Can You Caulk Over Grout: Here Is All You Need To Know

Over my many years in the business, one question that I have heard a lot of times is – can you caulk over grout or is it possible to caulk over a grout? Well, of course, we can. Then the question arises, do we have to?


Should You Caulk Over Grout?

There are two important parts of this answer. Yes, you can caulk over grout as we already stated above. But, should you?

Let’s first understand what actually is meant by caulk and grout.

A caulk is nothing but a mixture of latex and silicone in definite proportions and is used to create bonding between an array of material like ceramic, metal, wood and glass.

Grout can be formed in a large number of places in your bathroom, including the surroundings of the tub and the shower stall.

So as it goes, you should not caulk over grout. This is because it degrades quickly. However, caulking over grouting is a far cheaper and easier process, and this is the reason why it is so widely preferred. In order to make a well-informed decision, here are a few pointers which would help you in determining correctly as to when should you caulk and when should you grout.

When Should Caulking Be Used

  • Caulk is used for waterproofing the joints and is commonly used at places which remain wet like showers, windows, bath tubs and the likes
  • Use caulk when you need to establish a strong bond between tile surfaces
  • Caulk can adhere perfectly even on two different surfaces

via houzz

  • Caulk, however, can shrink out. This is the reason why you should not use it on larger installations as a substitute to grout

When Should Grouting Be Used

  • Unlike caulk, grout is used to establish a strong bond between two joints on the same plane
  • If the space is small, unsanded grout should be used. However, if it is large, sanded grout should be used
  • Grout can be used to prevent the chipping and cracking of tiles’edges

Now that we have talked about the respective needs of caulking and grouting, it would be clear by now that you should not caulk over grout. However, if the need arises, here is a quick procedure for you to adopt:

How To Caulk Over Grout

Things You Will Need

  • An old toothbrush
  • Bleach
  • Caulk tube
  • Caulking gun

Just the same toothbrush, which we use regularly to brush our teeth in the morning.

Caulk Over Grout Process

Step 1

via izplitki.com

Before we begin applying the caulk over the surface, we have to make sure that the surface is completely clean and free of any dust and particles. Use an old toothbrush dipped in bleach and scrub along all the grout lines and around the area and let it dry for up to 24 hours.

Step 2

Take a caulk tube and place it in your caulk gun. Cut off the end of the caulk tube at a diagonal angle at a hole of ½ inch and shove a long nail into the hole to make to tear the seal which is inside the tip.

Step 3

Place the tip of the caulk gun against the end of a grout like at a 45-degree angle and squeeze the trigger the caulk begins to come out of the end.

Step 4

With the pressure on the trigger, move the caulk gun backward along the grout lines till all the grout lines have been covered with a straight line of caulk.

Step 5

Wet your hand and your fingers and use your thumb to press and smooth the newly caulked line. Press the ball of your thumb on the caulk line and rest it down to smoothen it and give it a cleaner look and finish. Repeat this process for all the grout lines till you are satisfied with the results.

Below is the video tutorial:


That said, you can easily caulk over grout. All you need to do is follow the above-mentioned tutorial. We hope that the tutorial was easy to follow. However, if you have any queries, do let us know in the comments.

Abigail Jones

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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