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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Grout vs Caulk vs Both

    I just recently had my tub surround and bathroom floor retiled. The contractor used grout on all seams including at the tub and 90 degree joints. Now I read that these joints should be caulked to allow for expansion. To compound my confusion, the tile supplier says that I should caulk over the grout in those joints.

    Who should I believe? Am I going to have to tear out all that grout and caulk? Will caulking over it work? Or did the contractor do right by me? Please don't give me a fourth option or my head might explode!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Grout vs Caulk vs Both

    Grouting is fine, but any directional change will naturally crack, hence the need for caulk. The vertical corners of the surround and the transition between the tub and tile surround as well as tub and floor should be caulked.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Casper, Wyoming
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Grout vs Caulk vs Both

    Caulking over it should be fine.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Grout vs Caulk vs Both

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Grouting is fine, but any directional change will naturally crack, hence the need for caulk. The vertical corners of the surround and the transition between the tub and tile surround as well as tub and floor should be caulked.
    So will it work to caulk over these areas that have already been grouted?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Grout vs Caulk vs Both

    Yes. I've not seen a tile installation yet that doesn't have grout in corners and tub/wall joint, it would be nearly impossible to prevent it. Caulking corners is not generally a problem, apply a small bead and lay it off with a wet finger. Caulking the tub/wall joint can be more problematic if there is any moisture already in the gap because this moisture will not let latex caulk cure and it will wash the caulking out. If you suspect moisture, lay a piece of toilet paper into the gap, if it wicks wet, don't caulk until the gap dries out. If the TP stays dry, go ahead and caulk.

    Use a latex tub/tile caulk. Latex is water clean up and easier to use than silicone. It has the added benefit of being removable when it fails and you can recaulk without problems. Silicone, on the other hand, is very difficult to apply without making a huge mess. More over, when it fails, it's very difficult to remove and even when you do get it off, there will be a residue left behind that will affect the adhesion of new caulk.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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