The Best Grout Colors for Subway Tile or Marble

Looking for the best grout colors for subway tile or marble? See gray grout colors in real spaces to help you choose!

black clawfoot tub with chrome feet in white tile bathroom | Maison de Pax

A dear friend is currently remodeling her master shower. This – and our ability to enjoy any excuse to chat 😉 – led to a long discussion regarding tile and grout. While this may not sound like the most riveting of topics, any person who is in the middle of a renovation can tell you that it’s an important one! So I decided to put together a little guide on choosing grout colors.

I realized when writing this that I have now been renovating kitchens and bathrooms with white and marble tile for fifteen years (and longer if you remember and count the story from my childhood home)… So if you’re considering that classic look, I hope you find these options helpful!

Grout Color FAQs

Should I use white or gray grout?

This is obviously a personal preference… but my answer is still gray. Always gray. Why? Because I cannot keep white grout white. I’d like to be able to because I do love the look of white tile with white grout; it allows the texture of the tile and grout to shine. Sealing white grout is an option, but keeping white grout white and dirt free still feels impossible to me, so I always prefer gray.

What color grout looks best with white subway tile?

White subway tile with gray grout is such a classic look. Fortunately, there are many beautiful options! You can use light gray or dark gray, warm gray or cool gray… See below for exact brands and colors with pictures!

What color grout looks best with marble?

Choosing a grout color for marble tile can be a little tricky because natural stones always have potential variations. But generally speaking, I think light to medium gray neutrals that blend with some of the natural variations of the stone is best. Again, see below for exact brands and colors with pictures.

How big should grout lines be?

I realize this tile installation question isn’t exactly a grout color question, per se. But the size of grout lines affects the impression that the color makes… And everyone seems to ask this question anyway, so I’m answering it. 😉

My go-to grout joints size is 1/8″. I find it is small enough to keep the grout feeling minimal, but large enough to have uniformity. I have sometimes used other sizes, certainly, but this is probably what I use for 90% of projects these days.

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Best Gray Grout Colors for Subway Tile and Marble

White Tile with Gray Grout

I actually have two favorite medium to light grout colors to share with you: one warm and one cool. Either can be paired with marble, too, as you can see in the images below. I choose warm or cool depending on the surrounding colors (cabinetry, walls, etc.). See here for more thoughts on warm and cool colors.

Favorite warm gray grout for white ceramic tile: Mapei Warm Gray grout (all in one grout replaces both sanded and unsanded grout)

long white subway tile with Mapei warm gray grout | Maison de Pax
3×12 white ceramic tile with Mapei Warm Gray grout (see full bathroom)
wood vanity with white quartz counter and white subway tile backsplash | Maison de Pax
3×6 white subway tile with Mapei Warm Gray grout (see full bathroom)

Favorite cool grey grout for subway tile: Polyblend Platinum sanded grout or non-sanded grout

gray vanity with black and white basketweave tile floor
3×6 white subway tile with Polyblend Platinum grout (see full bathroom)

White Tile with Dark Gray Grout

For a more dramatic appearance, consider a more contrasting grout color. Darker grout provides a classic yet modern look and can be especially helpful in high-traffic areas.

Favorite dark gray grout for white tile: Delorean Gray grout in sanded or unsanded

white kitchen with subway backsplash and delorean gray grout
3×6 white subway tile backsplash with Delorean gray grout (see full kitchen)
shower with white subway tile and delorean gray grout | Maison de Pax
3×6 white subway tile with Delorean Gray grout (see full bathroom)

Marble Tile with Gray Grout

Given how often I like to mix marble and white ceramic tile, it’s probably not too surprising that my favorite light colored grout for marble tile is the same as my favorite grout for subway tile.

If I had to choose just one, I think the cooler gray, the Polyblend Platinum, looks especially beautiful with Carrara marble. I used Platinum grout for our marble backsplashes in our kitchen as well as our Bianco Carrara master bathroom.

