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Should I use calk or grout to fix a long crack between the counter and the backsplash?

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robob74

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One picture below shows what looks like a solid grout seal between the counter and backsplash, but I thought that calk is more appropriate for this area because grout is prone to cracking. Should I repair the existing crack (which goes across a long stretch of the counter) with grout to match the grouch that already exists? Or should I go with calk? Before doing anything, should I somehow ensure that there's not mold growing in the crack? (I recently moved into this house, so I don't know how long it's been this way.)
 

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Snoonyb

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Welcome.

I would use un-sanded grout, instead of caulk, simply because of the likelihood of a color match.
 

slownsteady

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You can get caulk in just about any color to match grout. Wherever two different surfaces meet, I prefer caulk. White vinegar and a stiff bristle brush should clean up the crack pretty well. Let it dry thoroughly before you fill it.
 

Jeff Handy

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Go to a tile store, they have caulk that has a texture like grout.
And comes in at least a dozen colors, with many more available as a custom color order.
 

Jeff Handy

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Should I chip away at the remnants of the grout before I seal the gap, or should I just seal over it?
Anything loose, take it out with a flat screwdriver, razor knife, pull scraper, putty knife, etc.
Clean the area and borders well with straight rubbing alcohol and a white plastic Scotchbrite pad.
A colored pad can leak some color while cleaning.
If using a colored pad, typically green, do a second wipe down with alcohol and a clean white cloth like an old Tee shirt or white athletic sock.
Let dry for at least half hour, then use blue painters’ tape to carefully mask off your intended new caulk profile.
Apply caulk carefully, don’t leave any bubbles or gaps.
Don’t overfill, add only slightly more than you want as a finished layer.
With fingers cleaned with alcohol, immediately smooth and tool the caulk bead.
In very long runs, do this in sections of about four or five feet, so the caulk can’t skim over before tooling.
Peel off the blue tape immediately after tooling any finished straight section.
Pull the tape back towards itself, and slightly off axis away from the caulk, this gives a cleaner separation.
 
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just as a tip, when you do the masking tape on each side process, as Jeff wisely suggests, I like to have a trash can right there to drop the masking tape into, as you remove it, so that it doesn't make a mess....
 

EricK

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I work as a handyman and I see this a lot. Whenever you have two different directions coming together like a wall and a countertop it's better to use caulk than grout. the slight movement between the two directions causes cracking in the grout. You see this also in bathrooms along the corners of tiled showers and between the tub and the tile wall. Jeff gave good advice. You should be able to find a siliconized grout in your hardware store that matches. It may not be in the caulking section. It will be with the rest of the grout in the tile section. If you have narrow grout lines, and it looks like you do, go with the unsanded silicone iced grout. You'll need sounded grout for larger gaps. I won't repeat their advice but I will add that I always keep a bucket of water and a moist towel next to me. That way I can keep my hands clean as I go along and keep my fingertip moist as I spread the caulking.
 

robob74

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All sounds good. I'll get at it. I picked up some supplies. Thumbs up or down on this caulk? It doesn't say "nonsanded" but specifically says it's meant for changes in plane and expansion joints.20201012_103007.jpg
 

Jeff Handy

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Looks to be the wrong color.

Your grout lines look more like light gray or off white.

Maybe it is just poor lighting.
 

EricK

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Jeff, if I'm not mistaken the product is labeled as siliconized grout. It's not in the store with the other caulking products, it's with the grout and mortar. But it basically looks like a tube of caulking.

Robob74. Color-wise, that'll be a little bit of a mismatch because it's bright white. It'll be the color of a shiny white tub or sink. It also looks to be 100% silicone. Personally, I struggle laying down a bead of silicone. It's sticky as snot and hard to clean up. I prefer a siliconized, water-based caulking. Very easy to clean up with a damp rag and wash off your hands. If you go to Home Depot or Lowe's, check the section where they sell grout and mortar. You'll likely find some tubes of siliconized grout on the shelf that matches the colors of the grout they sell in the boxes. It might be labeled as caulking, but I think it's labeled as siliconized grout. Regardless you'll find plenty of selection of tubes that you can place in your caulking gun. You should be able to find a very good match color wise
 

slownsteady

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I don't think any of us should be trying to guess the color from this distance.
If the line between wall and countertop is narrow (and it usually is) sanded caulk may not be the best bet. The texture of the sand makes it hard to squeeze into the crack.
 

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