The backsplash was created with Dark Naval Blue Grove Brickworks from Waterworks with a cement gray grout. Just enough contrast so the backsplash does not seem solid. The grout also accentuates the texture of the glazed bricks.
I always worry that not enough emphasis is placed on the choice of grout color for either ceramic tile or stone. Grout choice is a key element to affect the final outcome of an installation. And not incidentally, it acts as a moisture barrier so that water does not seep behind the tiles creating a mold situation or damage the ceiling below. So, it is very important that the grout choice not be left to the contractor; it is a choice to be made thoughtfully and long before the tile is installed.
A good rule of thumb is to install 5 square feet of the material on a plywood board and test different grout colors. You can do this by simply sprinkling the powder into the joints. If the color does not appear right just vacuum out the powder and try another shade. Clients are often surprised when I explain this exercise, but it certainly prevents panic and surprise.
The final look of the grid can be subtle or bold depending on the choice of grout color. If you choose a complimentary grout color, the grout becomes a nearly invisible line. For example, when we install white tile our choice for a complimentary grout is bright white or snow white depending on the tone of the glaze.
However, when deciding on an installation for our 58th Street showroom, we wanted the installation to look like “old New York”. We selected a dark charcoal gray that is reminiscent of a subway, an old restaurant or butcher shop. The affect is quite stunning. At first we thought the installation would be too graphic and your eye would immediately be drawn to it. However, the result is exactly as we had hoped – though we tried several dark shades before settling on Laticrete Pewter.
I am often asked if there is a difference between the grout used on the floor and the wall. The rule of thumb is to consider traffic. If you are grouting a kitchen I recommend a color several shades darker than the material to keep the floor looking its best for a long time. Sealers are also a necessary to keep a floor from looking dingy.
There is another consideration when selecting grout. Sanded grout is used when the joint is 1/8″ or larger. Non-sanded grout is used on joints less than 1/8″ and for glass installations.
Grout for the shower wall and floor depend on the material selected. If tile is your choice, I recommend 1/8″ grout joints with a matching color grout. The shower floor should also have nearly matching color grout and sealer applied at least once a year. Please note that I am not an installer. I recommend that you ask your professional installer about the ANSI standards. If he is not familiar with them I suggest that you go to their website and become an instant expert. It seems as if the grout industry is creating new materials all the time and you want to be sure that your choice is the most up to date and most appropriate for your application.
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