Grout color change

Amelia Kay
September 6, 2019

We (unsuccessfully) redid our kitchen 2 years ago. Although we can’t afford to redo it anytime soon I’d like to at least spruce it up! I always regretted my tile/grout choice (which I was talked into)I feel like changing the grout color to pure white (or black) may help to some degree. Also, I wanted gold hardware, in the end it didn’t look right so I swapped it to black.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or ideas.

Comments (57)

  • Amelia Kay

    Thanks Debbi,
    This was done 2 years ago, photos were taken when it was first done. Kitchen is a mess of stuff now!

  • joshuasamah

    I like I! Maybe try some colorful accessories

  • Related Discussions

    Grout color changed the appearance of the backsplash


    Comments (2)
    Talk to your installer. They can permanently color the grout (probably has to be darker than the current color).
    ...See More

    Master bath grout


    Comments (4)
    A light gray should work fine. The stain can be purchased from a specialty tile store and they can assist you with the colors. Make sure you discuss with them that you have a natural stone and see if there are any issues with the stain getting on the stone. You wipe off any excess as you go along so I would not think there is an issue - but have only used it with porcelain products.
    ...See More

    Did I make the right choice


    Comments (13)
    The Pyramids didn't care if sand got between the blocks. Most people do care if spaghetti sauce molds between the cracks of their backsplash. Just because it's being sold doesn't make it a good idea for a kitchen. A good guideline is if it wouldn't pass NSF certification, then it can't be cleaned well enough to be in a kitchen that produces food that you would actually eat. Unless the owners never cook and don't have anything but takeout in the fridge.
    ...See More

    Wrong grout color!!! Is it really that bad?


    Comments (11)
    I can totally imagine your apoplexy! wow. however, I think that the current grout looks like a near-match for the tile, which seems far and away the best choice here. much darker or lighter and I think you'd feel like you were at a battle between two patterns, backsplash and counter, while this way the varied brick effect is more subtle. You may decide you escaped by a hair!
    ...See More
  • Amelia Kay

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while

  • Amelia Kay

    Any suggestions?

  • salex

    My personal preference would be to add some color via accessories, swap out the Bud for a glass of red wine, and enjoy your lovely choices.

    ETA: I like your grout and would certainly not make it any darker.

  • Amelia Kay
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><md>Salex, agree with you about the wine!
  • Amelia Kay

    I ended up with three of the light colored seats at the counter.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    The thing that I would suggest is under cabinet lighting and a simple light rail molding. You have an elaborate crown, but that choice isn’t mirrored by using a light rail. That feels unfinished. Under cabinet lighting makes everything seem warm and homey.

    I‘d also suggest that since you have such little wall space, that you can use a much more dramatic and darker wall color. A navy, or deep teal, or forest green. Pick that up with some slipcovers for your stools. There’s very little color and contrast here. Adding both will help to give it some oomph. That is what let’s the other great choices to shine. You have to set them up to be the stars.

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska

    I'll probably put my foot in my mouth here...but what a fab kitchen. Sleek. Modern. Wow. Have you considered that you might need an accent color? I think you're trying to rearrange the leaves on a 100 ft. oak tree. Step back and see the whole kitchen as one, not as little pieces.

    Sleek is butted up against monochromatic. I had a kitchen that color (which I miss) and I had a piece of art that was purple/teal/pink. The art drew the eye. It was the "pow" of the room. Then I added violet hand towels, a few things on the wall. At the risk of hurting your feelings, that's one sterile kitchen. It could almost be an operating room.

  • Amelia Kay

    Thanks! Great suggestions. I do have under cabinet lighting. So you mean add a molding to the bottom of the cabinets?
    Also, love the idea of painting a deep colour. I was wondering about that.

  • Amelia Kay

    Or do you just mean have some lighting?

  • Amelia Kay

    No hurt feelings. That’s what I’m saying.. something is missing!!

