I did a decorative square of ceramic tile for our entrance way. The floor surrounding the ceramic tile is vinyl plank; so the square of ceramic tile looks like it's set into "wood." The space between tiles is grouted. However, there is a space between the perimeter of the tile inset and the vinyl plank floor. I'm thinking that space should be caulked rather than grouted to allow some "give" to accommodate differences in the expansion and contraction of different materials (the tile and the vinyl). However, because it is a floor, I'm afraid dirt particles will be pressed into the light-colored caulk, making it look grimy. Any advice on how to proceed?
When you have dissimilar materials, you need to have a material that can expand and contract. Grout doesn't, so it will eventually crack. You can get a grout match caulk that will look more like grout but will have some flex.
Overall, caulk is the better choice for this application. Over time, the caulk will retain some dirt and will discolor. Eventually, you'll need to pull it out and replace it. But, it will likely last longer than grout which will crack fairly quickly.
Jaybee, would an epoxy grout work for IndianaGuy's task? We have linoleum "tiles" that have the appearance of stone (I think they are Armstrong Allure). The gaps between the tiles are filled with an epoxy grout. It was kind of pricy, but is not tacky once it sets up.
You know, I'm not sure but I would guess - not.
The big thing is that you have two different materials that are going to expand and contract at different rates. Whatever fill is between them needs to be able to move a little. It all comes down to how much movement there will actually be. Regular grout is not elastic at all, epoxy grout is just a little and caulk can expand quite a bit.
Now, if you are talking about the tube-type 'grout' used in floating tile floor systems - this is like what I mentioned in my first reply. It's a very flexible 'grout' - more of a caulk designed for use as a grout.
We do have three rooms that have Mannington groutable vinyl with the epoxy grout. (You're right, that grout is expensive!) But I don't notice that grout as being significantly more pliable than the grout I've used on ceramic tile. But the other option (floating floor) is something I'll look into. Thanks a lot.
From what I've seen, there are four different 'grout' products that could be used. From least flexible to most:
1. Regular grout - dry mix
2. Epoxy grout - dry mix
3. Floating tile grout - Some aerosol, some caulk tube
4. Grout caulk - caulk tube
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