Looking for the best grout colors for subway tile or marble? See gray grout colors in real spaces to help you choose!
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
In short, here are my favorite grout colors for white 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!