White subway tile backsplash. What color grout? Black? White?

alteritApril 13, 2009

I am trying to figure out what color grout to do in my kitchen backsplash. Is there a standard color for white subway tile?

My cabinets are traditional white shaker with calacutta gold marble counters.

Should I go with white grout for the subway tile or something creamy to go with the counter top. Photos would be great.

Thanks

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bill_vincent

Something in a slight off-white, like a beige or light grey, depending on the other colors in the room, would work nicely to not only show off the pattern, but make it a little easier to keep clean. You don't want to go all the way to black, because that'll overpower not only the tile, but everything else, as well. Here's a pic of white subway tiles with black grout:

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:16PM
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redroze

This probably won't be the popular opinion, but we did white grout with our white subway tile. Our granite is a warm colour but I wanted the grout to compliment the white tiles with a hint of grey, so the granite was the star. We're clean cooks so we decided not to seal the grout, based on some advice we got here on GW as well as other research. If you're a "messier" cook you can seal the grout.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:25PM
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alterit

Bill thanks for the photo. I love the look of the black but NOT for my kitchen. ( I have bathroom questions for you regarding Hex tile)

What color is alabaster grout?

Redroze your kitchen looks great. Like the lights..where did you get them? how much? how large?

thanks

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:48PM
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redroze

Thanks Alterit! You can find all the info on the pendant lights on my blog.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:56PM
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bluekitobsessed

Light gray is traditional.

HTH.
Blue

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:46PM
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palimpsest

White or light grey would be traditional and seem to be okay on vertical surfaces, dark grey to black seems to look best on floors with white, IMO.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:51PM
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chachashea

My Subway Ceramics Avalon white tile was installed today (yeah!). I picked a white shade of grout called "alabaster." It should be a very subtle look. I did also think some of the grays would've looked great if I'd wanted more contrast. My tile guy had something like 30 colors of grout to pick from!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 12:10AM
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growlery

If you want the traditional look go for a very thin grout line, 1/16th of an inch if possible, with a light/medium grey grout.

I agree, the picture Bill V. shows is overwhelming, but with a "pencil line" of grout, it looks pretty sharp.

Don't rule out anything but white on the basis of that one (agreeably shocking) photo. There is middle ground. Just have a good long talk with your tile guy first, so neither of you has any surprises.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 9:40AM
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bellcrest

chachashea do you have a picture of your subway tile with alabaster coloured grout?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 9:49AM
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davidro1

stay close to your counter color. Do not add other colors in the grout.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:06AM
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chachashea

They put on the alabaster grout this morning and I love it. If I can figure out how to post a picture, bellcrest, I will.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Circus Peanut

For my bath I used light gray, Laticrete's Silver Shadow:

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 12:24PM
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thepond

Thanks, that is very helpful.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 1:35PM
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chachashea

Here is my first ever attempt to post a photo. Subway Ceramics in Avalon White with alabaster white grout. Counter is Minas black soapstone; faucet is brushed nickel.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:04PM
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pluckymama

chachashea, I'm considering the Subway ceramics in Avalon as well and I have Minas soapstone, so thanks for posting the pic. Any chance you can post another pic of the subway tile from further away to take in more of it and include your cabs? Also, how was the install? Did your contractor order it or were you able to order the tile directly? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:11PM
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chachashea

I will try and take another picture farther away tomorrow during the day. My contractor did order it. The tile "master" and his tile "boy" put all the tile up yesterday and grouted today. Of course my kitchen is only approx. 12'x12'. I like the nice tight grout lines he achieved. It looks very similar to the original subway tiles I have in my bathroom.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:17PM
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pluckymama

Your tile guy did a great job with the grout lines! Can't wait to see the pic tomorrow. You must be excited for how quickly it's coming along!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:52PM
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willowdecor

I did Horus Art white subway tile with a herringbone pattern calcutta marble tile behind my stove- White sanded grout. My cabinets are painted BM White Dove.
It came out beautiful. Hope it helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble Herringbone and White Subway Tile

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 11:18PM
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debsan

The pictures of the tone-on-tone subway tiles here are beautiful. Thanks to those who shared their own.
Just wanted to add the following: Black grout will give your kitchen a totally different look. Not only that but strange things can happen with dark grout. Check out the link below to see an amazingly weird illusion that can be created with black grout. I saw this in San Francisco and was mesmerized at how square tiles could me made to look so strange.
Maybe someone with an avante garde kitchen will use this and we will all get to ooh and ah over the result!

Here is a link that might be useful: Crazy Tile Illusion with Black grout.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:56AM
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growlery

I have the Subway Ceramics Avalon / Minas with a medium gray grout. And a Shaw's white sink, if anyone is considering that, by the way.

(My contractor could have ordered it directly, but at his request, I went through a tile store, and by the time everyone had put their sugar onto it, it was OBSCENELY expensive.)

I'm not an installation expert, but at least with the Subway Ceramics, the installers use little plastic spacers between the tiles (I think some others have their own spacers?) when they put them up, they don't do it freehand, so how much grout you get is a function of 1) the limits set by the curvature of the tile and 2) what size spacers they use.

So you might be willing to go a little darker with a smaller grout line, or with a handmade tile that refuses to go close together, you might want to stay light.

The traditional color is close to concrete. But most modern people don't seem to like that, so do what pleases you!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:57AM
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chachashea

Here is a shot of the kitchen from the next room. The hood is still covered in protective film, it is stainless. There is a tile cap above the black pencil line.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:50AM
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Jonif

i am getting ready to put in a backsplash, but cant decide what color grout. From the pics above, i really like the white grout and the one with grey. But my counter top is a tan/brown granite. With that said would i be better off doing a creamy or beige color grout?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:31PM
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island

I would not want to see the grout. I'd choose it based on the color of the backsplash tiles, not the countertop.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:34PM
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mays802

Redroze - I know this thread is old but do you still like your backsplash? It looks gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 6:59PM
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