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I recently had my bathroom renovated, including floor and shower tiles. I love the tile color, but the grout I chose dried a few shades lighter than I expected. I did some research and found that grout can be stained a different color (I.e. grout refresh by Lowe’s). I was planning to add a sealer anyways, so it didn’t seem like a big deal. However, it’s not just grout in all areas. They added caulk in the corners of the shower (the caulk is the same color as the grout).

If I do choose to stain it, or even add a sealer, will that work in the areas that caulk was applied? Do I need to re-caulk, or will the sealer/stainer work on caulk too? Thanks for any advice!!

EDIT: Here's what I used:

Grout: Polyblend "polymer-fortified" non-sanded grout

Caulk: Polyblend "siliconized" non-sanded ceramic tile caulk

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. What kind of caulk did they use? Do you have pictures of the labels of both grout and caulk you could post?\ – Daniel Griscom Dec 24 '18 at 14:34
  • See my edits, both grout and caulk were the polyblend brand from Home Depot. – Rob Dec 24 '18 at 16:43
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Years ago, and I mean in the late 1950's and early 1960's, when I worked for PPG we tinted caulking and other very thick material. That stuff came in quart and gallon cans. Today, I am not so sure that that material is available in cans. You may be better trying to change the color of the grout with a top coating of a clear stain tinted to some color you like. I do not know how it will age but it could be done.

  • The OP's concern was that the stain would give different results on the grout vs on the caulk. – Daniel Griscom Dec 24 '18 at 17:47
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I have been installing floors for over 25 years and to change the color of grout is a pain anyway you do it. You could try staining it but in my opinion that is not the best choice. The sure resolution would be to sand or grind the joints deep enough that when you re-grout there is sufficient bonding and total cover up of the exiting color. When you start trying to mix chemicals of stains with the chemicals in the grout there is a possibility of discolor. Hope this helps.

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Your concern that the grout and caulk might take the stain differently is well-founded. Since the materials are so cheap relative to the effort of re-caulking (or, heaven forbid, re-grouting), you should pick up new grout, caulk and stain, and do a test on a piece of plywood. Make sure the grout and caulk have completely dried, or the results won't be comparable to doing it in your actual bathroom.

If this test works, and you get the same color on the grout and caulk, then you're still left with the uncertainty of how to apply the stain without it discoloring the adjacent tile and fixtures. So, think carefully about how you'd apply it, and do another small test in an inconspicuous part of your bathroom.

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