Favorite cool grey grout for marble: Polyblend Platinum sanded grout or non-sanded grout

kitchen farmhouse sink with marble counters and honed marble backsplash | Maison de Pax
3×6 Carrara marble tile with Polyblend Platinum grout (see full kitchen)
carrara marble tile with platinum grout
Bianco Carrara marble tile with Polyblend Platinum grout (see full bathroom)

If your space calls for a warm gray, though, then never fear. The natural variations of white and gray marble lend themselves to warm tones, too. I used a warm gray grout on our tumbled marble floor tile in my girls’ bathroom and love the result.

Favorite warm gray grout for marble: Mapei Warm Gray grout (all in one grout replaces both sanded and unsanded)

2" tumbled marble hex tile with Mapei warm gray grout bathroom floor
Tumbled marble hex tile with Mapei Warm Gray grout (see full bathroom)

Marble Mosaic Tile with Gray Grout

Speaking of mosaic marble floor tile, I haven’t shared this project yet (so please forgive the in-process iphone shot!), but we also used Mapei Warm Gray for these geometric mosaic tiles. I love how the shape of the tile pattern is highlighted by using a color that is slightly lighter than the gray marble, making beautiful accents.

Update: see the full finished bathroom here.

marble mosaic floors with warm gray grout
geometric marble mosaic floor tile with Mapei Warm Gray grout

In short, here are my favorite grout colors for white subway tile and marble:

best grout colors for subway tile and marble
  • warm light gray: Mapei Warm Gray
  • cool light gray: Polyblend Platinum
  • dark gray: Polyblend Delorean Gray

I hope this is helpful for your next tile project! Be sure to pin it for your next renovation.

best grout colors for subway tile and marble | Maison de Pax

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49 Comments

    1. White grout is beautiful, but it is hard to keep clean. That is why I prefer gray for most circumstances. Hope that helps!

  1. Everything I’ve read, as well as marble installers tell me darker grout will stain white marble tile where it touches. I would love to use black grout but don’t want to ruin my tile for the future. Any experience with that…or long term adverse reactions?

    1. I have heard that dark grout can stain marble. I don’t have any experience with this myself, but I would be wary of it… If it’s really the look you want, you might consider a more gray Carrara (rather than a bright white marble) so the color different wouldn’t be as stark. I wish I had a better answer for you!

  2. Hi! What color/size grout do you like with an all white marble like thassos going on the walls? My bathroom already has a carrara marble floor purchased, so I would have to take that into consideration.

    1. I still like warm gray or platinum for all tile going in bathrooms because I think it’s more forgiving than white grout. 😉 But the grout will look darker against the thassos than against the Carrara, if that makes sense. If you want it to blend more, you could look for a soft white grout for the walls and use platinum or warm gray for the floors. I hope this helps!

  3. Is there any chance you can comment on “Frost” by Mapei for my Carrera shower walls. I really think I would like the grout lines to disappear and this color has been suggested to be. Or is there any other color that would blend the most and disappear ?? Thank you !!!!

    1. Frost is a great color! I have a friend who used frost with her marble shower floor and it looks fantastic! Highly recommend!

      1. Thank you so much !! Actually changed my mind to the Platinum today and I think it’s going to look fantastic !! I was concerned that it might be too dark but it actually blends with the Carrara perfectly and ties in with the floor color as well !!!

        1. Wonderful! It’s funny with Carrara. Since it’s natural stone, it really depends on how gray your actual pieces are whether platinum or frost is a better match. So glad you found something you love!

          1. Well now I’m having second thought again since I think my tile job is not perfect and I want the lines to disappear. Are there any other very pale grays you could recommend ?? Had the tile job been perfect, I would have gone w platinum :((((

          2. Can you remind me what you tried? White with white tile would be the best at hiding imperfections.

  4. My walls are Carrara marble. Unfortunately, there are some imperfections w the grout lines so I want them to disappear as much as possible. I think the Platinum is beautIful but I’m afraid it will draw too much attention to the lines. Mapei Frost seems to have a bit of a yellow cast. What I really want is a pale, pale gray to blend with the primary stone color , not the veining.