  • jemimabean

    I agree that it is pretty stark and needs color added more than any grout changes. If you were to change grout, I’d only switch to white, not to black. Fresh flowers and a striking piece of art would go a long way in here. Anthropologie has some really colorful dish towels that could add something. What about a colorful runner on the floor?

    I don’t think that anything needs to be torn out, just added to give some depth and warmth. Good luck!

  • Amelia Kay

    Sadly there is no wall space for a piece of art.

  • sugarcakes2

    Your kitchen is beautiful, I wouldn't change a thing. The backsplash looks fabulous!

  • Amelia Kay

    Thank you! Some how I think it looks better in photos!

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn

    I would paint - I think you need some contrast... some folks like the quiet blend of things, others like some contrast ...

  • NYCish

    I’d suggest taking everything, everything off the counter. I’d then think about what you want to add. Maybe some wood tones like walnut or light white oak. Get some new linens. Buy a new crock in that wood tone, maybe a pretty bowl or two and some nice looking s&p shakers. Put those out and see where you are. And then be very judicious with the “stuff” you put back out.

    I personally think your kitchen looks fantastic. It’s light and bright but different and interesting.

  • frostyfootball

    Love your kitchen.

  • Val B

    Hi - I’m not a designer, but I think your kitchen looks very nice. I definitely would not go to black grout. It’s going to be too stark and highlight the pattern of the tile too much. I think you need some warm elements - a woven wooden shade over the window, maybe a wooden canister for your cooking utensils next to the stove or a small grouping of wooden cutting boards. I also would have suggested wood bar stools, but yours are new and nice looking so I wouldn’t replace. Can you remove the side backsplash and repair and paint the drywall on the left side of the first picture?

  • txponygirl

    I think your kitchen looks fabulous!

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC

    So those pendants, IMO just look to cheap in that nice kitchen. and exposed bulbs are fairly useless in terms of not being glary, or if you change them to the edison style bulb they will cast yellow and give no light. That might be the one spot in this space you can add some more character and pop to bring some "life'' into it.

    Also you could paint the island a different color than gray maybe that would be a pop point? What about painting it navy?

    Its a nice space so dont be too hard on yourself!

    If you like brass and want to switch the hardware out you could go with a brass pendant to help tie it all in .....

  • Missi Rogge (4b IA)

    I think it's really pretty. I do agree about lighter grout and adding color to the room.

  • ccwatters

    " Although we can’t afford to redo it anytime soon I’d like to at least spruce it up! I always regretted my tile/grout choice (which I was talked into)I feel like changing the grout color to pure white (or black) may help to some degree."

    I guess I'm curious about what you didn't like about the tile/grout choice. Is it just the grout and its effect on the tile...and you otherwise like the tile? Or is it that you dislike the tile too? I'm curious because you said white or black for the two options of switching the making the pattern disappear and the other making the pattern even bolder. If you can put your finger on what it is specifically that you "always regretted about the tile/grout choice", it may help you pinpoint what it is you feel is missing overall (besides the cabinet knob on cabinet left of the hood in pic with the seating you posted? ;)

    Aside from figuring out the tile dilemma you brought up, the first thing that caught my eye is how your pendants just blend in/almost disappear in your space...and to me the pendants and cabinet hardware are the jewelry of the kitchen, a huge opportunity to liven up the space. So I would change those regardless of what you do with your tile...lots of options but lantern style would be my choice because it can be bold but still airy, and would add some "warmth" that most white kitchens could use.

    Casabella Hardwood Floors Products & Projects · More Info

    San Francisco Style · More Info

    Modern Farmhouse with a Storied Past · More Info

    105 Rancho Trail - Partners in Building · More Info

  • Kathi Steele

    If you have not already, move the Keurig and other appliances to the buffet area. You can turn that area into a "drink station." And have colorful glassware and mugs above.

    Decide on an accent color. Add the accent color to your glass front cabinets by means of a decorative plate/bowl/glassware/coffee mugs.

    Use that accent color and have a utensil jar beside the cooktop. Find some utensils in your accent color

    Find a pretty stained glass window and hang it in front of your window.

