I am having new ceramic tile installed on my shower/tub surround. The job
is being done well -- with cement backer board etc.
My question is about the 1/8-inch gap between the bottom of the ceramic tile
and the existing cast iron tub. Should that space be filled with grout and
then use 100% silicone caulk, or should there be no grout there and only use
100% silicone caulk?
Since your tub is cast iron, then grout is an option, and I would
recommend using grout only. I find that grout is much less likely to
mildew there than caulk. It may well crack in a few places over time,
in which case you can fill just the cracks with 100% silicone.
I've lived with all types of tub/wall seals and they were all crap but
for silicone caulk. If caulk is applied to an absolutely clean surface,
put on smooth, it won't have mildew problems. If there is soap buildup
or poor ventilation, it will get mildewy. Scrubbing Bubbles is great
for cleaning tile/tubs.
Corners where wall meets wall, floor or tub should be able to FLEX. The
thing about filling a tub prior to caulking is, I think, an urban
legend.....looks good on paper :o) If the tub moves, there is more of a
problem than caulk.
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