Do you caulk granite before or after tiling, or both?

cathy725April 21, 2013

I've searched and can't find this answer. Do you or the installer caulk the granite to the wall before you put up the tile backsplash? Or do you leave the seam between the granite and the wall alone and only caulk after the tiling is completed?

Everyone says to use caulk where the tile meets the granite to seal the seam. But before the tiling, was your granite caulked to the wall? Right now my granite counter is installed but there is no caulk to the wall. Is this normal?

GC is pushing the 3" granite backsplash. I'm arguing against it. His comment continues to be that you need the granite splash to keep the water out. So I'm doing the research so when I tell him not to put in the backsplash, I can make sure it's done correctly.

DH likes the granite idea too, but we went out to find a different backsplash tile and DH picked it out and now he is seeing the beauty of no granite on the backsplash. I want to make sure we don't get water behind the cabinets.

Thanks!

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suzanne_sl

No, we did not caulk where the granite meets the wall before tiling the backsplash. When we tiled the backsplash, we used thinset to stick it on the wall, grouted, sealed, and then used caulk in the corner and along the bottom where the tile meets the granite. This is plenty to keep any water from dripping down between the cabinets and the wall. Actually, you'd need to hit it with a fire hose to get water down behind.

Your GC is just used to using a 3 or 4" strip of granite. Actually, if you were going to do this, it should have been done when the granite was installed. It was very popular in years past, but not so much now.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:57AM
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cathy725

Thanks. My granite was just installed. I requested no 3" backsplash, but GC is trying to talk me into it. i am trying to make sure that the backsplash tile installation is done correctly since he is doing it (his tile guy is doing it).

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:56PM
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jellytoast

We caulked where the granite meets the wall and there is no reason why you shouldn't do this before your backsplash is installed if it makes you feel better. Simply request that your tile installer add a bead of caulk between the wall and your slabs before he installs the tile. It will take him all of 10 minutes. Or do it yourself beforehand. Since it will be behind the splash, it does not have to be beautiful, just sealed. Is it necessary to caulk back there? Maybe not, but it doesn't hurt anything either.

Our granite fabricators/installers did not do the caulking and yes, it is normal for them to leave it as is. I caulked it myself after they left.

When our tile backsplash was installed, thin spacers were placed between the bottom row of tile and the granite to allow for a thin bead of caulk to be added. After the tile was grouted, any grout that found it's way into that bottom joint was cleaned out. When the grout was dry, sanded caulk in a color matching the grout was used in the the joint where the tile meets the granite. A line of blue tape was applied to either side of the joint beforehand to keep things neat and tidy.

Contrary to what your GC says, you do not need a granite backsplash to keep water out.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:49PM
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cathy725

Thanks for the wonderful details on how to do the backsplash jellytoast!!

I have finally won the no granite backsplash battle! We will be doing the tile backsplash all the way to the granite, so I'm happy.

Now if we can solve all the other issues that keep popping up maybe my kitchen will be completed someday soon!!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 2:54PM
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