White Subway Tile with Black Grout

Tell all ya friends and neighbors!

Create depth and character with white subway tile and black grout. Discover design versatility and easy maintenance in this classic combination

white subway tile with black grout in shower with brass fixtures


Classic. Timeless. Elegant af.

Those are all the things I think when I think about black grout and white subway tile.

black and white patterned tile in the bathroom with white subway tile

Spoiler alert: I love black grout so much I wrote an entire post about it, trying to convince you the beauty of using black grout.

When we were doing our guest bathroom renovation, we knew this was going to be in our bathroom and we are so happy with how it ended up turning out.

Benefits of White Subway Tile with Black Grout

Contrast and Visual Interest

white vertical stacked subway tile and gold finishing edge and brass shower fixtures

Using white subway tiles with black grout can dramatically enhance the appearance of a bathroom or kitchen (or laundry room!)

The black grout outlines each tile, highlighting the timeless brick layout of the subway tiles. This contrast brings dimension and texture to your walls or backsplash, making a bold design statement while still staying fairly neutral.

Easy Maintenance

One of the advantages of using black grout with white subway tile is that it can help conceal dirt and stains.

black and white bathroom with ruffle curtain open

We’re filthy McNasty over here (have you not seen our annual scary house tours??) and the last thing I want to think about is having to clean grout lines.

There are beautiful things called grout pens that can help brighten up your grout, but that’s still fairly high maintenance for me.

Light-colored grout can easily show signs of wear and discoloration over time, but the dark grout helps to hide these imperfections, making maintenance easier and reducing the need for frequent cleaning.

Design Versatility

White subway tile with black grout can seamlessly blend into various interior styles, from traditional to contemporary and everything in between.

black and white patterned tile in the bathroom with white subway tile and black hexagon tile on the floor

We lean more modern over here, but have designed flip houses in several design styles and black grout with white subway tile always works.

Bonus points: White subway tile is usually really inexpensive and so if you’re looking to level up your space on a budget, this is a great choice!

Design Tips for White Subway Tile with Black Grout

Consider the Space

Before installing white subway tile with black grout, consider the size and layout of the space.

It’s important to make sure that the size of the tile is in proportion to the space you are working with. For example, if it’s a larger area, consider using larger tiles and vice versa for smaller spaces.

Tile Layout and Pattern

Experiment with different tile layouts and patterns to create unique designs.

DIY bathroom niche with herringbone subway tile

While the classic horizontal brick pattern is popular, you can also try vertical or herringbone layouts.

These variations can add visual interest and enhance the overall aesthetic.

Play with the orientation of the tiles to create different effects and explore the possibilities of customizing your space.

Typical subway tiles are 3″x6″, but don’t keep yourself in that box. There are plenty of other sizes available to make your space unique.

Complementary Color Schemes

White subway tile with black grout provides a neutral backdrop that pairs well with a range of color schemes and palettes.

white beveled subway tile with marble look tile on the floor and marble penny tile in the shower pan

Consider incorporating complementary colors or accents that can highlight the contrast and make your design pop.

Earthy tones (think deep sage or forest greens), pastels, or vibrant shades can all work well with this combination, allowing you to personalize your space while keeping the black and white theme intact.

Balance with Other Elements

To achieve a cohesive look, balance the black and white contrast with other design elements in the room.

Introduce textures, materials, and finishes that complement the tiles and grout.

white bathroom with black and white patterned tile and turkish towels hanging on the wall with open wood shelves over the toilet and Benjamin Moore Gray Owl painted walls

Think metallic accents, natural wood, or colorful accessories can soften the stark contrast and create a well-rounded design scheme.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours and I will say we do not always go with black grout in flip houses. Sometimes we prefer to keep things uniformed and choose white or we’ve even done a greige grout which looks super sharp.

Whatever grout color you choose, remember it’s your house and don’t let anybody tell you what to do. And this is coming from me, who wrote a whole post telling you what to do, ha!


Are white subway tiles with black grout suitable for any room?

I mean, anywhere that you can put tile, yes! White subway tiles with black grout can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or even as a feature wall in living areas. They bring a timeless and versatile look that suits many interior design styles.

Can I use colored grout instead of black?

Uhhh, absolutely! While black grout provides a strong contrast, you can experiment with other dark hues or even bold colors to create a unique and personalized look. Just ensure the color complements your overall design scheme. There’s some real fun choices out there!

How do I maintain white subway tiles with black grout?

It’s pretty simple. It involves routine cleaning with a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft brush or sponge. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that may damage the tiles or grout. If you notice any stubborn stains or discoloration, consult a professional and y’all know by now I ain’t one.

Can I install white subway tiles with black grout by myself?

Listen here – if we can do it, ANYONE can do it. Jordan tiled our entire guest bathroom and the laundry room and I did our kitchen backsplash!

More Design Inspo


guest bathroom budget remodel graphic

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