Caulk or Grout First? What is the Correct Order?

So you’re installing tiles but don’t know which one you should put first between caulk and grout. We know how tough the installation process of tiles can be, on top of that not knowing which one to start with can be particularly difficult.  

So, exactly which one caulk or grout first?

Grout should always be placed first. Caulk has moisture-resistant properties that makes it incapable of latching on to grouts. Caulk is generally used at last as the sealant to seal the gap in between tiles. 

Not sure if you understand the principle behind putting grout first? Keep on reading our in-depth article to know about all the reasons why you should place grout first. 

So, without any further ado let’s hop right in shall we? 

Why Should Grouting be Done First? 

By now you already know that you need to grout first before caulking your tiles. But why is that the case? Well to start, the layer of grout won’t be placed evenly on top of the caulk. 

Caulks are waterproof and impermeable. These are used to seal your tiles. As a result, grout doesn’t adhere to caulking.

You should choose the appropriate caulk for your requirements. Caulking your tiles makes them moisture resistant. Because of this, your tiles will last longer. 

Always make sure to grout first. Then clean the grout lines and leave them for 24 hours. After that, you should apply the caulk. 

Where Should Grouting be Done?

Grouting is usually done in wet places like the bathroom. All the places that tend to come in contact with water often should be grouted. 

Generally speaking, grouts are more porous than caulks. As a result, it’s best for tiled floors and shower walls. 

On top of that grouts should be placed in all other vertical or horizontal shower planes. 

Where Should Caulking be Done?

Just like 3 8 vs 1 2 drywall, It’s relatively easy to mix the concept of grouts and caulks as they are similar products. 

Caulking is mostly done in between edges and corners. As this area is particularly susceptible to damage. Caulks are heavy-duty binders. So it’s perfect for places that are prone to damage. Shower fixtures must be caulked. 

Other than that you should caulk in between corners, tile edges, and wall to floor intersections. Also, make sure to caulk any change of planes in the tiles. 

This will make your tiles last longer and crack-free. 

Method of Caulking Tiles

You may get intimidated by the process of caulking tiles. But you need to realize that caulking your tiles is necessary for longevity. Generally, there are three methods using which you can safely caulk your tiles. 

Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional, it is important for you to understand all the methods of caulking your tiles. This will help you to detect whether something is wrong with the grout.

Now let’s get into all the methods of caulking tiles. 

Digging Up Existing Grout before Caulking

The first method of caulking over grout is digging the existing grouts in places where caulking is necessary. This method is usually followed by professionals as it’s less time-consuming. 

Step 1 of 4:

In this method, you need to grout in between all the tiles. You don’t need to keep space for the caulk to be placed. 

So start by applying the grout in between the tiles. 

Step 2 of 4:

After applying the grout make sure to quickly clean the surrounding tiles that have come in contact with the grout. If grouts are allowed to settle on tiles then it can cause irreversible damage. 

Use a scrubbing brush and an all-purpose cleaner to take out grout from the top of tiles. You can also use concrobium or vinegar as the cleaning agent. Make sure that the cleaning agent doesn’t go where the grout has been placed. 

Leave the grout in between the tiles for 24 hours. 

Step 3 of 4: 

After that, start digging up the grouts from places where you want to put caulk down. 

Use a drill or a shovel to carefully remove the grout. Make sure you don’t take out too much of the grout. 

Step 4 of 4:

Once the digging is complete place the caulk on those spots and leave it for 6 hours. With that your tiles are ready. 

Caulking Exclusively Where Grout isn’t Placed 

In the second method, you need to refrain from grouting in places where you intend to place the caulk. 

This method requires a lot of time as you have to carefully grout only in the places where you won’t be putting caulk. It’s perfect for those who want to do this by themselves. There’s less risk of tarnishing your tiles with this method. 

Step 1 of 2:

Using a fine applicator carefully apply the grout in between your tiles. Avoid the places where you need to put the caulk. 

Step 2 of 2:

After grouting is done, wait for it to dry down. Then start caulking your tiles in-between areas where grouts aren’t placed. 

Take your time with applying the caulk as you need to be very precise. 

Caulking Using a String 

Another fun yet innovative way of caulking your tiles is by using strings. Strings are cheap and easy to find. As a result, everyone can use this method. 

This process is the quickest among the three methods. So, it’s the most efficient. 

Step 1 of 3:

For this method, you need to put a string or a cord in the crack under the tiles. Make sure to use a primer before grouting as well. Keep in mind about all the problems of kilz 2 primer.

After that, grout the tiles like you would do normally. 

Step 2 of 3:

After grouting the tiles, immediately pull out the cord from the tiles. This will create a clean caulk area. Now just place the caulk on these areas. 

Step 3 of 3:

Wait for the caulk to dry down. Check periodically if your caulk is properly dried by pricking the surface of the freshly caulked place. 

And just like that your tiles are perfectly caulked. 

These are all the ways in which you can grout first and then place the caulk. 


Can you caulk over grout?

Generally caulking over grout is not a good idea. Caulk can’t be placed properly over the grout and the line in between tiles may get bulky due to this. 

Do you caulk or grout shower corners?

It is important to caulk over shower corners instead of using grout. Grout does not hold up well in corners and is prone to cracking or falling out. 

Can you use caulk to fill up cracks between grouts?

Damaged groups cause cracking. You can use caulk to fill in these cracks and restore the appearance of the grout. 


With that, we have come to the end of this segment. We hope you’re clear now regarding which comes first the grout or caulk. 

If you have any more queries regarding caulk or grout first make sure to leave a comment down below. 

Until then stay happy and healthy. Catch you next time!