What Color Grout To Use With Wood-Looking Tile?

What Color Grout to Use With Wood Looking Tile

Are you laying out new tiling in your home? Flooring installation can be costly, time consuming, and downright overwhelming. There are so many materials, colors, and styles to choose from. If you’ve decided to use wood look tile for your home, you’ll want to make it strong and looking seamless. This is where grout comes in. 

Are you considering what color grout to use with wood-looking tile? Apply a neutral-colored grout that matches the darker tones in your wood look tiles. The goal is to pick a color that blends in as seamlessly as possible. Wood-look tiles are meant to replicate the look of authentic wood floors, which don’t have grout lines. Avoid light-colored grout, which stands out more and stains easier.

What is Wood-Look Tile?

Wood-look tile is a porcelain tile manufactured to look like real wood. These tiles replicate the appearance of a wood grain, and come in various natural wood colors. They are made precisely and designed to fit together tightly and uniformly. Wood-look tiles come in various styles and sizes, but are usually shaped like wood planks. 

Unlike traditional tiles, wood look tiles are rectified, meaning they have a very small grout joint. Homeowners opt for wood look tiles because they recreate an authentic wood flooring look. Thus, the beautiful wood design is meant to be front and center, without the distraction of grout. Authentic wood planks have minimal to no grout, and wood-look porcelain tiles follow suit.

Different Wood-Look Tile Types

Want to pick the right grout joint size and color for your wood-look tiles? It’s useful to know what type, color, and style of wood tile to go with first. Then you can go about matching a grout color that works for your needs.

There are a couple of primary types of wood look tiles to choose from. These include:

  • Large format tiles. Large format tiles are wood-look planks that exceed the standard 12×12 tile size. Due to their size, they are prone to lippage, which means a tile may rise above its surrounding tiles. It is essential that large format tiles are installed by a skilled professional. That way, the tiles are uniformly staggered and grouted.
  • Reclaimed style tiles. Reclaimed style tiles are the most visually beautiful wood look tile types. These tiles have a high variation of color and grain, making them look identical to real hardwood flooring. It can be more challenging to find a good grout color for this type, since there are so many color variations.

Do You Grout Between Wood-Look Tiles?

Grout lines between wood look tiles are essential. Without grout, the tiles will not be able to adjust to weight and movement in the subfloor. This lack of flexibility will cause the tiles to eventually warp, develop lippage, or even break.

Wood-look tiles are designed to have very small grout lines. The industry standard is a ⅛” grout joint, but different tile layouts require different grout joints. For example, grid layouts usually require ⅛” grout joints, while brick layouts usually require a 3/16” joint. It is highly recommended you use spacers when laying out the tiles.

What Color Grout to Use With Wood Looking Tile

The color grout you use will depend on the color of your wood look tiles. The grout color should be neutral, and match the color of the tiles. The point is to have the thin grout line blend in with the surrounding wood look tiles. 

To achieve this blended look, it’s good practice to match the color of the grout to the darkest wood grain color. This does two things. One, a darker color blends in with the wood grain better than a lighter color. And two, a darker color doesn’t pick up grime or dirt stains like a lighter color. 

To make your color search easier, request grout color samples from the tiling manufacturer you’re purchasing from. You can hold these samples up against the real thing to find your perfect match. While it’s recommended you pick a darker, neutral shade, what you go with will also depend on your personal style. 

Wood-Look Tile Styles and Colors

To help you along your wood look tile journey, consider the various styles and colors available. The most prominent color schemes and styles include: 

  • Natural browns. Natural brown wood look tiles come in a variety of brown shades. These are the closest replicas to real hardwood flooring. They look elegant in bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms.
  • Modern grays. If you’re going for a contemporary wood flooring look, opt for a gray color. These make kitchens look more modern, and brighten up the space.
  • Pallet. Pallet wood look tile is designed to look just like real pallet wood flooring.
  • Matte. Matte tiles can come in any color, but have a surface with great traction. The matte is effective at concealing stains, smudges, and damage. It doesn’t require as much maintenance or cleaning as other types.
  • Bathroom. Bathroom wood look tiles are perfect for a rustic bathroom look. They are designed to be waterproof and withstand the effects of moisture. 

Related Questions

What size spacers should I use for wood-look tile?

To ensure a uniform, tightly constructed wood look tile floor, use a ⅛” grout spacer. This is the standard size of grout line for this type of tiling. The alternative grout sizes are 3/16” or even 1/16”, depending on the layout of your tiling. Keep in mind, grout lines as small as 1/16” require unsanded grout. 

What do you spread grout with?

To apply grout, you should use a hard-edged rubber grout float. This tool allows you to spread the grout in wide arcs, pressing and filling in the empty grout lines. Before applying the grout, you must mix it thoroughly until there is no powder left. Then load the grout float, and spread it evenly. Once finished, squeegee off the excess grout from the surface, and let the grout joints dry.

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