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Unread 03-14-2020, 09:15 AM   #1
buzzards27
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Grout First or Caulk First

Doing 45 square feet of 3x6 travertine backsplash in my dear wife's kitchen. In the past I've always grouted, cleaned up and then caulked the change of plane joints, underside of cabinets, etc. I guess that sequence keeps the job moving. That always involved protecting the "to be caulked" spaces and the inevitable clean up of grout at the intersecting joints

I'm wondering if caulking first and giving the caulk a week or so to set up might yield better results.

Sorry if this has been asked before, my search attempts failed.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 10:10 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Al.

I'd grout first. Use tape to protect adjoining areas. Grout it, and let the grout set up for an hour then use a putty knife or similar to get the grout out of any spots you don't want it.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 10:59 AM   #3
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Yeah, that's what I figured. I always grouted first and caulked the next day on those small in and out backsplash jobs. never had time to allow the caulk to fully set.

I'm caulking (no metal) to the Corian top so I might make a narrow wedge shaped wood strip to temporary fill that joint.

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Unread 03-14-2020, 12:44 PM   #4
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If it's tight joints then you can silicone first. But you can't go wrong if you grout first and keep the silicone joints clean of grout.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 01:03 PM   #5
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I've done it both ways and find it easier to grout first. Keep the grout raked out of the joint when washing using a margin trowel.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 05:21 PM   #6
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OK, I guess I'm going to lose the "I'm waiting for the caulk to set up properly" excuse to my wife for taking another week on this little tile job.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 06:21 PM   #7
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Well, you didn't tell us you needed an excuse.
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Unread 03-15-2020, 01:48 AM   #8
Tool Guy - Kg
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....yeah....doesn’t, ah.....travertine need to breathe for a week after setting? I think I heard some pro say that. Yeah. Pretty sure. Maybe. Probably not.

On a serious note...if caulking with silicone ahead of time, I done like the way the grout doesn’t bond to it. I pretty much always caulk last. Although in a kitchen backsplash application, I wouldn’t be nervous to caulk first.
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