The final thing to decide is grout color. This is where your interior decorator, flooring salesperson, and flooring installer can be of great help.
Most professionals will have a grout kit with them, which has small samples of all the standard grout colors from whichever brand made the grout kit. Grout is meant to be something that fades into the background, so that the tile can shine. Because of this, it is best to match the grout to one of the main colors in the tile itself, or sometimes to your cabinets or countertops to pull everything together. Lighter colors can look good at first, but more care needs to be taken with them to make sure they stay clean. Standard grouts are porous, and can stain even when sealed if an acid gets on it and sits unnoticed. Darker colors will stand up to wear much longer, and matching the grout to the darkest color in the tile is often a safer choice. Also ask your decorator, salesperson and installer about your grout choice. Some grouts have a pink, blue or green tinge that is hard to see until your whole floor is finished.
The brand we work with the most is Mapei. We include their premium grout line, Mapei Ultracolor Plus FA, in the price of every job we install. It includes stain and mold blocking technology, and does not require sealing for that reason. We recommend against purchasing at big box stores, as cement based products have a shelf life, and quite often big box stores don't follow them. There are different types of grout as well, the standard cement based from Mapei is Keracolor, which comes in sanded or unsanded. These are suitable for most residential purposes, and what most companies use by default. Sanded is for grout lines 1/8 of an inch and wider, and unsanded is for under 1/8 of an inch. Tiles that might be scratched by the fine grains of sand such as soft natural stones and glass should have smaller grout lines so that unsanded grout can be used. A third type from mapei is Flexcolor CQ, a single component grout that is sometimes referred to as 'epoxy light' for it's durability, but easier workability and lower cost. Finally there is epoxy grout, which is much more difficult to work with, and only needed in heavy commercial and industrial areas, particularly commercial kitchens and food processing facilities. The cost of epoxy grout, both material and labor, is significantly more.
Grouts can be sealed, but care does need to be taken even when sealed not to let things that may stain it pool and sit. Acids such as coffee and wine are prime examples. The same is true of all tiles that require sealing.
We hope you found the information here useful. We understand this your flooring is a large and important purchase, and understand the need to get it just perfect. If you have any questions please contact Good Morning Flooring at your convenience.