Grout or caulking

andreak100March 25, 2014

We're planning on using the Bostik Dimension reflective grout for our backsplash install. The tile people said that we can use grout along the granite countertop/backsplash tile area, but I had always assumed that we would use a caulk there. Is this common that people use grout rather than caulk at the seamed area?

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no, you're correct. one would use caulk in that seam

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 11:45PM
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Thanks, EAM. I'm wondering though if it's because we are using the BostiK Dimension (which is urethane based) and that it says that it retains flexing capabilities: "Is resistant to cracks, while offering flexibility and low shrinkage" as found in this press release from Bostik.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bostik Dimension press release info

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 11:53PM
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It would be nice if the grout would make a nice big fat crack between the tile and the top, but it won't. It will make a hairline that's big enough to be huge visually, but too small to push any more grout into.

The gap between the bottom tile and the top must be caulked with a flexible sealant, silicone or urethane.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 7:49AM
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crack resistant doesn't mean crack proof. they may recommend it for this application, but over time you'll be the one pulling out the multimaster, cutting out the grout, replacing it with caulk and cleaning up.

but it sounds like you're going to do it anyway. think of us next year around this time :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Trebruchet - so even though the grout we're using *is* urethane based, it is likely that it is not flexible enough to hold over time. And this is helpful to know. Thank you.

EAM - really, I'm not sure that I deserved this: "but it sounds like you're going to do it anyway".

NO, in fact actually, I'm trying to get enough information to be able to explain to the tile sellers why I don't think that what they are suggesting is the best idea. I'm not an expert on this, never claimed to be. And quite frankly, don't wish to be either. I'm a homeowner, trying to make the best decisions that I can for a kitchen remodel that has been challenging. I've been given incorrect information many times so far from supposed "experts", and that's why I'm trying to ask questions and challenge things that don't sound quite like what I thought should be.

I do understand the difference between crack resistant and crack proof. I also understand that THEY (the tile store) aren't the ones that have to deal with the issues if it cracks out. Totally get it. Again...why I'm asking questions.

I also know from my reading that the qualities of a urethane grout as opposed to standard grout are a bit different in that it does indeed retain some flexibility according to what I've read. But, I don't know how much different or how much flexibility. That's why I'm asking questions. I'm hoping that someone with the experience will answer and let me know.

My preference in the end is to do what is RIGHT. But, when I'm getting information from someone who *should* know what they are talking about that conflicts with the way I thought things should be, I'm asking questions. I do put a good bit of trust in the people here as many have been through these things before and we have some good experts who help with answering questions. It's not as if I'm looking for a "cheap fix"...I'm looking for the best method to do things and have the end result turn out the way that will make us happy...which is the right way. So, you are way off base when saying that, "you're going to do it anyway". But thank you for making that judgment.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:13PM
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Have the tile persons lay a continuous shim the thickness of the tile grout lines on the deck. A strip of plastic laminate or two and kissed in place with a dab of hot melt adhesive works great. Install the tile on the shim and grout. Pull the shim and just over-fill the gap with color matched silicone. Spray the deck/silicone/tile with Windex, spit on your finger and pull it down the over-filled silicone. It will gob into balls you can wipe on a paper towel without smearing on the deck or tile. Wipe off the Windex without touching the silicone. You're done and it's perfect.

Here is a link that might be useful: Detail

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 17:23

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:18PM
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Caulk! Please note that you can find a caulk color which exactly matches your grout. Off to look for the link....

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Again, incredibly helpful, Trebruchet....I believe that you are (unfortunately for me) located in the Florida somewhere. Wish that you were in the Pennsylvania area. I wasn't quite following entirely when I was reading, but the link you posted really helped a lot.

I talked more with the tile place and our sales person made some phone calls and still maintains that we can use the grout. *sigh* She doesn't seem too interested in helping me to find the matching caulking. In doing some online research, I've found one place that lists what I believe would work...except that I have to get 6 tubes of it and I'm figuring that we need 1 tube or perhaps 2 at the most. So, I'm still looking.

We're using the Opal colored grout, and from what I'm reading, this is what they use for the color-matched caulking.

If this gets to be too much of an issue, I'm thinking that I just try to find some sort of less matched, but still acceptable caulk.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:35PM
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I would call the manufacturer of the grout. They should have tech people on call to answer your questions. They know their product best.
When my installer used the wrong thinset (recommended by his tile supplier), I called Mapei and they were extremely helpful with how to proceed.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:00PM
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I know all of this seems terribly important to you now. My advice would be to lighten up a little. Since you have no sense of humor right now, I'll steer clear of your future posts. Good luck dear.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:35PM
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EAM, you're right. I have about zilch humour about all this right now. The list of mess ups that have happened and continue to happen through this kitchen remodel has been enough to cause even the most jovial and lighthearted person to have loss of humour. I'm usually pretty good at being able to see someone's humor when they post...perhaps I'm a bit too close to it, but even re-reading, I'm not understanding your humor or where exactly I missed what was supposed to be funny.

And yup, your darn right that this all seems terribly important to me. And rightfully so, I think....I wouldn't try to downplay that for anyone posting here. It's no small amount of money that's going into this remodel. And it's no small amount of stress that it's caused my DH and me as we've gone through all of this.

So, for sure it all seems terribly important to me. I believe that I'm in pretty good company with my choice of boards to post in. I'd venture that most of us on this board would consider their kitchen and the trials that they face in getting it the way they want it to be quite important. We sweat the minutia.