    Find some barstools in the accent color. Find some tea towels in your accent color.

    In each of ccwaters examples, there are little bits of color here and there.

    You are on the right step. You just need help to finish what you have started.

  • Amelia Kay

    Thank you everyone! Really appreciate you all taking the time to add your ideas. And there are some really great ideas. Definitely plan on using a lot of the suggestions.

    Honestly the contractor that did the job didn’t do a good job at all, I think some of my negative feelings I have are bound up in all of that. He ended up leaving before the job was truly finished. We only managed to withhold $1000. We had said that some of the problems we would get fixed, but with 2 small children this never happened. Maybe that’s why it’s taking me so long to finally finish it!

    The tile and grout job was done really badly. You can’t tell in the photos but it’s bad in person. Also, as someone mentioned “weirdly finished” in certain spots (also why one of the knobs was missing in one photo).

    These tiles were not what I had planned on getting when I went out to the tile place. They steered me away from what I originally wanted. Then I chose these in a snap decision. I loved them in the shop but really not sure that they match with what I was going for. I wanted the counters to be the star of the show!

    Thanks again for all the advice!!

    Also, what is a crock?

  • Amelia Kay


    Could you tell me where you find this photo?
    I particularly like these pendants AND the chairs.

  • ccwatters

    I found it on Houzz. If you click the "more info" link (in green) beneath this pic it will take you to the page where items are tagged/questions answered about the space.

    Since you emphasized you wanted the counter to be the star, IF you end up following through with re-grouting, go for white grout.

  • Jora

    Haven't read the whole thread. I love your kitchen the way it is. I actually think all the elements of your kitchen (grout inclusive) work together really well.

    Personally, I wouldn't change the grout color to white OR black.

    What I would do if this were my kitchen is declutter. Maybe keep the appliances that you don't use on a daily basis in a cabinet/etc., and then incorporate some color (royal blues) into the kitchen, with a POP of another color - perhaps vase full of bold colored flowers!

  • wanderlust07

    I like the contrasting paint idea. I’m not a pro at all and have made choices I’m not perfectly happy with, but I’m trying to accept them as ‘pretty good’ and appreciate them. I think your kitchen is really quite nice-love the counters. If it was mine, I’d want to add some organic elements like a couple of green plants and maybe draw in a colour from the natural world around you or just an accent colour that you love....either in a couple of plant pots, or a fruit bowl, the wall colour, tea towels, kettle,coffee pot...etc. Enjoy!

  • mainenell

    Unsuccessful remodel? Because there are a few unfinished things? Looks like it works pretty well. Finish the punch list and move on.

  • Amelia Kay

    I would love to live clutter free! Do people actually manage it in real life!!? :)

    Definitely going to attempt to add some colour, and hopefully add new lights. I feel better now.

    Mainenell, if I showed you some of the photos of the problems, you’d Understand why I say unsuccessful!


  • Jora

    Amelia - My brain can't handle clutter - I can't function with it, so I have no choice but to live without it (clutter free)! :). It's one of the things I HATE about myself. :)

  • felizlady

    Don’t change the grout. Your kitchen is nice but so empty-looking it looks unused. An accent color will help: wall paint, a colorful ceramic utensil holder, towels and potholders: some or all of these in a nice color will add life to the kitchen. Things you will be using frequently don’t count as “clutter”. I like art in my kitchen when I have an empty wall.

  • Pete Global

    I think your kitchen looks great !!!! Beautiful /clean and elegant . I would do black grout ..white gets dirty and uneven ..anyhow great kitchen. cook something and fill the space with people and put a vase with flowers and enjoy !

  • Amelia Kay

    This is how my kitchen truly looks right now. Most of the other photos were taken as soon as it had been finished. Definitely going to think about painting and adding some colour around.
    Also, replacing the lights with these...

