Is Black Grout A Good Idea? Our Design Expert Weighs In

Trying out-of-the-box designs within your home can yield amazing results, and one trend that draws the eye while adding a touch of drama to any space is black grout. This style might not be for everyone, but it can certainly elevate any area that features grout, especially your bathrooms, and can really enhance your tile selection. As with any distinct or unique trend, there are pros and cons to using black grout. In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Brad Smith, CEO of Omni Home Ideas and Interior Designer, covers both of these and explains how to make this addition work for your home if you're interested in trying it. "Black grout can be an excellent choice for bathrooms, primarily for its aesthetic appeal and practicality," Smith noted when asked about trying this trend.

If you're looking for a wow factor when decorating your bathroom, black grout can provide that without overdoing it. Smith explains, "It offers a bold contrast, especially with lighter tiles, creating a modern and sophisticated look." Sticking with light, neutral shades like white, beige, soft grays, and creams will make the grout pop while still keeping the overall effect chic and stylish.

Pros and cons of black grout

One big pro to using black grout is that it can also diminish the appearance of dirt and grime. Speaking exclusively to House Digest, Smith said that "black grout is adept at concealing stains and maintaining a cleaner appearance over time." Since standard grout is usually white, it can show stains, buildup, and dirt more easily, whereas black will have the opposite effect. One thing to keep in mind is soap and water stains, which can appear white and will show up more easily on black grout, so cleaning it regularly with water and vinegar can keep your bathroom looking fresh and tidy. If your bathroom tends to accumulate moisture more than most, this option helps conceal discoloration, too.

According to Smith, other benefits of this trend include an "aesthetic appeal [that] provides a striking contrast that highlights the tile pattern." He also recommends using black grout for "versatility [because it] works well with various tile colors and styles, from classic white subway tiles to more vibrant hues." You can also swap black for dark gray or charcoal, which still provides a touch of drama without feeling too overpowering. They also combine well with a variety of tile shades, making it easier to play with colors, patterns, and designs.

How to make black grout work for your space

There are drawbacks to implementing black grout in your home, with resale being one of Smith's main arguments. If you plan to sell your home down the line, he notes that "while trendy, it might not appeal to all tastes, potentially affecting the resale value of your home." Black grout can also fade, so be prepared to reapply it and add the right grout sealant to protect it. "[Black grout] requires precise application, as mistakes and smudges are more visible," Smith warns, so you might want to consider hiring a professional

When deciding if this aesthetic is right for you, consider the type of tile you plan to use. During the exclusive interview, Smith suggested that pairing porcelain or ceramic tiles gives the best results, since "the contrast is particularly striking with lighter-colored tiles." Monochromatic themes do well with black grout, as the two complement each other nicely. While black grout can withstand moisture in the air, Smith recommends avoiding it in areas that come into direct contact with a lot of water, since the color is prone to fading. 

If you're still on the fence about trying black grout, he suggests taking a moment to picture your space. "When considering black grout, it's essential to think about the overall design aesthetic of your bathroom," Smith says. "It's a statement choice that should align with your style preferences and the bathroom's functionality."