To caulk the gap between a granite backsplash and your wall, first remove any existing caulk with a scraper or caulk-removing tool. Once any old caulk is removed, clean both the granite and the wall with isopropyl alcohol where the new bead of caulk will be. Once the area is prepared and taped, use silicone caulk to seal the seam and smooth it. Finally, allow the caulk to cure for 24 hours before exposing it to regular use.
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Should Your Granite Backsplash be Caulked?
It’s essential to caulk the seam where your granite backsplash meets the wall. If left uncaulked, water can enter this seam, where it will then damage your wall. Not caulking your backsplash can lead to mold, mildew, and deteriorating drywall.
- Always caulk the seam between your granite backsplash and the wall.
- An uncaulked seam invites mold and wall damage.
- Caulk backsplash seams in both kitchens and bathrooms.
The gap between the backsplash and wall should be caulked whether your countertop is in a kitchen or a bathroom. Both of these rooms are frequently exposed to moisture from regular use and cleaning. Sealing seams with caulk protects your home.
How to Fill the Gap Between Granite Backsplash and Wall in 6 Steps
Caulking your backsplash to form a waterproof seal is a simple task you can take on yourself. With the right tools and materials, you can produce professional results on your first attempt. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know and exactly what tools you need to get the job done right.
Remove Existing Caulk
If there is existing caulk in the gap between the backsplash and wall, remove it with a scraper or caulk-removing tool. If latex caulk was used previously, it may have split, pulled free from the wall, or begun to mildew. That means it’s time to remove the old to make way for a new, better caulking job.
- Use this caulking tool to scrape away any old caulk.
- Make sure the existing caulk is removed completely, without any scraps clinging to the granite or your wall.
- Use a razor blade to scrape caulk off granite, but be careful not to damage walls with razor blades and other sharp tools.
It’s essential to remove as much of the existing caulk as possible to set the stage for your new job. Ragged bits of caulk that stubbornly stick to your granite should be removed with a razor blade since granite is scratch-resistant and won’t be damaged by this.
Clean and Prep the Area
Once you have removed as much of the existing caulk as possible, or if the seam between the backsplash and wall was not previously caulked, clean both the granite and the wall where the new caulk will be. Use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and lightly scrub both surfaces with a washcloth or rag.
- Use a rag doused in isopropyl alcohol to clean granite and wall where new caulk will be applied.
- Prepping the area is essential for a long-lasting seal.
Cleaning the surfaces will ensure the caulk bonds firmly and does not peel away. Caulk applied to a dirty or dusty surface is prone to pulling away from the wall or granite, creating gaps in your waterproof seal. This will allow water to invade your walls.
Tape the Area
To control the bead of caulk you are applying to fill the seam, carefully tape the wall above the seam and the top of the granite backsplash.
- Use painter’s tape to tape off the wall above the seam and the backsplash below the seam.
- The space between the two lines of tape should be just large enough to allow the caulk to fill the seam between the backsplash and wall.
Set your tape so that the caulk will adhere to the wall and granite at the seam only. A caulk application that spreads onto the wall or your backsplash will mar the appearance of your countertop.
Use Silicone Caulk to Fill the Gap
Use a caulking gun or squeeze application tube to apply a thin bead of caulk to the taped seam. Use 100% silicone caulk. Clear silicone caulk is the best choice. However, some prefer using a color-matched silicone caulk that matches the tone of the backsplash.
- Use this clear silicone caulk to make a waterproof seal between your kitchen and backsplash.
- If you wish to match the color of your caulk to the granite backsplash or grout, use this color-matched silicone caulk.
- Save money by buying a small tube of caulk that can be applied by hand. A full-sized tube is more than you need for a backsplash.
- Avoid using latex caulk or any material besides silicone.
Non-silicone caulk is prone to shrinking, cracking, and harboring mold. Latex caulk is a poor choice for backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms. Always use silicone caulk to ensure you will have a lasting waterproof seal.
Smooth the Caulk and Remove Tape
Once you’ve applied the caulk to the seam, use a caulking tool or your finger to smooth the bead of caulk. Then, carefully remove the tape. Start by removing the top piece of tape (the tape on the wall). Then, remove the bottom piece of tape (the tape on the backsplash). Removing the bottom tape first can lead to caulk dripping one to the backsplash when you remove the upper tape.
- Smooth the caulk bead with your caulking tool or your finger.
- Remove the tape from the wall.
- Remove the tape from the backsplash.
- Once the tape is removed, smooth the caulk one more time using your finger or caulking tool.
After you’ve removed both pieces of tape, you should be left with a thin bead of caulk that fills the gap between your backsplash and wall. The sides of the caulk bead may be ridged from the tape removal. Simply smooth the caulk once more with your finger or a caulking tool.
Allow Caulk to Cure
Silicone caulk requires 24 hours to fully harden. Although it will begin to cure within 20 minutes, it’s not truly set for at least 1 day after application. During this drying time, avoid using the surface or performing any activities that will cause dust, debris, water, or other materials from coming in contact with the silicone caulk.
- Allow 24 hours for the silicone caulk to fully cure.
- Keep the silicone caulk clean and dry during this 24-hour period.
Once your silicone caulk has dried, you can use your space as usual. Fully dried silicone caulk has a rubbery, flexible texture that allows it to hold up to moisture exposure and temperature changes.
What is the Best Way to Caulk Between a Granite Backsplash and Wall?
To caulk between a granite backsplash and wall, you should:
- Remove any existing caulk from the seam with a scraper.
- Clean the granite and wall with isopropyl alcohol prior to caulking.
- Tape off the area above and below the seam.
- Fill the gap with silicone caulk. Do not use latex or polyurethane caulk.
- Smooth the caulk with a caulking tool before removing the tape.
- Allow 24 hours for the caulk to fully cure before using the surface.
By following this process, you will achieve a smooth bead of caulk between the two surfaces, with minimal excess caulk to clean up. By following these steps, you will create a waterproof seal that holds up for years, preventing your home from water damage.