Posted on: 16.10.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

When remodeling a home, many homeowners wonder if the caulk in a bathroom or kitchen should match the grout. If not chosen carefully, you may end up with a caulk or grout color that compromises the pattern of the tile in your design.

Ideally, the caulk should be matched to the color of the grout to maintain the integrity of the tile design, as light-colored caulk blends with a light-colored tile and looks dramatically different from dark-colored grout. If the caulk has a different color than the grout, the bathroom may look mismatched.

It’s a good thing that both grout and caulk are available in a variety of colors, so remodelers can achieve a fairly good match. Keep reading to learn more about how caulk and grout should be matched in a bathroom or kitchen renovation.

There is no industry standard for matching caulk and grout

The first thing you need to understand when planning a remodel with grout and caulk is that there is no industry standard for matching the two during a renovation. If you hire an inexperienced contractor, there is a good chance they won’t even attempt to match the two, which can lead to very costly do-overs if you inspect the end result and are not satisfied with it.

Additionally, if you don’t make an agreement with the contractor in advance that the caulk and grout should match, you have no recourse to have the work redone for free.

You will have to pay again for labor and materials to tear out the old work and start from scratch. That’s why it’s important to make sure your contractor knows what you want before they even start laying tile.

Why it’s important to match grout and caulk early on

When doing your own remodel, one of the first things to address before gathering your supplies is to match the grout and caulk. You also need to make sure you have more than enough grout and caulk for the entire project, because if you have to get more caulk and grout halfway through the project, the new materials may not exactly match the original grout and caulk. Mixing new batches of grout can also increase the likelihood of color variations.

Running out of materials midway through a remodel can also be a significant time delay if you have trouble finding a good match for a second time. You never know when a manufacturer may go on backorder, especially if you’ve selected a unique color for your caulk and grout. So try to purchase all your materials from the same batch, if possible.

When you hire an experienced contractor, they not only have the right supplier resources to ensure that your caulk and grout are properly matched, but they can also easily estimate how much grout and caulk they will need in advance.

This way, supplies don’t need to be replenished during the work. That’s one of the benefits of hiring someone who makes a living applying grout and sealants, compared to trying to do it yourself.

Matching caulk to grout can enhance aesthetics

One of the most striking design aspects of a bathroom or kitchen are the tiles used in the following areas:

  • Kitchen backsplashes
  • Bathroom showers
  • Bathroom and kitchen floors

Superior visual pattern recognition is an important part of how the human brain perceives the world, so our brains are also wired to look for asymmetry in visual design. (Source: Frontiers in Neuroscience)

If you end up with mismatched grout and caulk, your eye will naturally seek out this discrepancy, even if you may feel that the match is not that important – just like the eye of anyone who walks into the room. No matter how good the rest of your bathroom or kitchen design is, if your grout and tile don’t match or the color is not consistent throughout the design, it will stand out.

Even if you think you can live with a mismatch, you won’t know until the bathroom or kitchen is installed, and by then you will have invested thousands of dollars out of pocket in the remodel. You don’t want to get to that stage of the renovation and realize that you can’t live with mismatched grout and caulk, as you’ll have to tear everything out and start from scratch.

Matching grout and caulk can also be a way to add accent colors.

  • If your bathroom is predominantly white, but the accent pieces are a metallic color, a dark grout can help pull that darker metallic color through the space and visually unite the room.
  • Similarly, if you have dark tiles and light accents, a light caulk or grout can help highlight the contrast.

Colored caulk and grout

Both grout and caulk are available in dozens of colors. So if sourcing them separately, it can be somewhat challenging to ensure you get a good match between the two. The good news is that many manufacturers who produce colored grout also make colored caulk specifically designed to match. For homeowners who want a perfect match between caulk and grout, buying both items from the same manufacturer is the right choice.

If you can’t find an exact match between the grout and caulk you desire, you can bring color samples while trying to match the colors. This can ensure that you come as close as possible to a match if you’re not buying the grout and caulk from the same manufacturer.

It’s also a good idea to perform a sample test on a piece of scrap tile to ensure that the caulk and grout match closely after drying, as liquid caulk and grout can dry either lighter or darker than they appear in their liquid form.

Types of colored caulk

There are two main types of colored caulk on the market that are used in bathroom and kitchen renovations, depending on the type of material: silicone caulk and Spectrum tile/grout caulk. The main reason these caulks are used compared to acrylic or vinyl latex sealants is that they are mold and mildew resistant, which is perfect for the moist conditions found in a kitchen or bathroom.

Silicone and Spectrum Colored Caulk are made considering a few factors that set them apart from other types of caulk:

  • Flexibility: Since moisture in the air in a kitchen or bathroom, as well as temperature fluctuations, can cause caulk to expand and contract, the caulk needs to be especially flexible to prevent any gaps from forming over time.
  • Strong Adhesion: Silicone and Spectrum caulks have stronger adhesion than exterior or acrylic caulks, since the environmental aspects of a bathroom or kitchen (especially the presence of hot steam) can cause less adhesive caulks to eventually come loose.
  • Waterproof: Unlike some caulks that are porous, the silicone and Spectrum caulks used in bathroom and kitchen applications are non-porous and repel water, making them durable and long-lasting even in wet conditions.

