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Can You Caulk Over Grout?

Can You Caulk Over Grout?

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Caulk enables you to seal various surfaces and make them waterproof. But can you use caulk over the grout and have good results? 

It’s possible to caulk over grout. However, you need to do it carefully to avoid having mold breeding ground as caulk is likely to shrink over time, not sealing the surfaces. 

But if you decide to caulk your floors/ surfaces, ensure you re-caulk after some time to keep it in perfect condition. Also, use the right type of caulk and protective gear to avoid harming yourself.

Read on to understand whether you should caulk over grout or not in this informative guide.

Pro & Cons of Caulk Over Grout

You can caulk over grout though this is not advisable in most cases. The two substances, even though used for the same purpose, have different properties. Not properly caulking over grout will lead to mold growth, affecting your health and triggering allergic reactions to your beloved ones.

But caulking will cost you less money and it isn’t tiresome to do. It will also not cause any of the above complications when done correctly. You, however, need to have intentions to replace it after some time to prevent it from developing problems.  

However, you’ll find that most people will caulk over cracked grout to avoid incurring a lot of expenses. To help you know whether you should caulk or not, continue reading and get some pointers that will help you make an informed decision.

When Should You Caulk Over Grout?

If the surfaces with grout have cracks, you can caulk over them. This will help make it waterproof and seal the cracked joint. But when you caulk over the grout, you’ve got to ensure the process is done thoroughly to avoid giving chances for water to sneak through the floors or walls. Note that your floors will discolor if this happens, and the moisture from water will encourage mold growth.

Also, if your grout doesn’t contain latex, it will make the surface porous and not waterproof. This will make your floors or surfaces wet and hide dirt. But caulking over grout will help solve this.

Importance Of Caulking Over Grout

Caulking prevents grout from cracking, especially if you used the wrong mixture of grout materials. Remember, this is a common occurrence which you should be ready to experience. However, if you don’t want to re-grout, caulking is the best solution, and it has various advantages.

For example, it will help you close the gaps on your walls after repairing the switch. It will help you hold together the two panes and create a strong bond. Caulking will also help you save on cost as re-grouting tends to be expensive and cumbersome.

Between Caulking and Grouting, Which One Is Better?

Before delving into this, you need to understand that caulk comprises latex, silicon, and various adhesive materials. It works best to seal on ceramic, wood, or metal glass surfaces to make them waterproof.

However, grout is a combination of sand, cement, and water and helps conceal gaps between stones or tiles. Grout helps create a strong bond on these materials but on the same plane. So, caulk is the right choice when you want to seal joints on different planes.

It will work better on some surfaces but will shrink when there’s a temperature change or moisture. This makes it not the perfect fit for fixing the bathtub as it will make this place dirty and clogged.

How To Caulk Over Grout?

If you decide to caulk over the grout, you should learn how to do this, as it’s a simple process that doesn’t require professional help.

To achieve this, you first need to have:

  • Caulk tube
  • Bleach
  • Gloves
  • Masking tape
  • Grout saw
  • Caulk backer rod
  • Protective clothing
  • Caulking gun

But ensure you choose the right caulk that will meet your needs and with the best properties. For example, if you want a caulk that’s paintable and easy to apply, opt for acrylic caulk. But if you want a long-lasting caulk that’s sticky, transparent, and easy to apply, go for siliconized acrylic caulk.

Step1. Clean the Surface

After that, you need to clean the surface/floor.  This will help you remove dust or debris on it and ensure there are no chances of bacteria or mold growth in the future. Use your toothbrush to do this. But ensure you dip it on the bleach, then scrub along the grout lines and the surrounding areas. Then leave it to dry for about 24 hours.

Step2. Attach Caulk Gun to Tube

Then connect the caulk tube with the caulk gun. You should do this by cutting the edge of the caulk tube at a diagonal angle. Cut the hole depending on your favorite bead size. But the tile gap can guide you in doing this. Go ahead and push a long nail through the tail hole to enable you to tear the seal inside. Then put the tube on your caulk gun.

Step3. Apply Caulk

The next thing you need to do is apply the caulk on the floor/ surface. This will not take your time as it’s less involved. All you need to do is hold the caulk gun at 45 degrees, then move it back while pressing the trigger.

Step4. Smoothen Caulk using Hand

Ensure all the grout lines are properly covered with the caulk. Once you’re done, wet your hands, then gently press against the caulk line. This will help you smoothen the caulk. Repeat this process until you get the desired results on your floor. But don’t apply excessive force as it will leave dents on the surfaces and make water collect around them.

Tip to follow After:

When applying the caulk over the grout, do it in bits as the caulk tends to dry faster. So, put small amounts as you smoothen with your wet hands until you’re done with the whole area. Note that if it’s siliconized acrylic caulk, you’ve got to leave it for a day to enable the floor to dry off.

How Long Caulk Over Grout Last?

You should apply caulk over grout if you intend to replace it. This should be after about five years. However, the type of caulk and the application method will also determine how soon you reinstall them. Remember, some caulk shrinks because of temperature forcing you to re-apply it prematurely.

Low-quality caulk and the surface condition will also determine the frequency in which you should re-apply it. Also, when you notice some mold below the caulk, or if it starts to peel off, crack or dry out, you need to re-caulk. However, you shouldn’t ignore doing this as it can lead to serious problems which can be expensive to rectify. So, re-caulk the damaged parts as it’s cheap and easy to do.

How to Remove Grout to Replace It with Caulk?

After the caulk serves you over time and you’ve decided to replace it, do it with care to avoid damaging your tiles. Do this using a Stanley knife, and be cautious not to injure yourself too. If you find it challenging to remove the caulk in certain areas, use caulk removing liquid. Then clean the surface before leaving it for about a day to dry off. But don’t forget to re-caulk this area to enable it to last longer.

Where Can I Install Caulk Over Grout?

You can install caulk in your bathroom around the bathtub where there are gaps. Note: after fixing your bathtub, the gap between it and the floor widening increases with time. But to stop the surface from harboring mold, caulk is the best solution as it will make the surface waterproof. You can also caulk your sink around your tile joints to prevent water from leaking through them.   

Bottom Line

Most people prefer caulking over grout because it’s a cheaper and easier way to seal the surfaces. However, this is a personal choice as caulking degrades faster, leaving your metallic or ceramic surfaces vulnerable. Remember, caulk over grout also encourages mold growth and magnifies the color difference between the surfaces. But then it has advantages as it prevents grout from cracking after using the wrong grout mixture. 

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