Tile Grout Question


A few years ago, I had ceramic tile installed in my house. In several places the grout is cracking where it meets the baseboards (it's fine everywhere else). I have tried regrouting those areas but they crack again. One solution I thought of it to find a caulk that's close in color to that of the grout and put the caulk in the cracks, being careful not to overdo it. But first I'd like to ask if anyone has other ideas. I realize that the ideal way to install the tile would have been to remove the baseboards first and then put the baseboards back on top of the tile, but that isn't how it was done. Thanks.
Ross
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wrote:

Perhaps you can add more water to the grout, make it more liquid and pour it on to fill these few areas.
-- Oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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Silicone caulk is probably the way to go. It sounds as if you already know caulking ain't as easy as it looks on tv. You might *drag* a credit card-sized piece of plastic dipped in water from the corners inward to smooth and remove any excess, followed by a wet finger, followed by a damp rag, followed by a wet finger, until you achieve the desired result.
Less is more, as long as the joint is filled. -----
- gpsman
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If all the cracks are close to the baseboard, I'd caulk them. Don't try a touch-up job ... caulk that joint continuously.
1/ Use a color that is as close to the grout as you can find. 2/ Use water-base caulk. 3/ Wet the joint with a damp rag, before caulking. 4/ Trim the joint with a wet finger after caulking. 5/ Wipe the joint with a wet rag as a last step.
Practice on one section. You can easily remove it with a wet rag and start over. If you are not good at these kinds of tasks, hire a handyman.
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Thanks. By "water-base" do you mean one without silicone (i.e., straight latex, painter's caulk)?

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The labels can be confusing. You have to read the whole thing (on the side of the tube). If it states water clean-up, you are good to go. Or, go to a decent paint store and ask for help.
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I don't guess you know what brand of grout you have. The grout in my new house has color matched caulks. Go on line and look.
I recommend you use a silicon based caulk, not 100% silicone. Regular caulk is porous and will stain after a couple years, the color will change as the dirt gets impregnated in it. If you can get a good steady run going with the caulk gun, don't even use your finger to smooth it out. Leave the pretty little bead there. A bead of caulk will rarely crack whereas when you smooth it out to a flat or concave surface, it will have more of a tendency to crack, especially if its outdoors.
The grout is not going to stick to the baseboard. I have the same problem in my shower. It has very nice shiny large tiles and they grouted the bottom where the fiberglas base and the tile meet, it's already cracking after 1 year. I will be shopping for the caulk myself.
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The area where my bathtub and ceramic tile meets have the same issue. We just opted to use clear silicone. Due to the weight of the water causing the tub to shift/expand a small crack does form at that joint. But I can clearly see the silicone coating is completely intact. Leaves me with some peace of mind. -ben
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Yeah, the old tile setter's "trick" is to fill the tub and sit on the tub edge while you caulk, and leave the water in there 24 hours. -----
- gpsman
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You could try installing shoe molding to cover the problem area.
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Ross Payne wrote:

from cracking. And I sure would not slap caulk on top of grout. We had baseboards and trim undercut prior to installing our 3 rooms of tile. When tiling was all done, I put paintable caulk around the joint, masking very carefully to keep caulk from oozing under the tape and onto the grout. You might be able to use a grout bit or small grinder the clean out the joint up to the baseboard, then caulk and repaint the baseboard.
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