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Can You Caulk Over Grout in the Bathroom? (Read This First!)

Caulking is quite an essential part of maintaining a house. Caulking helps you protect your walls and tiles. It helps seal cracks, gaps, and holes in the exterior of your home. Caulking can be proven effective, as you can keep the aesthetics of your home and repair the problems too. 

Caulk also helps to seal your home to prevent moisture and airflow. However, if caulking goes wrong, it can lead to various unfavorable conditions. 

If you are planning to grout your bathrooms, then you must be wondering if you can caulk over grout or not. Then we would suggest you stay with us till the end.

Can you caulk over grout in the bathroom?

You can caulk over grout in the bathroom. However,  if the grouting is done incorrectly, it can lead to various issues. Like, the growth of mold and mildew. Additionally, it can cause allergies and make you sick. And eventually, it makes your house look disgusting.   

Grouting is done to fill the gap between tiles. Grouts need to be cured and must be kept away from moisture. A great way to keep grout away from moisture is to use a sealant. Caulk can be a good option if you use it as a sealant. 

In the shower: 

You can grout in the shower. When you are planning to make small connections in the shower walls, then the caulk is the perfect material. If your grout shows cracks, you can use some more grout to cover them. However, covering them is always not a good option. 

Rather you can use caulk to prevent the grout from cracking. 

In shower corners:

Caulk cannot get over grout in the shower corners — especially silicone caulk. Silicone caulk will not bond with grout that is placed between the tiles. As a result, the grout will consume water and encourage the growth of mold and mildew between the grout and the caulk. 

The best thing to do would be to remove the old grout and then caulk the corners. This will eventually give you a long-lasting seal and a professional finish. 

Around tub: 

You can caulk the grout around the tub. Try to caulk in the space where the tub meets the floor tile. This way the moisture does not get in between the grout and caulk, so no chance of growth mildew. 

Caulk also provides both movements and works as a better sealant. Caulk is more flexible than grout. 

Can I patch shower grout with caulk? 

You can use caulk to patch grout in your shower. Cracking is the most common problem in the grout. As you walk on the floors and wet it, over time it becomes weak. And as a result, it starts to crack. 

Using caulk on grout is a simple remedy. You can make the grout look good as new by caulking the grout. 

However, before you move on to caulking the grout, be sure to remove all the existing grout. As caulk is flexible it is a great adhesive to keep things together.   

Before you use caulk on larger areas or use it as a replacement for grout, remember that caulk can shrink with time. Therefore, it’s better not to patch larger areas with caulk.         

Can you put silicone over cracked bathroom grout? 

You can put silicone over cracked bathroom grout. However, it is not recommended. Putting silicone over cracked grout will just be a temporary fix. Silicone is not meant to bond with grout. As a result, there can be a growth of mold and debris in between the tiles. 

The best solution would be to remove the old grout entirely and then refill the gaps with silicone caulk. By doing this you will get a long-lasting seal.

Proper caulking can prevent the growth of debris. Simply, loosen the cracked grout with a Dremel tool or a grout saw. Then you would want to vacuum the gaps and then apply the caulk. 

However, you can apply silicone over old silicone. It’s not mandatory to remove old silicone before reapplying silicone over it. You can reapply silicone on old silicon, it will bond. But, it will not bond well enough as it will bond on a clean surface.   

Two reasons why you should not caulk over grout in the bathroom

Although caulking may look like an easy solution to grout cracks, there are cons to caulking over grout in the bathroom.     

Here are two reasons why you should not caulk over grout: 

Silicone caulk does not bond with grout: 

Grout can have cracked over time. And for smaller cracks caulking might look like a great solution. However, it’s important to know that not all types of caulk do the work. 

Additionally, it’s vital to keep in mind that it is a temporary solution. Silicone caulk is mostly used to cover cracks. But silicone caulk does not bond with old and damaged grout. 

As a result, there is a higher chance of your grout absorbing moisture and damaging your tiles. And to be honest, no one enjoys a bathroom with damaged tiles. 

However, if you plan on caulking the grout of your bathroom, then caulk the tiles after removing all the old grout.

Improper caulking can encourage the growth of mildew:    

Caulking if done right can last for years. However, if it is done wrong, you have to face consequences. When caulking is not done right, the gaps between tiles get bigger and over time there is a growth of mildew and mold on the walls of your bathroom.

This can lead to causing various skin allergies. Also, who enjoys a bathroom wall filled with grayish early-stage fungus. 

The scary part about having moldy bathroom walls is that this can spread with time. And ruin the other walls of your bathroom. So, if you are not prepared for an entire bathroom renovation, be careful while caulking over grout. 

What happens when you caulk over grout in the bathroom?

When you caulk over grout in the bathroom, it will appear uneven and grow a colony of mold. 

Caulking over grout can be proven dangerous if not done right. Firstly, it is not recommended to caulk over old grout. If you are caulking over old grout, the caulk will not bond well and also give an uneven look.

Whereas, the old grout will come in more contact with moisture and grow mold between the tiles.

However, caulking can work as an effortless sealer if applied properly. To achieve a good looking seal you must caulk properly or contact a professional. 

Once you are done caulking remember to cure it for at least 24 hours. Running a shower or being in touch with moisture before the caulk is fully sealed can ruin your caulk. 

How to caulk over grout in the bathroom? 

Here are a few steps you can follow to caulk over grout in the bathroom: 

Removing old grout: 

The first thing that needs to be done is to remove the old grout. This step cannot be skipped and needs to be followed properly. The outcome depends quite a lot on this very step. 

Removing the old grout helps the caulk bond well. You can use a Dremel to remove the old grout. Remember to avoid using high-powered tools, for example, an angle grinder. Because the use of such a high-powered tool can cause cracks. 

Vacuuming old grout: 

The next step is to vacuum the tiles to remove the residue of the old grout. Vacuuming will remove all the grout dust that’s remaining.

However, you can also use a damp piece of cloth or sponge to remove the grout dust. Also, try to avoid spraying the seam directly with water. As it is very easy for water or moisture to infiltrate your walls and cause damage. 

Applying caulk: 

Use a caulk machine to apply the caulk to the seams of your bathroom. Try to use silicone caulk, as it is considered ideal for bathrooms and showers. Silicone caulk will not shrink over time and prevent mold from growing. 

Try to avoid the use of latex or other non-silicone caulk. Also, try to use a caulk that matches the color of the grout, so your corners look more effortless. 

Smoothing out caulk: 

Once you are done applying the caulk smooth it out using a caulking tool. For extra precision, you can tape the shower corners and remove the tape after caulking. 

Cure the caulk: 

Cure the caulk for at least 12-24 hours. This time allows the silicone caulk to seal the gaps completely and protects the tiles from the growth of mold.

Final Thoughts 

You cannot caulk over the grout, as it will not bond well with the grout. In worse cases, caulking over old grout can lead to causing mold and mildew on your bathroom walls. Therefore, different skin allergies are caused due to mildew. However, if the caulking is done right, it can last for years.