Here at Groutastic we often get a lot of calls requesting a “regrout” for a floor or bathroom shower, when a repair or caulking is actually what is needed. So how do you know the difference or what you need?? That’s what we are here for!!
What is the difference between Grout and Caulk?
Grout is the hard (sanded or unsanded) substance that is between your tiles. Over time grout can become discolored, stained, cracked, crumble and even fall out for a variety of reasons.
Caulking is the softer, rubbery-like substance that is most commonly used in the corners, around the tub or shower pan, around soap dishes, etc. in showers. Caulk creates a waterproof barrier, but due to constant moisture in showers can often become moldy and break down allowing water behind your walls.
How Groutastic Can Help
For grout that is discolored or stained, we recommend a yearly or bi-yearly professional steam cleaning followed by one of our sealing services. There are 2 options for sealing your grout- a clear sealer or a color stain sealer. Both protect your grout and help keep it from getting dirty as easily over time, but color stain also dyes your grout to create a cohesive even color throughout.
If your grout is cracking or falling out that is usually caused by movement in your tiles or structure behind them. This is very common as a house settles and ages. Doing a full regrout in these situations is not generally recommended as it could cause chipping or further loosening of the tiles. Depending on the severity of the issues, Groutastic can repair missing grout in most situations without having to do a complete regrout by using sanded caulking that is color matched to your grout. Since caulking is a more flexible substance it moves with the tiles whereas new grout would just crack and fall out again.
In a perfect world, caulk in a shower, when cleaned and maintained properly, can last up to 5 years. However, if your caulking has developed mold, mildew, or is cracking or peeling it is time to have it removed and replaced. Maintenance is key to keeping your home healthy and safe and in reality, we find most people need to have their caulk changed every 1-2 years depending on usage in the area. While that seems frequent, the cost of replacing caulk far out ways the cost of repairing a major mold issue or leak caused from water getting behind your walls.