Upgrade your kitchen or bathroom with the stunning combination of white subway tile with black grout. This fashionable design provides a clean, contemporary atmosphere while adding a daring element to any space. In this article, we’ll examine the advantages and disadvantages, color options, tile materials, and more, all to help you decide if this eye-catching design is the ideal choice for you.

Why Choose White Subway Tile with Black Grout?

The pairing of white subway tile with black grout produces a distinctive, attention-grabbing design that fits seamlessly in both classic and contemporary settings. This striking combination boasts various advantages, including:

  1. Enduring Style: White subway tile has been a favored design option for years, and incorporating black grout introduces a modern flair to this timeless appearance.
  2. Easy Maintenance: The dark grout is less likely to show stains, making it a more practical choice for busy kitchens and bathrooms.
  3. Enhanced Visual Interest: The contrast between the white tiles and black grout lines adds depth and dimension to your space, creating a captivating design that draws the eye.

Should I use black grout with white subway tile?

Absolutely! The combination of white tiles and black grout is really stylish. It goes well with many different elements for your kitchen or bathroom.

Tile Materials and Color Options:

While ceramic is the most common material for subway tiles, you can also find them in a variety of other materials such as porcelain, glass, and natural stone. Each material offers unique benefits and aesthetics:


Affordable and easy to install, ceramic is the most popular choice for subway tiles. It is available in a range of colors, although white is the most traditional option.


Denser and more durable than ceramic, porcelain is a great choice for high-traffic areas or wet environments like bathrooms. Porcelain tiles can also be found in various colors, including white.


Offering a sleek, modern look, glass subway tiles are perfect for creating a light and airy feel. They come in a wide range of colors, including the classic white option.

Natural Stone

For a more rustic or organic look, consider natural stone subway tiles. These tiles offer a unique texture and can be found in various shades of white and other colors.

Can I use black grout with white tiles?

Yes! Black grout pairs well with any white tile, regardless of the material. The contrast between the white tile and black grout lines creates a stunning visual effect that enhances your space.

Pros and Cons of White Subway Tile with Black Grout:

Before committing to this design choice, consider the following pros and cons:


  1. Classic yet modern: White subway tile with black grout offers a timeless design that works well in a variety of styles, from traditional to contemporary.
  2. Easy to clean: Black grout is less likely to show stains, making it a practical choice for busy kitchens and bathrooms.
  3. Versatile: This design choice complements various materials, fixtures, and colors, making it easy to incorporate into your existing design.


  1. Grout color may fade: Over time, black grout may fade or discolor, requiring reapplication or sealing to maintain its appearance.
  2. Potential for a busy look: In smaller spaces, the contrast between white tiles and black grout may create a visually busy environment. Be mindful of the balance between simplicity and contrast in your design.

Decor Ideas for Bathrooms and Kitchens with White Subway Tiles with Black Grout

white subway tile with black grout

Michelle Dirske Interior Design

White subway tiles with black grout create a striking backdrop for various decor styles in both bathrooms and kitchens. Here are some decor ideas to help you enhance the look of your space with this bold design choice:

Industrial Chic

Embrace the industrial aesthetic by incorporating elements such as exposed brick, metal accents, and vintage-style light fixtures. The contrast of white subway tiles and black grout pairs well with these raw materials, creating an urban and edgy feel in your kitchen or bathroom.

Monochromatic Elegance

Create a sleek and sophisticated space by opting for a monochromatic color scheme. Use shades of black, white, and gray for your cabinetry, countertops, and fixtures. The white subway tiles with black grout will blend seamlessly into this modern design, adding visual interest without overwhelming the space.

Retro Charm

Incorporate retro-inspired elements, such as checkered flooring, colorful appliances, or vintage artwork, to create a fun and nostalgic vibe. The classic white subway tile with black grout serves as the perfect backdrop for these playful accents, making your space feel both timeless and trendy.

Scandinavian Simplicity

Embrace the minimalist, Scandinavian style by opting for clean lines, neutral tones, and natural materials. Choose wooden accents, simple patterns, and light-colored textiles to complement the white subway tiles and black grout. This decor approach will create a serene, clutter-free space that feels open and inviting.

Bold Pops of Color

Use the neutral backdrop of white subway tiles with black grout to showcase vibrant pops of color. Consider adding brightly colored accessories, such as towels, rugs, or kitchenware, to create a lively and energetic atmosphere. You can also introduce bold accent walls or patterned tiles for added visual interest.

Farmhouse Flair

Combine the modern contrast of white subway tiles and black grout with classic farmhouse elements, such as shiplap walls, open shelving, and vintage accessories. This blend of styles creates a warm, inviting space with a touch of rustic charm.

Eclectic Vibes

Mix and match various styles, textures, and patterns to create an eclectic and personalized space. The simple, bold look of white subway tiles with black grout can serve as a unifying element, allowing you to play with different decor ideas without your space feeling disjointed.

Alternative Dark Grout Colors for White Tiles

While white subway tile with black grout is a popular choice, there are other dark grout colors that can also create a stunning contrast with white tiles. Here are some alternative options to consider for your kitchen or bathroom design:

Charcoal Gray Grout

A slightly softer alternative to black, charcoal gray grout offers a modern and sophisticated look. This deep gray color still provides contrast against white tiles, but with a more subtle effect. Charcoal gray grout is a versatile option that works well with various design styles and complements different color palettes.

Navy Blue Grout

For a unique and bold statement, consider pairing white subway tiles with navy blue grout. The deep blue hue adds a touch of elegance and can serve as a stylish accent color in your space. This grout color works especially well in nautical or coastal-themed designs and pairs beautifully with brass or gold fixtures.

Chocolate Brown Grout

If you’re looking for a warm and earthy feel, chocolate brown grout might be the perfect choice. This rich, dark brown color offers a cozy contrast to white tiles and is an excellent option for rustic or farmhouse-style spaces. Chocolate brown grout can also help tie together other brown tones in your kitchen or bathroom, such as wooden cabinetry or natural stone accents.

Deep Green Grout

For a more unconventional option, consider deep green grout to pair with your white subway tiles. This dark, lush color adds a touch of nature-inspired charm and can create a soothing, calming atmosphere in your space. Deep green grout pairs well with a variety of design styles, from bohemian to modern, and complements other green accents or plants in your room.

FAQs About White Subway Tile with Black Grout:

Can I install white subway tile with black grout myself?

Yes, with the right tools and knowledge, you can install white subway tile with black grout yourself​​. However, if you’re not confident in your DIY skills, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure a flawless finish.

Can I change the grout color later if I don’t like the black grout?

Yes, you can change the grout color by either applying a grout colorant or removing the existing grout and re-grouting with your desired color. Keep in mind that this process can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

How do I maintain my white subway tile with black grout?

Regular cleaning with a mild soap and water solution is sufficient to maintain your white subway tile. For the black grout, use a grout-specific cleaner and a soft brush to remove dirt and stains. To prevent discoloration and fading, consider sealing the grout periodically.


White subway tile with black grout creates a beautiful design for kitchens and bathrooms, blending both classic and modern styles. With many material and color choices, you can pick the perfect mix for your taste. Think about the pros and cons and follow maintenance tips to keep this striking design looking great for a long time.


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