your dream bathroom or kitchen, but it can make a huge difference to the installation, maintenance, and appearance of your design, so it's worth giving some thought to.
Is black grout a good idea for your home? Well, there are reasons black grout has been timelessly popular, and there are reasons why homeowners swear never to use it again.
This guide will take you through the good, the bad, and the ugly of black grout.
Is Black Grout Low Maintenance?
Some people lay black grout because they think it'll show up less dirt than lighter colors. There are a couple of problems with this theory.
Firstly, just because it isn't showing up dirt doesn't mean the dirt isn't there. And if you can't see, you can't clean it. This leads to the grout becoming more quickly worn and needing replacement, leading to more hassle overall.
Secondly, black grout's color fades over time, and these faded patches, along with grime can give a patchy, unkempt appearance too.
One way to avoid this is to make sure the grout is professionally sealed. When sealed to a high level it will fade more slowly.
This means black grout may be slightly lower maintenance if a higher level of work and cost is put in in the beginning.
How Hard is it to Clean Black Grout?
An advantage of black grout is that it won’t appear as grotty as white grouting so quickly, however it will take special care to clean as the most important thing with this coloring is protecting the sealant.
As mentioned above, black grout has a high propensity toward fading quickly, and the only way to avoid this is to properly seal it.
Once sealed, many factors can begin to wear away at this sealant, and one of the biggest culprits is cleaning products. Harsh chemicals common to many bathroom cleaners can strip away this protective layer from the grouting.
You can avoid cleaning products damaging your sealant by using a cleaner with a neutral pH. This will clean effectively without stripping the sealant away over time.
To really protect the grout, have it professionally cleaned and resealed once a year. This will ensure that the grouting does not begin to appear patchy and faded once you get up close to it.
Does Black Grout Look Better?
There is no simple answer to this question, as it comes down largely to taste. However, there are certain situations where most designers will choose black over white grout.
White tiles, especially subway tiles, are a standard in bathrooms for a reason. They suit almost any bathroom design and are relatively easy to install and care for.
Designer Jeffrey Court recommends adding white grouting to create a seamless, expansive effect that will open up the room and make it appear larger.
He recommends black grouting if you want to add layers to a space and create visual interest with the addition of a pattern. Other designers also recommended darker grouting to highlight a pattern in the tiling, such as a marble effect.
Choose white grouting if the space in question is already busy or cluttered, as black grout will only become lost in that design. Choose black grouting in plainer spaces, or when you are using tiling that is cut to an interesting shape or design to highlight this feature.
If you feel that you have placed the wrong color in your bathroom and, in thinking more about it, want to change, don’t worry. It’s actually much easier than you think to relay the grouting on your tiling.
Follow this expert guide if you want to relay new grout on top of your old grout and put a new lease of life on your kitchen or bathroom.
Is Black Grout Better for the Kitchen or the Bathroom?
Many designers will agree that the kitchen is the better place for the striking effect of black grout. This is because it is much easier to take care of.
In the kitchen, the grouting will deal with much less water continuously hitting off of it and much less foot traffic walking over it. It’s these two factors that lead to black grout fading away.
If you use black grouting on a kitchen backsplash, it won’t have to deal with this wear-and-tear, so it’s a great place to create this striking design.
In the bathroom, black grouting against gleaming white looks great, and it is a good option to consider. However, do factor into that consideration the higher level of care you will need to give to its application.
Overall, I would not say that black grout is lower maintenance than white, or any other color, grouting. It needs to be installed carefully and looked after well from that point.
However, it can create a much more unique design and is well worth the effort if you are looking for something different for your bathroom walls, or want to draw attention to a custom tiling cut.