    1. I have personally seen frost and it doesn’t cast yellow for me. It is a light gray and might be a great fit for you!

  5. Recently did a remodel of our kitchen…. we went with white cabinets, white, shiny
    3”x9”subway tile and white grout. Ugh, too much white! And (as you mentioned) the grout is turning a little yellowish. Trying to work with Revere Pewter paint on walls – and they appear much more beige then gray in this kitchen. Have been playing around with grout pens – dark is too stark, med. gray seems ok but may seem like too much if it’s everywhere, and winter gray doesn’t go well with the Revere Pewter. Please help…. which grout will work? Maybe it’s time to just move, lol.

  6. Hello,
    Remodeling a bathroom with SW Sea Serpent vanity and white subway tile. I need a wall color and grout choice. I love the wall color in your pictures featuring the navy vanity. Do you know what color it is? I am leaning toward warm grey grout with a matching wall color. The other grout color I’m considering is silver but am afraid it might be too dark.

    1. Hi Ann,

      The wall color featuring the navy vanity is SW Snowbound, a beautiful crisp white. I’d recommend a warm gray grout, it’s a great color choice for grout for cleaning and classic warmth.

      1. Thank you! You think the warm grey is enough of a contrast? I’m so worried it might be too light. (Although at this point I already told contractor warm grey). Can I go wrong with the warm grey????

        1. It’s one of my favorite applications for most grout installations, so I think it’s generally the right choice.

          1. Hello, one more thing. Installer is using Mapei Ultra Color Plus FA. Is that what you use? Are Mapei colors consistent across their various formulas?

  7. Hi Rachel, I am struggling to choose which grout color to go with. I love the idea of clean white on white but like you said will struggle to keep it clean. So I have been thinking really thin and dark to go with my 3×12 white subway tile. My cabinets are going to be olive green and I am leaning towards a callacata trevi white quartz. I have a farmhouse sink, faucet and pulls will be black but lots of stained wood accents including open shelves with the tile around it. Trying to give you all the details to give me your opinion on what direction I should go. I like the gray I just wondered if the dark would be better with the dark and wood accents. Thanks for your help!

    1. White grout, while beautiful, is a difficult choice with food and water stains. A warm gray would be beautiful in this option. It will honestly blend in and let the tile design shine!

  8. Hi there, I love your work! Do you have any issues keeping Platinum grout clean in showers or on floors? I’m leaning towards Delorean just for up keep purposes but I love the cleanness of a lighter color . thanks!

    1. I don’t—especially as a busy family of 6! Be very careful with bleach cleaning products as they can lighten the grout color. I like a product called Simple Green.

  9. Love your home & blog! I am currently installing a honed carrera marble kitchen backsplash. I know you love Platinum , however, when I did a sample of platinum on my marble tiles, it turned the edges a slight gray all around and wouldn’t come off. Question: Would you ever recommend Arctic White as a possible grout to use with the honed carrera marble? Wondering if the white may look nice too. Thank you for your help!

    1. White is a difficult color for grout especially in the kitchen due to food stains. Have you tried a lighter gray? Frost could be a good choice.

  10. Hi! I love the platinum grout but my builder uses TEC. Do you happen to know what would be the equivalent color in that brand of grout? Thanks!

  11. I am doing a 3”X3” hexagonal tumble marble on the floor. I budgeted for a simple white subway tile for the shower surround. What size subway tile would you recommend? 3”x 6” or 3” x 8”?
    Thank you
    Judy

  12. Hi! I have the berwyn countertop color from cambria, benjamin moore pale oak walls, white subway tile in kitchen floor to ceiling in some places. Agonizing over grout color! Want light and bright but . ….
    Will warm grey be too dark for a small kitchen in an open floor plan? The pale oak walls adjoin, again, my kitchen and living room are essentially the same small space.

