caulk or grout? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : caulk or grout?

08-26-2001, 01:55 PM
I have my 12x12"porceline tiles set in latex modified thinset as of two days ago and next 'tis time to grout. The instalation is in an 8x4' entryway. The edge by the door and the edge by the drywall will be covered by baseboard/trim so I will not need to grout beside them. Do I grout or caulk between the hardwood and tile? And what about the 8 feet that is beside a decorative 'angelstone' wall? As this is a renovation and not new construction there is about 3/16" difference between the tile (higher) and the hardwood.

Sponsored Links

John Bridge
08-26-2001, 03:02 PM
Hi Louise,

Glad you stumbled upon us.

Caulking is the way to go in both instances. The 3/16 in. difference isn't enough to allow the use of transition strip. That is unless someone else knows something I don't (which has been the case several times in the past).

Rob Z
08-26-2001, 03:15 PM
Hi Louise

I would use caulk, as well. Especially between two disimilar surfaces, and even more so with a surface like hardwood flooring that will "move" quite a bit.

Be sure to mask off the hardwood with painter's tape when you caulk.

08-26-2001, 03:19 PM
The thing to do would be to use a trim by Schluter called "Reno-V"

This trim is installed as you lay the row of tile adjoining the hardwood.The tile actually sets on top of the anchoring leg of the transition.Part of this trim is moveable.It will move up or down to accomodate any height difference in flooring you might encounter and is perfect for your application.As a matter of fact,one of my recent customers had carpet next to the tile.They told me they planned on installing Hardwood there later.I used the Reno because when they change from carpet to wood it will simply drop down to the new wood.It is available in Brass or Aluminum.I strongly recommend Brass because the aluminum will slowly deteriorate due to the alkalinity of the mortar.
It isn't cheap either with the least expensive size in Brass running $53.36 for an 8' piece.If you would like to look at this transition,go to

If you are past the point of being able to install this trim then by all means,use a color-match caulk.

Rob Z
08-26-2001, 03:21 PM

I haven't used that piece that Keith is describing, but all of Schluter's products are top quality.

Bud Cline
08-26-2001, 09:51 PM
Sounds as if it's too late for the Schluter. 3/16" is considerable I think. This is too thin however for any standard wood transitions.

There is one more possibility I can think of. A professional flooring store will have access to a small rubber transition strip. These strips are 1" wide and three feet long. They are tapered from 1/8" to about 1/16" across the 1" dimension. This piece would fill your requirement and soften your transition. It would glue to your hardwood (lowest side) with contact adhesive. They come in black and brown for sure, I don't know about other colors.

08-27-2001, 01:57 PM
Thanks for all your help fellas. I think the caulk is the way to go. Too late for Schulter. The transition strip mentioned would have to be pieced if it is only 3 feet wide. I'm off in search of sanded 'charcoal' grout....