Caulk before or after grouting?

juleecatJuly 21, 2013

Sorry if this topic is old...I am going cross- eyed trying to search for info!

Kitchen backsplash is now tiled-yay! We used a tumbled marble subway tile-I applied 2 coats of sealer prior to installing tiles ( yes, I was careful to only apply to face of tiles). We are under no real time constraints, so is it ok to caulk at plane changes, let it dry several days, then grout and seal? Seems like it would be difficult to keep grout out of the space between the tile and granite counter if we grouted first? Or is there a trick to that? ;)


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Caulk at dissimilar materials and changes in plane. I don't know why you couldn't caulk first, assuming you give it enough time to cure but I think most people would grout first. Shouldn't be too hard to keep the grout out of the wrong gaps. Use a margin float and/or clean out the gap with a trowel, utility knife, etc if you get a little sloppy with the grout.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:38AM
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I prefer to grout first, then caulk.

The reason? I grout, let the grout set up, do the clean up, and when the grout is quite well set up I'll come back with a utility knife or something similar and cut the grout out of the to-be-caulked lines.

The blade sort of cleaves the firm grout in a very nice straight line, and then the caulk goes in that very nice straight joint and looks tidy.

If you caulk first, say on a horizontal joint, sometimes at the grout line intersections, the caulk can "wander" or squeeze out into the vertical grout lines just a bit. Then when you grout, the otherwise straight line can look a bit wobbly.

Just my opinion, my technique.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:57PM
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