6 Colourful Grout Ideas To Brighten Up Any Small HDB Bathroom & Help You Save On Fancy Tiles

20 February 2024 | BY

Not all of us have the budget to make major changes to get the bathroom we’re proud of, but we do have access to coloured grout.

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HDB bathrooms are getting smaller year on year, but one thing that’s constant is the need for tiles in water-prone areas like the shower and sink. Not all of us have the budget to hack walls and make major changes to get the bathroom we’re proud of, but we do have access to coloured grout.

What is grout and what is it used for?

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Think of grout as the glue that holds your tiles in place, it also prevents water from getting trapped beneath the tiles and wreaking havoc on your home. Its composition varies based on manufacturer, but you’ll find the basics such as cement, water, sand and some other chemical additives in there.

And in the case of coloured grout, there’s colour pigment in the mix. Manufacturers opt for top-notch, UV-resistant pigments in colored grout, guaranteeing the hues stay vibrant and unfaded against cleaning agents, moisture, and sunlight. This turns grout into a designer’s dream, giving both them and homeowners a palette to inject more personality into any space.

What are the different types of grout?

If the world of grout is new to you, here’s a quick overview of what the different kinds of grout in the market are: 

Type of Grout Composition Best Used For Characteristics
Sanded Grout Cement-based with fine sand particles Grout lines wider than 1/8 inch, floors, high-traffic areas Provides strength, suitable for wider joints
Unsanded Grout Cement-based without sand Grout lines narrower than 1/8 inch, wall tiles Smoother finish, suitable for delicate tiles
Epoxy Grout Epoxy resins and filler powder Areas exposed to moisture (bathrooms, kitchens), high-stain areas Waterproof, stain and chemical resistant, durable
Furan Grout Furan resin and filler powder Industrial settings, areas exposed to harsh chemicals Extremely chemical resistant
Premixed Grout Cement-based or resin-based, ready-to-use Small projects, repairs Convenient, no mix required, shorter shelf life once opened
Specialty Grout Various, designed for specific purposes Depends on formulation (e.g., high flexibility, color consistency) Tailored for specific needs, such as environmental friendliness or reduced efflorescence

Here are 6 colourful grout ideas to incorporate into any bathroom, powder room or even kitchen to help you save money on fancy tiles. 

1. Primary coloured grout on white tiles for a Pop Art-inspired bathroom

colourful grout 3Image credit: Moure Studio

Here’s a combination for those who live for the eclectic Incorporating yellow grout on pristine white tiles is a bold and unconventional choice that can create a striking contrast, infusing your small space with the spirited essence of Pop Art.

pop artImage credit: JING

Here’s a tip: add pops of primary colours such as fire engine red and cobalt blue in the form of bathroom fixtures or wall sconces to really give the space a youthful and energetic atmosphere.

To complete the look, hang up a couple of typography posters or works from Andy Warhol, the man himself. 

2. Terracotta-coloured grout for a Mediterranean look

terracottaImage credit: Akdo, londonbasincompany

Terracotta tiles are an upcoming trend in Singapore for its simple elegance and the warm, rustic charm it brings. But instead of purchasing a truckload of them to tile your entire bathroom or kitchen, you can “fake” the aesthetic with terracotta-coloured grout instead.

colourful grout 6Image credit: threebirdsrenovations

Save the terracotta tiles for the floor and opt for plain matte KitKat tiles or subway tiles for the walls. You can even spice things up and create your own pattern by spacing certain tiles further apart to create more room for coloured grout

3. Black grout on pink tiles for glamorous contrast

black pinkImage credit: Mika Moka Studio

In terms of practicality and maintenance, you’ve got to admit that black grout is next-level genius. No more fussing over dirt or mould on your grout lines since you won’t be able to see any.

colourful grout 8Go for gold or bronze fixtures to really make the space pop.
Image credit: Mika Moka Studio

To avoid having the whole bathroom appear a little too sterile with white and black, opt for a colourful tile canvas such as this peachy pastel pink. The thicker grout lines around the corners look like outlines that add a certain dramatic effect to the overall look of the bathroom. 

