What to do about the small gap (which the flooring instructions say must
be left) where the flooring meets a ceramic-tiled wall. I'd rather not
install molding to cover the gap; how about using a mildew-resistant
caulking compound that remains flexible?
Vinyl tiles (as stated in the subject line). BUT now I see conflicting
instructions: the requirement to leave a gap came not from the tile
packaging itself but from two different DIY books -- and one says to
leave a 1/8" gap, while the other says to leave a 1/4" gap.
The tile packaging says nothing about leaving a gap at all -- even
though there is a gap between the underlayment and the walls all around.
I don't know about vinyl, per se, but floors and walls expand and
contract. Leaving a small gap is to keep rigid stuff from buckling or
cracking. You grout all the tile spaces, but use caulk at corners
(betw. walls/floor/ceiling) for the same reason. Caulk flexes, so it
won't crack or buckle. Caulk also helps contain spills and leaks. Not
long after we had liv/din rms tiled and new kitchen installed, we had a
major flood from broken washer hose. The caulking helped keep the water
from spreading into wall spaces and other rooms. Not a major issue if
you clean up the rest, of course, but you never know. When our water
heater began leaking (it is under corner cupboard in kitchen), it didn't
become evident until the water leaked out from under dishwasher, about
8' away...the floor is terazzo, but apparently has ever-so-slightly
uneven surface so the water flowed under the row of cabinets from hwh.
How wide is the gap? Is it even? Caulk would be my choice, same color
as the grout. In one home, we had clear silicone between wood baseboard
and flooring (tile, vinyl); it was fine except that with glossy surface
the clear was sometimes noticeable.
I put in caulk after we had some rooms tiled. Already had painted wood
baseboards and the caulk matches the baseboards. One post mentioned
problems with mildew - you should not have mildew on the floor unless
there are major ventilation or leak problems. Use painters tape when
you caulk and make sure to smooth the caulk with wet finger and it
should be fine - be extra careful with taping so caulk doesn't get under
the tape at the grout lines. Also, make sure the surfaces are
absolutely clean before caulking - a wipe with full strength bleach
beforehand should kill of any mildew that might be behind it.
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