I have a 2 year old shower that is ceramic tile on the floors & on
the walls. It is grouted where the wall tiles meet the floor tiles. The
grout on two of these wall/floor areas is cracking where the grout meets
the tile (both the wall tile & the floor tile). How to I repair this.
Remove old grout & then caulk? Can I just caulk over the grout that is
pulling from the tile? Put clear silicone caulk over the cracking areas?
Regrout this area?
Please HELP !!!
Gotta call you on that one. The caulk will stick, but it won't be
long lasting and it won't be gua-ran-teed to be 100% waterproof.
It's not all that much work to remove the old grout and clean out the
joint. Do it right, do it once.
You're not arguing with me, you're arguing with the physical
properties of caulk. Caulk won't stretch in every direction equally
regardless of area of adhesion and thickness. Unless you control the
joint width and depth, and insure that the narrow dimension is normal
to the direction that the joint will move, the caulk will fail.
Murphy's Law requires it to fail in a way that is most unfavorable to
your desired outcome - waterproofing.
Some people just goober on the caulk right over the grout and bridge
the joint. That may work for a while, but it's a non-starter if you
want the job to last and don't want the caulk job to yell out,
"Amateur!" Caulked joints should be almost indistinguishable from a
grout line - uniform along it's length, color matched, and as close to
the standard grout line width as possible.
It's pretty unlikely to find a corner joint with tile where the gap is
as fine and even as a grout joint...and stretching is only minimal;
consider how wide the fine crack is if the joint is grouted. We're not
talking about trampolines.
Look at any of my tile jobs and you'll see they're all like that. It
takes longer, but I'm only doing it once. But it doesn't matter how
big the gap is, within reason, it matters how you approach caulking
the joint. Filling the joint, or attempting to bridge it, without
taking into account the caulk bead depth and dimensions is a surefire
recipe for failure.
The water we have around here does not discriminate based on the size
of the gap. If there's a gap, the water will enter it. It's a
As far as the amount of stretch - that's exactly the point. You don't
fight the material, you work with it. The caulk should be adhered at
both sides and the caulk thinner in the middle so it'll stretch the
way it is supposed to and not pull the caulk away from the tile on one
Different ways to caulk correctly:
This is all well established caulking practice. You appear to be
saying "it doesn't matter", but it does. A slow leak is not better
than a fast one. A big gap/leak will show up more quickly and is less
likely to do extensive damage. A small gap/leak can go undetected for
years, and then when it is finally discovered it is never good.
Reframing and mold remediation are the usual outcomes.
On Saturday, 5 November 2011 05:31:52 UTC+10, HelpMe wrote:
Want to know the bad news? Because no one else is saying it.
OK, I have long experience with shower areas in Austalia at least, and
the vast majority of wall/floor joints are grouted.
This is because of longevity.
If you put caulk there, it won't last. Neither will silicone, and if silicone is smeared on it will end up looking like a permanent steak of dirt
after accumulating shower grime for years, it will be the only thing you can't clean.
Your best bet is to simply rub some more grout in there.
If you have a lot of movement in the house, you might want to try a flexible grout additive.
If you want it to last 100 years try an epoxy grout.
All of these solutions (caulk, grout & silicone) are presuming that the original gap was 2mm to 3mm between the floor and wall.
So that's my advice.
Whatever you put in, be prepared to replace it.
But I like grout.
(PS. porosity is not an issue with an underlying waterproofing membrane and
the appropriate angle of drainage.)
Thanks for this info. Same situation here. I put silicone caulk on a
few years ago and sealed the crack but looks bad, like you said.
What's a good way to remove the old caulk? Is it necessary to try and
scrape out the caulk that's inside the cracks?
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