With a high demand for quality kitchen and bathroom applications, many manufacturers can be found to produce a batch of colored caulk that matches your existing grout, although these custom orders may be a bit more expensive than just selecting a colored caulk from a color chip. (Source: Grout Getter)

It is also possible to create colored caulk with a neutral caulk and a colorant, as demonstrated in this video. However, homemade caulking color can result in uneven coloring if not done carefully or if you are forced to mix multiple batches. This may not be noticeable during application but can become significantly visible once the caulk has cured and the job is completed.

Types of colored grout

Just as there are different types of colored grout, there are also different types of colored grout. Here are some of the colored grout types you are likely to come across:

  • Sanded cement grout: Sanded cement is one of the preferred types of grout used in bathrooms, as the sand in the grout provides particularly slip resistance in areas like showers and bathroom floors. One downside of sanded cement grout is that it may dry and cure a bit more slowly compared to other types of grout.
  • Unsanded cement grout: Unsanded cement grout is similar to sanded cement grout, only without the sand. This results in a stickier grout that is a better choice for vertical applications such as shower walls or backsplashes.
  • Epoxy: Epoxy is one of the more difficult types of grout to install, so it should be left to professional contractors if you go this route. The fast-drying chemical reaction of epoxy means it is not a good option for people who don’t have experience laying grout. However, the advantage of epoxy grout is that it is very resistant to water damage or stains.
  • Furan resin: Furan resin is one of the most durable types of grout and can be used with heavier tiles like pavers, while weaker grouts may not be able to support the weight of larger tile pieces without losing adhesion. Like epoxy grout, furan resin is difficult to install properly and should be done by a professional, as the chemical fumes from it can be toxic.

No matter where you apply colored grout in your kitchen or bathroom, there are numerous options available to help match it to the colored caulk you are using. (Source: The Tileist)

Do grout and caulk need to match in different rooms?

Many homeowners renovating an entire house may wonder if they need to keep the colors of grout and caulk consistent throughout the entire house. The answer is no, with one caveat: If two rooms are adjacent in a way that one can be seen from the other, the grout and other accent colors should match to ensure continuity through the space.

When selecting grout or caulk for a kitchen that is part of an open floor plan, you need to consider the colors you have in the rooms adjacent to the kitchen. You want to select a grout and caulk that matches your kitchen design, but you don’t want the colors you choose to clash with the colors in the living room. If the spaces are part of an open floor plan, they should be considered as part of the same visual design.

Fortunately, most kitchens and bathrooms are self-contained rooms, especially bathrooms that usually have a door to other rooms closed. Therefore, the design should look good if your grout and caulk match in the same room or space. However, if you use a certain type of grout in your shower and a different colored caulk elsewhere in the same bathroom, it will look tacky and mismatched.

It may not seem like a huge detail, but the cumulative effect when these small details are matched together inevitably leads to a space that is aesthetically more pleasing and well put-together. Since remodels are expensive, it is recommended to plan out every detail from the beginning to avoid buyer’s remorse later on and the inability to undo without substantial cost and effort.

Where to find matching caulk and grout?

Colored caulk and grout can be found at most major home improvement chains like Lowe’s or Home Depot. One advantage of getting caulk, grout, and other remodeling materials from these store chains is that many contractors have standing quantity discounts with suppliers like these, meaning you’ll get a better deal on your supplies.

<If you are doing a DIY remodel project involving grout or caulk, a home improvement store can also be a good source of information on the materials to use, as long as you connect with someone who has experience. However, many of the people hired at these “big-box” stores lack the know-how or experience to advise you on the right grout or caulk to purchase, so when in doubt, talk to a real construction company.

Matching caulk and grout can also be purchased directly from the manufacturer online. The biggest downside to buying grout and caulk this way is that you are purchasing your materials without seeing them in person, and many computer monitors display colors slightly differently. This could result in ordering a large quantity of caulk that doesn’t match your grout or vice versa.

Once a custom colored grout or caulk has been made, it’s also difficult to return it and get your money back. Fortunately, many of the formulas these suppliers use to make colored grout and caulk are static, so the colors don’t change significantly. However, even a slight color change is enough to stand out in a finished bathroom or kitchen remodel, so be cautious in your selection!

Matching new colored caulk to old grout

If you are recaulking your bathroom with colored caulk, you may find it difficult to get an exact match to your grout if it was installed many years ago in the house. Over time, grout naturally discolors. (Source: Popular Mechanics) While some of these discolorations can be reversed through intensive cleaning, others are simply due to age.

One way to match your caulk to your grout without having to refinish your entire bathroom or kitchen is to use a grout colorant kit or grout refresher. Instead of tearing up all your tiles to achieve a perfect match between your grout and caulk, with grout restorers, you can get your old grout align perfectly with new grout.

While it may not be an exact match compared to grout and caulk from the same manufacturer, it is usually close enough to not cause a major discrepancy.

Matching grout to caulk is important for interior design

It may seem like a small detail, but ensuring that grout and caulk match can make a big difference in the overall appearance of a kitchen or bathroom. Ultimately, the overall impact of these small details helps make the entire space more pleasing to the eye. This is not only great for enjoying your space in the present, but also helps you later on if you ever want to sell the property. But it needs to be done before you start laying tile. Otherwise, you may end up with an end product that you are not satisfied with.

Leave a Comment