That answer seems very logical, but having observed many bathrooms, it
seems that the usual practice is to use grout and it works fine. I
used grout along the steel tub when tiling my bathroom and it has
never cracked or separated. And it avoids the problems with caulk:
one, a good smooth caulk bead is hard to get for a DIYer, and two, it
seems no matter what kind you get it supports mold eventually. -- H
That depends. Caulk is flexible, which is good at the joint between
two dissimilar materials that may move differently. Grout, in my
experience, is good because it doesn't support mildew growth as much
as caulk does.
So if your bathtub is acrylic or steel, it will move too much for
grout, so use the caulk. If your bathtub is cast iron, which is
pretty rigid like your tile, you can use grout, and it will be easier
to clean. If it develops a few small cracks, you can seal those with
a very tiny amount of caulk--don't cover the surface of the grout with
caulk, or it will defeat the advantage of the grout.
Something flexible and mold resistant.
I use GE Silicone bathtub caulk. Make sure the cartridge is fresh - shelf
life is short, and the use-by date is on the base of the cartridge.
Also, if you haven't practiced applying silicone grout to a seam, do some
practice on a 90-degree inside corner of scrap.
You actually need only a fairly thin bead, but it should be finished flat,
using slant-cut nozzle, so it doesn't bulge out and look ropy.
If you choose your grout carefully, you can get silicon caulk to match the grout
color. On mine, the match is not exact, but it is close. The caulk is only
available for some of the grout colors, for some manufacturers. Talk to a good
tile shop for availablility in your area.
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