Caulk and grout are two important materials used in home improvement projects. However, many people don’t know the difference between the two. This blog post will explain the differences between caulking and grouting, and when you should use each one.

Difference Between Caulk and Grout

Properties

Grout is a masonry product that comes as a dry powder in a bag. It requires mixing with water to activate its adhesive properties, which become rock-hard when the grout cures. Caulk is a flexible, semi-liquid product made from latex, silicone, or acrylic that is packaged in tubes. Unlike grout, caulk retains a measure of flexibility after it cures, allowing it to stretch slightly if any movement, such as the house settling, occurs. Source: BobVila

Usage

Grout is applied using float. It is applied between tiles to join them thus creating an even surface. However, grout generally does not suit on planes that are 90 degrees to each due to its lack of flexibility and waterproof qualities. The epoxy type of grout is somehow flexible and waterproof as well, but it is expensive and thus rarely used. 

Caulk is applied on planes of different materials that are 90 degrees to each other. It is flexible, and so it seals the joints to prevent any water leakage. Because of its susceptibility to breakage, caulk is seldom applied in large projects. Moreover, it is not a good idea to replace grout with caulk due to the difference in strength. Source: DifferenceBetween

Additional tips

Because it’s flexible and can handle slight movement, caulk is used at corners instead of grout. For a good tile installation, apply a neat bead of matching caulk at vulnerable areas like along the tub or countertop and at inside corners. But to achieve a good-quality caulk joint, you’ll first have to remove the grout from these areas. Most home centers and tile shops will have caulk to match the color of your grout. Source: FamilyHandyman

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