Caulk and Grout Replacement FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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We have answers.

We recommend a pure silicone or siliconized latex caulk for tile installation and repairs. Silicone caulk has more stretch to it and will hold better over time than other caulks. Our preferred brands are GE Silicone Caulk or OSI Quad Max, marketed for exterior applications it works just as well with tile and is available in a large variety of colors. 

Old caulk should always be removed prior to installing new. This can be done with a razor blade or a caulk tool. The area should be thoroughly cleaned with denatured alcohol and allowed to dry completely. If there are concerns about moisture behind the tile you should give the area a couple of days to dry out. Silicone can be tricky to work with as it is very sticky. Keep denatured alcohol on hand to wipe excess caulk off your fingers and tools and smooth caulk once applied. 

Over time, the grout between tiles will inevitably crack or discolor. You may be tempted to apply anew layer of grout over the failing existing, but back away from your bucket. Grout applied over old grout will flood your grout joints and your finished product will look messy. The old layer of grout is not a strong enough backer for new grout and soon enough your new layer of grout will start to chip away looking worse than before.

To re-grout your tiles properly, you’ll need to remove the old grout first. You can do this using a grout removal tool or a rotary tool with a grout removal bit. Once the old grout is removed, clean the area thoroughly and let it dry completely. Then, mix the new grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the area with a grout float. Use a grout sponge to remove any excess grout and let it dry completely. 

It is easy to damage tiles while regrouting. The smaller the pattern and tighter the grout lines the more challenging this repair becomes. For glass and textured tiles, it is often impossible to regrout without scratching or chipping the tiles. The labor involved with a proper regrouting job can be extensive, based on the monetary and sentimental value of your existing tile it may make more financial sense to replace you tile rather than regrout. 

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I can't say enough about how pleased I have been with the quality and the service from Wayne and his team at Merrick. They restored a balcony railing and floor for us last year, and we had them return to install new shutters recently. We will certainly be calling on them again for other projects!

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The Handyman team has completed several projects for me this summer including tile work, furniture repair, exterior work and more. All the tasks were done in a timely manner and done with a detailed eye. Thanks so much Merrick Design and Build.

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