Grouting the tile of a backsplash or countertop is a satisfying do it yourself project, but the joint in between the two poses some problematic issues. Often, expansion and contraction between the different materials of the backsplash against the countertop cause later cracking. The joint can either be grouted and later regrouted, grouted and later caulked, or caulked.
1. Leave a Space to Start
Leave an 1/8th of an inch between the backsplash and countertop. Fill the gap with grout or use a flexible caulking designed for kitchens and bathrooms (silicone or latex). If grouted, keep a small plastic bag of grout for later touch-ups. Caulking can also be used over the splitting grout but allow 3-5 days for the grout to dry.
2. Lay a Smooth, Thick Layer
Make sure the grout and caulking are adequately applied and frequently checked for cracking or mold. If the grout or caulk begins to split, debris from cooking or grease from the stove top can penetrate the cracks and be absorbed into the porous surface. Keep a small amount of premixed grout in a plastic bag to touch up the job in the future.
3. Dry Thoroughly
Remove all water from the grouting sponge when excess is being removed. Excess water can cause the hardened grout to crack and crumble if it has not had proper time to cure.