So you’re setting up your shower and you’ve got your tiles all laid out. You know that you need something to fill the gaps between them, but what?
- Grout is a cement-based powder used to fill gaps between tiles. It’s usually applied with a trowel, pressed into the gaps, and left to dry. Grout is used in showers, as well as in kitchens and other wet areas.
- Silicone is a synthetic rubber that is used to waterproof tile joints. Unlike grout, silicone stays flexible once it cures—this makes it great for sealing bathtubs and jointing glass tiles together, but not so great for filling large spaces like those around ceramic tiles in showers.
Can silicone be used as grout?
It is possible to use silicone caulk in place of grout, but this is generally not a good idea. Silicone caulk is not designed to be as durable as grout and will break down over time. It can also be tough to clean when it gets dirty and cannot be repaired without you having to remove it and start again completely.
While silicone caulk may work in a pinch if you need something immediately, it’s best to stick with using traditional grout for your project so that you don’t have any issues down the road.
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Do you grout or silicone shower corners?
According to many experts, grout is the better choice for this application. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Grout is stronger and more durable than silicone. Although silicone may seem like a good way to bond two tiles in the corner of a shower, it doesn’t last as long as grout does. Grout bonds the tiles permanently, whereas silicone will eventually crack and become stained or discolored over time.
- Grout is water resistant. One of the greatest benefits of using grout instead of silicone is that this material will last longer in wet environments like showers and swimming pools because it’s water resistant. Silicone can be damaged by exposure to water and moisture, so it needs to be replaced more often than grout does.
- Grout is less expensive than silicone. Another reason why many homeowners prefer grouting shower corners instead of using silicone sealant is that this type of material costs less money per square foot than its counterpart does – which means you’ll save money in the end!
Is it OK to use caulk instead of grout?
In most cases, caulking is perfectly acceptable. Unless you need to apply a waterproofing membrane between the tiles and substrate, caulk will be fine. Caulk is cheaper, easier to apply and clean up, and it’s more flexible than grout.
Should I grout or silicone first?
As with many things in life, the right choice depends on your circumstances. If you are tiling a new bathroom or kitchen, you need to consider the best way to seal the perimeter.
The two main choices are grout and silicone. Grouting between tiles is probably what comes first to mind when you think of sealing tile edges, while silicone sealant provides a more flexible, water-resistant barrier more commonly used around showers, bathtubs, and basins.
Why does my floor grout keep cracking?
To understand the difference between these two materials, we must first consider how and why grout cracks. Grout is a porous material that’s used when installing tile, but it can crack if the tile isn’t installed properly.
When moisture seeps into the surface of the grout, it causes problems with mold and mildew so when you’re looking at cracked grout on a floor, you may be looking at potential mold issues.
Because grout is so porous, it’s also more prone to cracking than silicone. Silicone is much more flexible than grout and will typically not crack in the same way that grout does because its texture is much different than that of grout.
Silicone can be used in place of grout to create a waterproof seal between tiles on your bathroom or kitchen floor, but silicone won’t last as long as ceramic or porcelain tiles are intended to last.
It should also not be used in areas where moisture might penetrate through the surface of your flooring because silicone cannot be sealed like other materials such as ceramic or porcelain tile floors can be sealed with sealant.
How long does silicone last in a shower?
So, which is better? It depends on where you are using it. Silicone lasts longer and it’s more flexible, but grout looks better and can be used in more places.
Think of silicone as the heavy-duty sealant for areas that get wet frequently like showers, bathtubs, and backsplashes.
Grout is a better option for areas that don’t get wet such as countertops or floor tile. If you have questions about what to use where ask your local hardware store or tile supplier for recommendations
Does grout come in a caulking tube?
The short answer: Grout comes in a bag and silicone comes in a caulking tube.
This is the most basic physical difference between these two materials made to fix gaps, cracks, and spaces.
You may have noticed that grout is often used for tiling, while silicone is more commonly used for sealing windows or tubs.
This initial distinction can help you determine which material you should use.
First of all, if you’re fixing tiles around your tub or shower, you’ll need to use silicone because it’s waterproof grout will not do here; however, if you’re filling an unsightly gap between tiles on the floor or on the wall, then grout will be fine and probably better because it’s cheaper and easier to apply than silicone.
Also, note that grout can be much easier to remove than silicone if you want to change up your decor… but we’ll talk about that later!
Is grout waterproof in showers?
If you’re going to use grout in your shower, it’s important to realize that it needs to be sealed. Grout is porous and will absorb moisture if not treated with a sealer after application. In the shower, you’ll need to re-seal the grout once a year.
This may seem like a hassle, but it’s still far easier than replacing the grout years down the road when your shower starts showing signs of damage.
In comparison, silicone is waterproof. It doesn’t require any maintenance at all. A small downside: silicone can get moldy over time if not properly treated with an anti-mildew agent before application.
Keep in mind that there are a ton of pros and cons for both products. Although silicone is usually recommended over grout, it might not always be the best solution for your particular project.
It’s always better to rely on your personal judgment than what somebody else suggests to you and make sure you do your research before buying anything.
After all, it’s your bathroom and you will have to deal with whatever issue comes after the product you choose!
Do you prefer silicone or grout? Let me know in the comments below and tell me your reasons!