wall tiles / granite worksurface joint

About a year ago I had a tiler fit some marble wall tiles. It looks to me like he grouted the joint between the marble and the granite. This now looks a bit messy, being flaked, cracked, and stained in parts.
I'd quite like to spruce it up a bit, and my first thought was to etch out the grout and replace it with decorators caulking. Is this a reasonable thing to do, or are there better ways to do it?
Ta,
Debbie
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On 2 Dec 2003 05:44:55 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@lineone.net (Debbie) wrote:

I have exactly the same combination of marble wall tiles and a granite worktop.
Mine is grouted down to the worktop layer and then a layer of clear silicone is run in front of the grout and onto the worktop. This seals it and the sealant is invisible unless you look extremely closely.
The problem may be due to slight movement after the worktop was fitted but it should be stable now.
I would suggest raking out the bottom line of grout and regrouting, making sure that you can math the grout and its colour. Ask the tiler what he used if need be - they tend to be creatures of habit.
Clean up any stained areas as well. You may want to try Lithofin MN Power-clean for this - I've found it very effective.
Then apply two coats of Lithofin MN Stainstop to the tiles and the grout. This will seal and protect them without being noticable as far as the surface appearance is concerned, and will make the whole surface much easier to maintain..
Finally run some clear silicone along the join, a thin amount, and smooth in place with a wet finger.
I think that you should find this a much better solution than decorator's caulk which will stick out like a sore thumb.
.andy
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(Debbie) wrote:

It was just an off-white grout.

I did this after it had been installed. The marble and granite both look as fresh now as it did a year ago, even behind the hob, so I'm very pleased with the choice!

The gap between the marble and the granite isn't very large, so I thought if I got some off-white flexible stuff it might do the trick. I thought caulk was a bit like a flexible grout, but maybe I've got the name/material wrong? I was concerned about regrouting as I thought it might end up looking as bad a year down the line.
Thanks,
Debbie
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On 3 Dec 2003 02:12:18 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@lineone.net (Debbie) wrote:

OK, but there are different brands and types......

Generally it's a generic name used in the U.S. to describe silicone sealants.
Maybe what you could do is to buy a small tube of silicone sealer for bathrooms and try a short section to see if you like the result. The trouble is that I am not sure if you can get off white. Depending on the gap and amount of silicone, a pure white could stick out like a sore thumb. I have a predominantly black worktop and then tumbled marble wall tiles with fairly wide grout - about 6-8mm on average. The grout is also off white. Given the problem you describe, I think that I would grout rather than using silicone.
Generally there are two reasons for grout cracking - a) something moved and b) it dried out too quickly. (b) would be evidenced if there is more than the join between tiles and worktop that shows cracks.
A thought. Is the floor solid concrete or is it a suspended wooden one? If the latter, then the cabinets and worktop may be subject to small movement as you walk around the room and there is not a lot you can do. In that scenario, silicone may be a better choice. If it's concrete or other solid floor then it may be due to the cabinets settling slightly after installation (do you have vinyl floor under the feet or anything?) If it's a solid floor, then I think I would go for the grout.

.andy
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Wouldn't a thin bead of silicone work?
Colin M
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I wanted to try and blend in the colour with the grout/marble. Can you get opaque off-white silicone?
Thanks,
Debbie
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