DIY Message Boards
Grout or Caulk?

This topic can be found at:

Jul 04, 2013, 01:37 AM
Ignacio R
Grout or Caulk?
So, eventually I'd like to re-do the bathroom in this place, but in the meantime (ie while I collect the money!) I need to fix up the grout.

I did all the in-between tile stuff, but now I notice that between the tiles and the tub there is grout...except for a couple of areas where someone (maybe the previous tenants?)replaced the clearly ailing grout with caulk. Now...what should I do, redo the grout or replace it with caulk?

I understand caulk is more flexible, but also that it deteriorates quicker and is harder to apply neatly, also I'd need to remove all the grout surrounding the tub completely which seems like a lot of time-consuming work.


Thanks!! Smile
Jul 04, 2013, 08:24 AM
Grout is what should be used between all mortared down tiles. Caulk is best used between the last row of the tiles and any other/different surface, like a tub. Caulk for this purpose can come in many colors, so it does not need to stand out visually. Using two strips of painter's tape along the tub and tile can allow you to make a nice, clean caulk strip (once applied, smoothed and the tape removed from the freshly caulked area).
Jul 04, 2013, 12:28 PM
I've been replacing the grout in my bathroom as needed with a polyurethane caulk. Careful application and the use of masking tape makes a neat installation. So far, I have no complaints
Jul 04, 2013, 02:35 PM
a tile wall should never move and chip out the grout, so use grout there.

corners and the boundary between tile and ceiling/floor/tub/pan are areas where there can be movement. in those areas, good ol' silicone caulk, bathroom rated for extra resistance to fungi, should be used. it has flex without breaking the bond.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?