    Thx

  13. Is there any chance you could share how Prism brand grout in “Bleached Wood” translates? I have an open concept and was thinking about using it for my Bedrosians Cloe backsplash and hexagon tile surrounding the fireplace that looks very similar to the one shown above with the gray grout. I feel like they should have the same grout since it’s open concept and can’t decide if it’s too dark. I want a light, warm feel.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I don’t have an example in that grout color, but sometimes a quick Google search might show some results with that tile. I do love that tile option!

  14. Hi, I recently bought wavy, textured white subway tiles, white cabinets, and a white granite countertop with light gray veining and black flecks. I went with a white theme overall because I have a very busy tile floor that I’m not replacing at this time. I would like a gray grout. I’m torn between Mapei Warm Gray and Delorean Gray. I don’t want a stark, busy contrast, nor do I want something too light. I also don’t want the tiles to look too busy because the ‘boss’ in the room is the kitchen floor tiles. I have painted the walls a pale warm gray. Any advice?

    1. I really love warm gray for this application. It blends in and brightens the space without looking busy.

      1. I was in the same situation and took Rachel’s advice and went with Mapei Warm Grey. It’s perfect. In my opinion it looks darker than the sample grout stick I had. Love it.

  15. Hi Rachel, I have white shaker cabinets with a white farm sink. Quartz counters with very little gray veining. My walls are painted Worldly Gray which is a warm gray.. I plan on the a 4X16 white subway tile. I do not want a busy look. What color grout would you suggest. Thanks Karen

    1. If you want a subtle contrast to the white tile, then Warm Gray would be lovely because it’s very similar to Worldly Gray in its coloration (though perhaps a touch darker). You can see how that looks against white tile in this bathroom. I hope this helps!

  16. Hi Rachel, this article was so informative! I am having Thassos White Marble Split Face Mosaic Tile installed as my kitchen backsplash, with all white counters and buttery yellow cabinets. Your article helped me choose Mapei White grout over their Avalanche color, but do you think I should go with something even more grey? Thanks!

  17. Help! What would you pick? we’re doing simple 3×6 tile in the shower and bianco carrara hexagon tile. I was originally thinking warm gray for all, then recently was leaning towards mapei silver, and now delorean. The fixtures will be brass.

    Thanks!!

    1. Warm gray is a lovely choice! I also have a friend who did this exact pattern and she used frost! Slightly lighter than warm gray.

  18. I just found your site!! Soooo helpful! We are about to start 4 long awaited bathroom remodels!! So many decisions and love my honed marble counters in the kitchen so going with a lot of that in the bathrooms along with subway style walls….do you find a huge benefit between sanded and unhanded grout?

    Also really want herringbone marble floor, will 4×8 tiles work for that?
    thanks so much!!!

    1. How exciting! Sanded grout looks more classic to me and also has more grab/grit, especially for slippery shower floors.

  19. Help! I am having a bathroom emergency… I am doing a 3×6 white subway tile and I am now convinced to do warm grey Mapai grout (was initially leaning darker, like Timberwolf), this looks timeless and beautiful. What size grout lines do you recommend? 1/8 or 1/16th? I am paying someone to do the installation. My home is older/slightly dated but still want this upgrade to look nice. TIA!!

    ps. What do you think of the Timberwolf, too cheap looking? This is for a rental property so I don’t want to go too light…

  20. Verticle stack bedrosian white narrow subway tile for shower walls…frost is what I chose and trying to go w very narrow grout lines…Octagon shower pan Carrara marble with warm grey grout…herringbone pattern Carrara 4×8 floor tiles with warm grey grout…doing 2 small recessed lights in shower area so they can be on dimly for guests (it is a full bath guest bath downstairs)….I’m getting scared that I should have just done marble walls as well instead of the white;/…or the bedrosian Chloe which I like too but was going for more clean line classic and timeless…any help? I’ve had to do these last minute things from out of town as my father declined in health…

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