How to Choose the Right Grout Color

June 11, 2021

Often times when deciding to do a thin brick project, the hardest part is choosing what color grout to use. This post is intended to help answer the most frequent questions we at Old Mill Brick receive about different colors of grout.

credit: @deck.to.farm.charm
Castle Gate w/ white grout

Grout vs. Mortar

There is a difference! The first thing to understand is the difference between grout and mortar. Grout and Mortar are similar but have distinct differences.

Mortar: Mortar is used when building a full-size brick wall. The role of mortar is to stick two materials together, in this case bricks. You can find mortars in a variety of colors, but they can be hard to locate and purchase. Most mortars will come in gray or white.

Grout: Grout on the other hand, is intended only as a filler. Grout tends to be stickier and harder to wipe off when installing the project. But you can easily find a variety of different colors of grout. If you wanted whites, grays, blacks, browns, or even reds you can find those colors in the grout department.  

When doing a thin brick project you should use a type-s mortar or a sanded grout to fill the brick joints (spaces between the brick tiles). Both can be purchase at Home Depot, Lowes or your nearest hardware store. When installing a thin brick wall both mortar or grout are acceptable to use. When installing a floor, we would recommend using a grout. The reason you should only use sanded grout for a floor has to do with flexibility. Floors generally tend to flex and move more than walls do. Grouts have more flexibility than mortars and therefore will prevent cracking of the joints when your floors flex and move.

Rushmore Floor w/ white grout

Rushmore Floor without grout

The Impact of Grout Color

Grout will make up about 18-24% of your finished project. Because of this, the color of grout you choose will make a huge impact on how your brick wall or floor will appear. So don’t just skip over the grouting process of your project. Certain colors of grout will make certain aspects of the brick more pronounced or less pronounced. You can change the look of a brick in extremes just by changing the color of your grout. Below are some examples.

Gray Brick

Rushmore w/ gray grout

Rushmore w/ white grout

Rushmore w/ black grout

Red Brick

Castle Gate w/ gray grout

Independence w/ gray grout

Castle Gate w/ white grout

Independence w/ white grout

Castle Gate w/ black grout

Independence w/ black grout

Black Brick

Hanoi Smooth w/ gray grout

Hanoi Smooth w/ white grout

Hanoi Smooth w/ black grout

Your Project, Your Choice!

Don't let the stress of trying to decide on a correct grout color get the better of you. You're the boss. And the best part of working with thin brick is there isn't a conventional way of doing it. Over the years we have seen people with no experience do great projects. We have seen many different styles and colors and variations of brick projects from all over. Don't be intimidated...YOU GOT THIS!! And we, at Old Mill Brick, of course are always willing and able to help in the process anyway we can. Don't hesitate to reach out!