Using Grout as a Decor Element for Tile Floors

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Using Grout as a Decor Element for Tile Floors)

If you are installing a tile floor - or having one installed for you - before you head out shopping you probably imaging that the most difficult decision you face is the tile color and pattern you choose. There is another design decision you will have to make that can be just as tricky though; the grout you plan to use.

Grout is obviously very important to actually holding the new tile floor together but it is a part of the overall visual effect as well, and so the color of the grout, as well as the way you choose to use it, is rather important. Here are some pointers:

Grout as Floor Design 

Blending In 

Grout can do one of a number of things when installed between tiles in terms of how it affects the look of the floor as a whole. Many people prefer that the grout between their tiles looks subtle and minimal and would prefer that it blend with tile as much as possible. This can be achieved with a little color matching effort. Choose a grout color that matches, as closely as possible, to the predominant color of the tile. You may not be able to achieve an exact match but if you shop at a specialist flooring store (rather than a big box home store) they are likely to be able to help you get pretty close.

Providing a Contrast 

Grout can also be used as a major design element, 'spicing up' an otherwise plain floor. For example, professionals often match a white marble tile (or marble effect tile) with a grout color that matches its 'vein' color to accent and highlight them. Or, if you are tiling the floor of a larger room directly contrasting the main color of the tile can result in a rather eye popping look. The method rarely works very well in a smaller space though as the grout will emphasize the size of each individual tile, which will usually make the space look and feel even smaller than it is.

Grout and Multicolored Tiling 

Multicolored tiles, especially mosaic blends, can present quite the challenge when choosing a grout color. These tiles will often have four or five different colors. For example, in the case of mosaic tiling you may have blends of browns and tans and then an accent tile with several shades of blue. The best thing to do in this case would be to find a grout color that is at least in the same color family as the tan colors to help ensure a nice uniform look that does not distract from the beauty of the tiles.

Grout Maintenance 

Whatever color grout you choose one thing will be universally true; it is going to get dirty and grimy and become very hard to clean properly, unless you take some preventative measures from the start.

After your tile floor has been laid and has had a few days to 'settle', call in a company offering grout sealing in RI. Professional grout sealing effectively provides a barrier that will prevent stains and spills being absorbed by the very porous grout while also protecting the grout's color. As much of a minor tweak as it may seem the difference it will make in both the long term appearance of your tile floor and the ease of maintenance will turn out to be bigger than you imagine.

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