4. Two-tone walls for a bright, retro aesthetic

colourful grout 9Image credit: livingetc

Every wise homeowner will tell you that it’s not necessary to tile an entire wall–just splash-prone areas that are prone to getting wet. Not only is it a money-saving decision, it opens up a realm of design possibilities to add some visual interest to your bathroom with a play on colour and tile placement.

colourful grout 10Image credit: Pinterest

Pro tip: Opt for two contrasting colours and ensure that the grout colour complements the adjacent wall. This strategy seamlessly integrates the design elements, resulting in a cohesive and visually appealing bathroom space.

5. Silver grout on mermaid tiles to create scales

colourful grout 11Image credit:

Mermaid tiles, also referred to as scallop tiles, surged in popularity about half a decade ago, riding the wave of whimsical Scandinavian design that swept through Singapore’s home decor scene. These tiles bring the perfect touch of playfulness to any space, making them especially ideal for children’s bathrooms. Instead of opting for just the standard white grouting between your scallop tiles, consider choosing silver or gold to truly elevate the aesthetic to something more enchanting.

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6. Coloured grout on penny tiles

colourful grout 13Image credit: Pink Little Notebook

While not incredibly common in Singaporean homes, penny tiles can instantly give your home that vintage look. The rounded coin shape of the tiles add texture and visual depth to any space, and when paired with the right coloured grout, it can transform a simple backsplash into an accent piece.

colourful grout 14Image credit: Comtemporist

Black on black gives you that industrial rubber floor aesthetic, while other combinations can easily take your bathroom from fun to fancy.

How to maintain coloured grout in the bathroom?

So there you have it, 6 ideas to spruce up your bathroom to take it from basic to bougie. But as we know, areas that are moisture-prone are prone to mould growth–here are some things to know about maintaining coloured grout to keep them looking fresh.

Apply a sealer

You can’t go wrong with a grout sealer once the job is done. This helps protect your beautiful tiles from all the nasties that come with time. Here are the different kinds of sealers available in the market: 

Type of Sealer Composition Best For Characteristics Application Considerations
Penetrating Sealers Silicones, siloxanes, silanes, fluoropolymers High moisture areas (bathrooms, kitchens), high-traffic areas, both sanded and unsanded cement-based grout, natural stone tiles Does not change appearance, natural look, protects against water and oil-based stains, long-lasting Check compatibility, especially with natural stone; reapply every few years depending on usage
Membrane-Forming Sealers Polyurethane, acrylics, epoxy Less moisture-prone areas, decorative tiling, wall tiles in dry areas Can alter appearance (sheen or gloss), less suitable for high moisture areas, can enhance color or provide a wet look Ensure good ventilation during application; may trap moisture, so not recommended for very wet areas

In general, penetrating sealers are recommended for coloured grout for the natural finish it gives and how vibrant the coloured grout is after. It also helps to minimise stains and prevents moisture from seeping through.

Do regular cleaning with a PH-balanced cleaning solution

Unless you’re going for black grout, the likelihood of your grout accumulating dirt and getting discoloured is very high. You’re going to want to continue those bathroom cleaning routines, but be sure to avoid the bleach! Invest in pH-neutral grout cleaners or colour-safe grout cleaner to avoid stripping the colour.  Apply the cleaner and gently scrub the grout lines with a soft brush. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that can damage the grout or fade the color.

Renovation considerations

If you’re still in the planning stages of your reno, you’ll be happy to know that there are things you can do–design wise–to help the life expectancy of your coloured grout lines. One recommendation is to install a ventilation fan inside your bathroom to help moisture evaporate quickly. A sloping floor design in the shower area can also ensure that stagnant water doesn’t accumulate and sit on the tiles and grout lines for too long.

Read our other articles here: 

Cover image adapted from: Mika Moka Studio, Akdo,

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