My to do list never ends. The previous homeowners had the kitchen redone about 7 years ago. It’s decent, but definitely not our style. We can live with it though. However there was a problem with the tile backsplash. Apparently the installer used grout along where the tile backsplash meets the countertop. Definitely a no-no. Over time, this area expands and contracts, thus cracking along this line. That’s why it’s called an expansion joint. So today I fixed it, and replaced it with silicone caulk.  By the way, fixing something around the house is an AT assignment, but we’re always fixing things around the house.

putty knives for scraping

To begin, I started with my putty knives scaping away all the old grout. Occassionally I scraped too hard and I made a few tiny scratches. Barely noticeable however.

caulking tools

After I cleaned and wiped away all the old grout, the expansion joint was exposed. Some parts of the gap between tile and countertop was quite large, so I used some backer rod to fill the space. This way, I used up less caulk. The backer rod is basically a long thin piece of foam filler.


After the backer rod was placed, I taped the area for caulking. With only 1″ wide tape, I had to be careful and not make a mess with the caulk. I had run out of 2-3″ wide blue tape. And that stuff is expensive anyways. I then used the caulk gun and filled the gap. Then I ran the tip of my finger along the edge to make it nice and smooth. Paper towels come in handy to wipe the caulk from my hands. The first time I caulked, I made the mistake of wiping the caulk onto my T-shirt. Waterproof silicone caulk does not come out in the laundry. Oh well.

Then I took the tape off. The caulk cures pretty quickly so the tape comes off as soon as I’m done caulking a continuous section.

And that’s it. I get to cross another one off my list. Woohoo!