It’s important to know the difference between grout and caulk so you understand which to use for various purposes around your tub area. This article will advise you as to which is the best solution is best for your needs.
What is the Difference Between Grout and Caulk?
Grout is a mixture of water, cement, sand and sometimes fine gravel. It is commonly used between tiles to hold them to the wall and prevent tile edges from chipping. It does not contain latex and can, therefore, crack with movement.
Caulk is a type of silicone that can be acrylic, or latex based. It is often placed in areas where air or water can leak. It is flexible and waterproof, so it is less prone to cracking.
Can You Use Caulk Over Grout?
Caulk is typically placed around the perimeter of the tub where the tiles meet the tub. You may see some grout in the area as well. However, you should never use the caulk to seal over grout that may be damaged or chipping.
Caulk will shrink and dry out over time making it unable to hold the tight bond grout does. When the material becomes compromised, it can cause mold to grow. The mold can spread behind your walls and flooring where it can do damage.
It is always best to replace caulk with caulk and grout with grout near the tub area.
What if I See a Gap Between My Tub and Tile?
Some bathrooms will have an intentional gap between the wall tiles and the bathtub. The gap is there to allow for the natural shifting and movement of your home.
You may seal these cracks with caulk as this will prevent moisture accumulation that leads to mold and mildew. However, grout would not be a good choice as its lack of flexibility will cause it to crack.
Should I Use Grout or Caulk to Fill the Gaps Between the Floor Tile and Tub?
You may also see spaces between your floor and bathtub. These may occur due to your home shifting. It’s best to close these up to prevent water damage and the development of mold and mildew.
Caulk will once again be the best solution here as it is flexible and will continue to adjust to the movement.
Can I Replace Grout with Caulk?
Grout is not as flexible and caulk and should not be used as a substitute for caulk in most instances. However, epoxy grout is more flexible than other types of grouts and it can be used to join tile together. Mixing the grout with latex will make it less porous and more waterproof.
Grout Experts knows whether which material should be used in your bathroom area. We will ensure you have the materials that work best for your needs. We will also replace materials vice versa if needed, to keep your bathroom free from mold and damage.