a peek inside the fishbowl

31 Aug, 2012

Reno post #38: Crowdsourcing grout

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Home/reno

As I mentioned in my last post about the saga of the ongoing reno, the tiling is now being done in the family bathroom (which is, in case you haven’t been following this story, a very large compartmentalized bathroom so theoretically four people can be using it at the same time).

The family bathroom has turned out beautifully. It took a lot of soul-searching and design work and re-design work but when I see it coming together I realize how amazing it’s going to be.

Can I talk tile for a moment? This is nitty-gritty stuff but I do have a question for you at the end.

Tiling the small part of the family bathroom

The floor tile in the main area of the bathroom is dark grey colour. (We picked it up at Olympia by the way.) It goes all the way into the commode. The floor of the walk-in shower has a 2 x 2 version of the same tile. This area is separated by a white/grey marble-topped step and a frosted glass shower door. The grey floor will be finished with a matching charcoal grout.

The walls in the shower area are floor-to-ceiling classic white glossy 3 x 6 subway tile. The subway tile is going into the commode area as well, but only partway up the wall. (Click to enlarge the photo above.) Topping it is a band of two 1 x 1 polished grey glass tiles, running in a row across the top. This is continued in the shower, at which point it acts as a bit of a “belt” if you know what I mean. I’ll upload a photo as soon as I get one.

My question to you is this: what colour grout do you think we should use on the subway tile? White? Off-white and slightly darker? Or dark grey? The white would blend in and make it look like a sea of subway tile, and anything darker would create separation and make the individual tiles stand out. I’d love to hear what you think!

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13 Responses to "Reno post #38: Crowdsourcing grout"

1 | Jen Hughes

August 31st, 2012 at 7:24 am


I vote for white grout.

2 | Carly

August 31st, 2012 at 7:41 am


I too would suggest white. It’s a personal preference, but I find a darker grout against white tile can look trendy and doesn’t hold up over time. I also find it looks “dirty”.

I like the look of white (or ever just barely off-white) grout against white tile because I also feel it makes the space look bigger.

Two cents. :)

3 | vivian

August 31st, 2012 at 7:45 am


I’m another vote for white grout. We went with white and white subway in our bathroom and it’s definitely a much more subtle, uniform look. It made a huge difference when the grout was finally put in. Whereas, if you went for a grey grout, it’d look sort of like what it looks like now.

4 | steph

August 31st, 2012 at 7:55 am


Another vote for white!

5 | Giulia

August 31st, 2012 at 8:07 am


I vote for white or the lightest shade of grey. Dark is very on trend and modern and I think you would tire of it. The lightest shade of gray could be a nice tie into the marble and glass grey tile.

6 | Lindsay

August 31st, 2012 at 8:17 am



I did a light grey because I thought it would avoid the discolouration and staining that sometimes happens with white grout. It was a mistake. I should have followed my heart and done white… it’s so much cleaner and brighter. :-)

Can’t go wrong with white!

7 | Cindy W

August 31st, 2012 at 8:38 am


I vote white too. Uniform, easy to clean, classic!

8 | Sara

August 31st, 2012 at 1:42 pm


We just installed a white subway tile backsplash in our kitchen and used white grout. I vote white!

9 | Deanne

August 31st, 2012 at 4:58 pm


White. Always make the grout the same colour as the tiles.

11 | RusticBenches

August 31st, 2012 at 10:23 pm


Definitely white grout! Everything else will pop, and the subway tile will compliment by being subtle with its white grout.

12 | Caroline Ives

September 4th, 2012 at 2:30 pm


We did white in our kitchen with the exact same tiles and I love it.

13 | kristen pedersen

September 8th, 2012 at 4:38 pm


White! Ask for white epoxy grout, which is used in commercial buildings as it does not stain and is only a little more, and easy to install on smooth subway tiles.

I hate cleaning grout, dont you?

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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