How To Change Grout Color

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Easily upgrade the visual impact of your tile by simply changing the color of your grout.

Grout adds more of a visual element to your tile floor or wall than you might think. You can create a more intentional, cohesive look by choosing one that accents the color or pattern of your tile.

James Upton, a bathroom remodeling specialist and founder of DIYTileGuy.com.  explains homeowners may be motivated to change their grout color for several reasons.

“It could be that they want to go from a blending grout color to a contrasting color or vice versa,” says Upton. “Another reason could be that the existing grout color is more difficult to maintain and keep looking fresh.”

Can You Change the Color of Grout?

Yes. Since tiling isn’t structurally dependent on the grout, you can change the color without tearing up the tile and starting over.

Is Changing Your Grout Color a DIY Project?

Yes, it’s definitely a task a DIYer can handle. “It may even be difficult to find a professional in the area willing to take the project on,” Upton says.

Changing grout color involves minimal tools. As long as you have some patience, it shouldn’t be too challenging to complete. There’s also more than one way to change grout color, so you can choose the method best suited for you and the tools you have on hand.

The first and easiest method? Using a colorant painted onto the existing grout. The other method is removing the old grout and re-grouting with a new color.

How To Change Grout Color: Re-Paint Existing Grout

Painting your existing grout with a special colorant is the least labor-intensive method. You’ll need a bottle of grout colorant of your preferred color; Upton recommends Mapei. You’ll also need a small brush and a microfiber cloth. In Upton’s experience, it’s generally easier to go from a light color to dark color.

“If you have white subway tile, it’s easier to paint your white grout joints charcoal gray than it is to turn charcoal gray to white,” says Upton. “Doing the latter may require multiple applications.”

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Thoroughly clean your grout and tile, then allow it to completely dry.
  2. Shake your colorant bottle and apply it to your grout lines with a brush. Cover the lines completely.
  3. Allow the colorant to dry. The time may vary depending on the product.
  4. Wipe excess colorant off your tiles. If you have textured tiles, mist them with water and rub with a microfiber towel. For smooth or polished tiles, simply wipe the entire area with a paper towel or microfiber cloth.
  5. Keep people off the tile for at least two hours.

How To Change Grout Color: Remove and Replace

Removing the grout and re-grouting with your color choice may be a better option for some, Upton says, “especially if you want to change to a lighter color or the original grout is too loose or powdery. ” He recommends using an electric oscillating tool along with a circular carbide grout removal blade.

If your tiles have very narrow grout joints, like marble or subway tile, Upton says a simple utility knife could work well enough. You’ll need to buy new grout as well as the tools and materials necessary for grout application. Then proceed:

  1. Remove existing grout with an oscillating tool or utility knife, taking care to avoid damaging the tiles.
  2. Clean and vacuum grout joints to remove dust and debris. According to Upton, the grout joint needs to be at least 1/8-inch deep to allow the new grout to be applied effectively.
  3. Apply new grout.
  4. Allow to completely dry before walking on it.