Bathtub Grout vs. Caulking

I'm replacing some moldy caulking along the edge of my bathtub where the tub meets the tiled wall. As I was removing the caulking, the grout behind it also started to come out in spots. I think I'm going to have to remove all of the grout along the edge, but do I need to replace the grout with more grout or can I replace it with just caulking? If I need to replace the grout, should I put caulk over it as well?
Thanks, Dave
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Put grout down where there was grout, If you use caulk you can't go back and redo it. with grout.
Joe
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Joe,
Thanks for the reply. There appears to be a mix of grout and caulk already. I'm not sure if the previous person put caulking on top of the grout or tried to fill holes in the grout with caulk or what. So I guess it might be too late for the whole not mixing grout and caulking thing you mentioned. Are you saying that once I use caulking I will never be able to remove it and replace it with grout should I be so inclined? Why is that? Does the caulking leave some sort of residue behind that makes grouting impossible?
Thanks, Dave
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On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:11:49 -0700 (PDT), headware

Dave, Dont listen to Joe. He is either yanking your chain or a clueless dolt. Norminn got it exactly right. Bubba
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clipped

TY. I forgot to mention one important point, learned from doing it the wrong way several times.........Lots of folks can run a bead of caulk or a paint brush in a nice straight line. I cannot do either. When I caulk, I put down painters tape along where I want the edge to be. Push the caulk gun forward to put the caulk on the line, with the tip trimmed to about the width of the caulk line from one tape edge to the corner of the gap. Sounds nuts, but it is just a rough est. of how large you want the bead to be. Just put it down fast. Practice won't hurt. When the caulk is on, I run my finger down the caulk line to form a smooth, concave line with tapers to each edge of the tape. Pull up the tape. Let it set. Dampen your finger to do it however you like; water is good :o) By getting the caulk line concave and perfectly smoothe, there are no ruts or gullies to trap water or soap scum and grow more mildew.
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Bubba & Norman,
Thanks for all the help. I had already planned on using the tape technique you mentioned. After speaking to someone at Lowe's, it would appear that the caulk used in the tub was an acrylic caulk containing sand. I guess the grittiness of the sand made me think it was grout. I bought some more of that stuff but I also have silicone caulk as well; maybe I'll use the silicone instead. So far, the toughest thing has been getting old caulk out of there. It's pretty hard and wedged in the pretty tightly in some spots. I use some caulk remover to soften it up but it had mixed results. Just apply more elbow grease right?
Dave
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clipped

I've never used caulk remover, just a trusty utility knife to cut away the bulk of it. Then finish up by pulling off what is loose and use razor scraper for the rest. It doesn't matter much that there is caulk remaining deep in the gap; just make sure the surface is immaculate. Good luck.
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Do you fill the tub with water before caulking? I've seen that advice more than once, by filling the tub you maximize the weight and theoretically the size of the gap. I'm curious because I really need to do this soon to my tub.
nancy
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Nancy Young wrote:

I've seen the instructions to do that lot's of times. Good idea unless you like sitting in the tub when you caulk :o) I suspect that if there is movement sufficient to break the seal of the caulk that you have problems not limited to caulk.
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(laugh) I'm bad enough at caulking standing up.
Thank you.
nancy
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On Sun 20 Apr 2008 05:47:45a, Nancy Young told us...

Using a free-hand technique I'm terrible at caulking. What makes it worse is that I'm OCD and AR! :-)
Yes, fill the tub with water. Even if you're in the tub with the water, there won't be enough movement to make a significant difference. What I do... Lay a perfectly straight line of blue masking tape on the tub surface adjacent to the wall surface, about 1/8" away. Lay another perfectly straight line of the tape on the wall surface, about the same difference. Wear latex glove(s). Caulk liberally with silicone caulk, not worrying about caulk on the tape. Wet a glove finger with water and tightly smooth the caulk along the line. Immediately remove both strips of tape, pulling at an angle away from the joint. It makes an amazingly neat caulk line.
I do the same for the joint between kitchen and vanity countertops and the backsplash.
--
Wayne Boatwright
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wrote:

This site gives a pretty nice explanation (with pics) of the techniques people are talking about on this thread:
http://www.rd.com/familyhandyman/content/17644 /
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On Sat, 19 Apr 2008 20:32:42 -0700 (PDT), headware

Basically, yes. Just keep picking and pulling at it. Also, as far as the tape caulking method........Ive seen and used a different one. Get a small sponge, wet it and drag it across the caulk. You'll be suprised how good it looks. Dont use a colored sponge incase any of the color bleeds through. Bubba
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headware wrote:

Everything I have read on the topic advises to use caulk between tub/wall, wall/floor and wall/wall joints because the joints flex and will cause grout to crack. That is likely why you have caulk over grout. It might be a special problem if the gap is wide (more than about 1/8" or a little more). I would clean both surfaces very well, use util. knife to scrape out loose grout, and redo the joint with silicone caulk. Tile and porcelain tub are easy to clean the old caulk from - use new razor blade scraper. Wipe with full-strength bleach, let dry, wipe with denatured alcohol, let dry, appley new caulk. I have redone quite a few old caulk joints and have never had problems with mildew on the new caulk when it was cleaned properly.
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I'll agree with this. The caulk will have more give as the tub flexes along the tub/tile joint. If the gap is large in places, use grout backing to fill.
Some caulks are mildew resistant. I've had good experience with Polyseamseal. It's an adhesive grout and can be suitable for tile/sinks/tubs.
--
charls

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On Apr 25, 6:07 pm, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop) wrote:

Thanks to everyone for the advise. I ended up going with Polyseamseal Ultra caulk (with the Bioguard additive for mildew resistance), which was pretty easy to work with, is nice and flexible, and hopefully won't be a nightmare to remove if I need to. I followed the instructions on how to use masking tape to get a good clean bead, which worked pretty well for the most part. All in all, I'd say it could have been worse for my first time. The only really bad part was getting all that old caulk/grout/whatever-it-was out of there. I'll be repeating the process on one of my other tubs this week. Hopefully things will go as smoothly or better.
Thanks again.
Dave
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headware wrote:

Instead of using the tape try this. apply caulk as you normally do. Wet your index finger and skim it along the caulk line, once you have pushed caulk in place. Wet a grout sponge and ring all excess water out of it so its damp. Use the rounded side of sponge and skim it along the caulk again, you can use a little force when doing this. The result is a perfect caulk line, specially in corners. Just make sure you keep the sponge clean and not to wet. And don't mess with it till its dry. "This only works with water clean up caulk. The other stuff only ends up making a mess.
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