Regardless, thanks for trying to help in whatever way it was that you were trying. Best of luck to you as well.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:57PM
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Bat - I've been checking into that. I thought that I could rely on the tile store to do that for me. Apparently not. I have a lead on it (the only place that I've found it online so far though requires me to buy 6 tubes, which I'm sure I don't need that many). I plan on calling Bostik tomorrow during business hours to get a little more guidance from them.

annalyn - oh goodness, I haven't even begun to think about thinset and that it could be the wrong stuff. Yet more to research! And yes, I'm calling Bostik tomorrow to try to get a few more answers on everything.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:09AM
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Bostik has color matching caulk for each grout they sell.
sanded and unsanded.
It will match your grout to a tee.
You will just have to find a dealer who carries it.
Should be someone in or around philly or new jersey.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:30AM
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srosen - actually, no they don't. I already called Bostik directly and talked with them. They do NOT have a matching grout for the Dimensions line nor do they have any immediate plans to develop ones to match that line.

We have to go with a "closest approximation", which means looking at their standard grout to find something that is relatively close to the Dimensions grout, and then using the caulk that matches the nearest match between the two lines of grout. Kind of a bit frustrating.

I asked them what people do and the Bostik rep said that they do one of three things:
1.) use grout the entire way (least recommended)
2.) try to find the closest approximation (most recommended depending on the tile and grout colors being used)
3.) use clear silicone (most recommended if a close approximation can't be found in their caulking line)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:51PM
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Yes your right - I need to slow down the reading.
Sorry we haven't used their dimension line.
we use their regular grout and caulking- I slipped up.
Looks like Richmond tile and tub sells an opal match?
I guess they only sell it by the case.
Color rite inc. will do custom matches but it will cost a bit.
They only sell 6 tubes as well. But they have three different products and should be able to match the color well.
It wont be reflective however.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:27PM
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srosen - I appreciate you trying to help, so I hope that my previous post didn't come across as harsh.

I saw that Richmond tile and tub thing before I called Bostik and that was, in fact, why I called the manufacturer because I saw reference to it...I just couldn't understand how they (Richmond) say that they have it when according to Bostik, they don't make a matching caulk.

So, I just called Richmond and spoke with a very nice man there, Anthony. He said that they did indeed have it. I explained about calling Bostik and that the rep there said that it didn't exist, so I was a bit confused. He said that he would even put me on hold for just a minute and get it physically in his hand. He put me on hold, came back and said he was holding it and that it was the Opal match like what we need. He could be fibbing...but that would be a silly thing to do. Guess I'll find out soon enough.

He said that I could order it online and I explained to him the issue of the website saying that it had to be ordered in a case of 6 and he said that was because it wasn't a stock item for them before, but it is a stock item now and can be sold as one-ups. He asked me to hold for a minute while he transferred me to Pablo, their internet guy...Pablo got on the phone, made the change so that I could order online and I placed the order for the tube that I needed.

Now, saying all of this, I have not yet received the product, so I can't make any representations to this being true other than the person at Richmond Tile and Bath saying they have it. So, now it's just a matter of waiting to see what arrives. :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:18PM
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Looks like you are getting closer to your answers. I understand all your frustrations--especially when you would think these are issues you would not be expecting to have on top of all the things that come up during a remodel.
By the way, what tile are you installing for your backsplash?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:31PM
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annalyn - yes, we're getting closer. :) Sometime next week, I should have this mysterious caulk that doesn't exist in my own two hands and then I'll be able to determine once and for all who is right or wrong! One would think though that the rep for the actual company would know what products are available. Perhaps not so much the case though.

Who knew that a silly little thing like a tube of caulk could cause a person to work so many hours. And really? Over caulking of all of the things we hope is among the least obvious things for someone to notice when looking at our kitchen. Sheesh!

Our tile is AKDO "Stagger" in Parchment. We are using the Bostik Dimensions Opal grout with it. And the Bostik Opal caulk that may or may not exist. ;-) The tile represents as *almost* white when it's against our granite and you don't have anything else next to it to compare with...but it's extremely obvious when you put a true white next to it, and you can see that the true white is all wrong. Spending significantly more money than we anticipated for our tile, unfortunately.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:56PM
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Very beautiful!!! I especially like it since it is so similar to the white random strip glass I used:) Make sure your thinset is suitable for glass. It should say right on the package. My installer was given a very expensive "all purpose" thinset by his supplier, intended for everything BUT glass. Your installer should know this. My installer had not had much experience with glass since it is would not be that popular in my more rural location.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Andreak100 no worries-I understand your frustration.
It can be hard to get credible info today-even from manufacturers that make the products.
That's why places like this are like a little oasis of information. Tradespeople and consumers passionate about a topic, informing and helping one another learn.
Anyway I was glad to see that Bostick makes an opal colored caulk. If you have any issues with the Bostick caulk call color rite. Tec makes a color called vinca and that may go nicely as well.
If it makes you feel any better my Mom always told us during stressful times "This too shall Pass".
Of course we never paid much attention to that when we were in the middle of a crisis. As we got older however it made all the sense in the world. What we worry about today may have little significance tomorrow.
I think she meant your kitchen will in the end turn out beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:47PM
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annalyn - thank you. We really like the tile. Nice to hear that you do too. I'll make sure that our thinset is labeled to be used for glass tile. Our GC is installing, so I'll probably be peering over their shoulders through the process.

srosen - You are so right about this being an oasis. I've met more helpful people of all differing walks of life (some in the industry or many like me who are just trying to get through a remodel or wish to help others get through) right here than I can even begin to count. I know that I would have gotten a new kitchen with all the help of GWers...but it would have been a fraction of the kitchen it is going to be.

And yes, your momma was right for sure..."This too shall pass." A year from now, all these stressful things will be behind us and I will be loving how wonderful our new kitchen is. The "wounds" will be healed...just have to survive a few more weeks without getting turned into the insane asylum!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:24PM
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