  • silken1

    I would look into adding a small light rail. As was mentioned by someone in this thread. We didn't put in new cabinets. Just kept our old ones that were in perfect shape. But because we added UCL, we also added a small light rail. We couldn't find one with a small enough profile to still allow enough space from counter to cabinet bottom so we made our own using oak molding.
    I stained and varathaned it to match the cabinets. It was inexpensive and just adds an updated and finished edge to the bottom of the cabinet. It is subtle but makes a difference.

  • Erin

    Your kitchen looks great, even with the clutter. I think you are being hard on yourself and trying to put blame on being talked into "bad" decisions. Now if your kitchen looked bad, I may tell you to deal with it and speak up louder next time when it comes to making decisions, but your kitchen looks great and I don't see any mistakes or any reasons to have regrets. I only see places where you can spruce it up if you feel it looks bland, such as changing out the light fixtures, adding some decor, or other details like that (maybe a vase with flowers or something on the island?)

    I wonder if you are having an issue with your care of the kitchen more than anything. It's actually pretty easy to decide you want a clutter-free life. Establish house rules and abide by them. Dirty dishes go in the dishwasher, mail goes in a drawer or bin, and find places to store your countertop appliances when they aren't in use. Also, you are allowed to give yourself a break sometimes too. It's ok if your house looks lived in. I try to live by the motto of "clean up as you go" so things don't accumulate, but sometimes they still do and you just have to smile and say you will clean it up when you have a free moment.

  • Amelia Kay

    Thank you for your kind comments. I am going to try to keep a much tidier home, I think I will be happier.. I do have to share a few close ups with you though, just to prove I’m not totally crazy!

  • ccwatters

    Add your new lights and then see....I think that might do it for you! I like your kitchen :)

  • javiwa

    OP, would you please share what brand and color grout that is? TIA.

  • Amelia Kay

    Just checked my paperwork ( I still have all the papers from almost 3 years ago!!)
    Mapei Keracolor #104 Timberwolf

  • javiwa

    Thank you! We'll have a white tile backsplash installed next month, and I wanted to go with the lightest gray possible. Good luck with your kitchen.

  • Casamacho

    I love your kitchen! I do think a lighter grout would be great for the backsplash, even white, look into grout paint. New pendants/larger will be nice too. If you're handy maybe building a wood hood around what you have there would add some texture to the kitchen too. Also have you thought about swapping the doors on either side of the vent so they open away from the vent?

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn

    Those pics you just posted are not good... did you get all of that fixed?

    SO sorry!

  • Amelia Kay

    Sadly no Debbie, our contractor totally screwed us and it got quite nasty at the end. We said we would hire someone to fix but I was pregnant at the time and it just got forgotten.. there are many more issues.. that’s just scratching the surface.
    Total bodge Job!

  • ccwatters

    Oh gosh that's so disappointing Amelia, probably so frustrating every time you look at those things.

    The good news is it's all fixable and shouldn't cost a ton...the trick is to find a good competent person. You will need someone who installs/fixes floors...and someone who can do everything else (a little mud/repair and paint touch up).

    Post again when you get your lights in, would love to see it!

  • MizLizzie

    Wow. I actually love your, tile, grout, AND pendants. I do think you need a light rail and some LED undercab lighting. Strangely, I don’t love the black hardware. I would prefer nickel, maybe polished. And I dislike the tile on your right perimeter running into the door Frame. It seems to extend into nowhere, for no reason. I would remove the tile from that entire short wall. Yes, your contractor left some rough edges but I adore your kitchen and think it’s a great, functional space.

  • Amelia Kay

    Yeah, the tile job was really bad, not sure why they extended out.. probably to cover up some other mistake. I would love to get it all sorted.. one day! It can be difficult to find someone willing to do these little repair jobs to someone else’s work.

    Not personally a big fan of silver / nickel hardware. It was either gold toned or black for me.. to eat their own!

    I will update when some improvements have been made!

  • Amelia Kay

    And yes, we did question they way he hung the doors over the oven.. seriously soo many issues! We were so upset but we had to let it go!

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268