What’s the Difference Between Grout and Caulk?

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Grout and caulk are both essential substances in home improvement and renovation. It may seem like they perform the same functions because they are both adhesive, but there are actually a few major differences between grout and caulk in terms of how they are contained, the preparation required for use, and the problems that they each remedy.

Medium of Storage     

Grout will almost always come in bucket or tub-like container with a lid on top.

Caulk on the other hand, can vary slightly. Some caulk is contained within a squeezable tube made of plastic. Caulk can also come in larger cylindrical tubes made from cardboard.

Means of Preparation and Application

Before preparation, grout is just a powder, usually gray or brown. Water and adequate stirring is required to activate the adhesive properties in grout. When the grout is ready, it is applied using a trowel designed specifically for grout.

Caulk does not require any sort of preparatory treatment. It can be used immediately after opening.  However, in order to efficiently expel the caulk from the tube, it must be secured inside a metal contraption called a caulking gun.


If you have any tile in your house at all, you see grout every day. Grout is the gray or white lining that fills the space between the tiles, and it’s what holds them securely in place.

While grout is used for purely its adhesive properties, caulk is used as a sealant. Caulk is used to fill cracks preventing water or air from passing through. It is used particularly in moisture or air-leak prone areas, for example between a bathtub and the adjacent wall, or in the cracks in your attic. Using caulk to seal up cracks can prevent mold, and make your house more energy efficient, and save you money. 

Knowing the difference between grout and caulk is one thing, but proper application can be much trickier than it seems. If you suspect that you may need grout or caulk applied in your home, contact a professional at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing to get the job done right.

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