Grout color: sometimes you get lucky

I hemmed and hawed for a long time over the grout color for the den. The tiles are various colors (on purpose), with a reclaimed wood look. There are off-white, tan, brown, gray and charcoal tiles with different patterns in each color.

My typical go-to grout color is natural gray. Mainly because it works with many things, doesn’t grab attention, and is forever available from various companies (Laticrete, Mapei, TEC, Custom Building Products, etc.). Meaning you’ll be able to find it if you ever need a patch repair.

The den has wood paneled walls. Though it’s just plywood and moulding, the plywood is designed to look like edge-glued boards. It’s a stained red oak in color (probably originally ‘honey oak’), but the grain tells me it’s not oak. However, I wanted something that went _reasonably_ well with the walls. In other words, a brown grout of some type.

I chose SpectraLOCK Pro Premium from Laticrete because I’ve used it before and it’s a very good grout. It’s harder to install than a cementitious or ready-to-spread urethane or acrylic grout, but it’s worth the effort. It’s essentially stain proof after curing, it’s very strong, and in my experience it is very color-consistent from box to box (especially if you buy ‘Part C’ all at once to get boxes from the same batch).

The problem is that no one local stocks it. None of the big box stores carry it at all, except Floor & Decor which isn’t close to me. But the worst part is that you just can’t trust color swatches. While my main computer monitor is very color accurate, if I look at color swatches on various web sites for the color I chose, they vary dramatically. And the swatch on the grout box itself doesn’t quite match the cured grout.

I chose ‘#55 Tawny’, after thinking for a long time that I’d use Chocolate Truffle. I’m so glad I waited and gambled on the Tawny; it was the right choice. Mostly by sheer luck.

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