Both caulk and grout are essential to any tile work you are doing. If you are wanting to accomplish your own DIY tile projects or you are simply wanting to be better equipped to repair and maintain your existing tile, you may be confused by a few things when you are just getting started. For example, many novice DIYers may struggle to know the difference between caulk and grout. If that describes you, keep reading.
Before you even pick up the product you need, you will notice key differences in how both grout and caulk are packaged. For example, since grout is a masonry product, it will be packaged as a powder that you need to mix to use. Caulk on the other hand, is usually sold in tubes with the product ready to use without mixing.
Because caulk is stickier than grout, where its use is really valued is when needing a waterproof seal along seams where tile and other materials meet. Such as where tile and shower or bathtub walls meet. Caulk is also excellent for corners. When shifts occur, grout is more likely to crumble in cornered areas. Whereas caulk is flexible even after it is dried, making it a more stable choice for those angled seams. Caulk does tend to shrink, but it is easy to replace, especially when compared to grout.
Caulk is also just a great product to keep around the house for non-tile related projects. If you need to fill the seams of a drafty window or bridge the gap between your baseboards, caulk can be a useful tool.
Grout was made for tile. Its purpose is to keep tiles from shifting after they have been glued into place as well as protect the edges from chipping. Even though grout is porous, it is best for wet areas like the shower. This is because the grout binds expertly to the backerboard, creating a waterproof seal. Therefore, protecting your walls and studs from water damage.
Grout is more likely to develop stubborn stains than caulk, but you can combat this by sealing it properly and by cleaning it regularly. Hiring professionals, like us at Grout Restoration Works, occasionally, to thoroughly clean will also keep your grout in tip-top shape.
Knowing your tools is the first step to feeling confident in your DIY projects. For more helpful information regarding tile and grout work, do not miss out on our other blogs!
By Grout Restoration Works 7-1-2020