bathtub grouted not caulked

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by BrianZ, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. BrianZ

    BrianZ New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Mississippi
    We bought a newly built house. Just looked closer at the acrylic tub (not used yet) and saw that its grouted at the junction with the tile surround. I take it this will crack pretty soon? What next, caulk over the cracked grout?
  2. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Good eyeball Brian! When you Fill the tub full with water and let sit......youll find out how soon it will crack and crumble if its grout......Ideally you want to replace with 100% color match silicone in that change of plane. Same for vertical corners......Not caulk.
  3. BrianZ

    BrianZ New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Thanks Redshoe. By 'replace' I take it you mean rip and scrape out the grout? Vertical corners..you mean both corners of the entire tile enclosure or just the edges where the tub meets tile?
  4. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Minnesota
    If you Can go ahead and carefully scrape it out and replace with 100% silicone at all changes of plane(yes vertical corneres are a change of plane. This means 3 walls at tubdeck and 2 corners vertically? This allows for flex and movement as well as waterproofs these concerned areas.!
  5. BrianZ

    BrianZ New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Mississippi
    So you would recommend redoing even the corners where tile meets tile?
  6. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I would have never grouted those corners period!

    Its your choice to leave as is or at minimum you can apply a bead of silicone over the grouted corner.

    The concern is movement as in expansion contraction and cracking as well as constant water penetration thru the grouted corner
  7. BrianZ

    BrianZ New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Mississippi
    So would I just take a grout knife, attack the grout, then fill in with silicone? I guess I could then take some of the grout to the store to find matching silicone. There are several showers done the same way in the house, one of which has 16 changes of plane.
  8. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Minnesota
    !!! 16 changes wowzers. Brian its up to you whether you want to backtrack and attempt this. You could simply silicone over these areas and wait it out at your own risk. Every change of plane should have an expansion joint and it should be filled with silicone this is the standard or norm.

    You are past that point so you need to make a choice to backtrack or wait it out. I have seen grouted corners fail in weeks or days, ive also seen them last some amazing amounts of time. How much your home and tubs will shift i dont know. Either way we dont want water getting thru those areas.
  9. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Laticrete latasil comes in array of colors it is 100% silicone and antimicrobial ..... Grout removal tools and razor knives are good but being careful not to dig thru and into any possible waterproofing under your tile...... Enuf said! Good luck
    BrianZ likes this.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    Industry standards call for caulk at all changes of plane and materials...

    IF the surround is built properly, it should be water resistant prior to the installation of the tile (by no means does this always happen!). You could wait and see, the grout will probably crack, but it doesn't always. When it does, remove it and replace with caulk (unless you can get the builder to do it for you!). If the depth of the tile is fairly thick, consider using some foam backer rod before you install the caulk (1/4" or more). This forces the caulk into an hourglass shape that first, stretches better rather that pulling off of the tile edges like a solid rectangular block would, and second, ends up using less caulk in the process. The backer rod comes in various diameters to match the depth and height of the gap.
    BrianZ likes this.
  11. BrianZ

    BrianZ New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Ok, thanks. I'll put that on my list, and if it doesn't work, there's always the old acrylic enclosure solution.
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,704
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I grouted all the changes in plane in my bathroom. Except the tub to tile one.

    I laced the tiled corners to achieve a stronger inside corner.

    If it was me I would leave well enough alone and wait and see. If the grout cracks in six month it will be easier to remove then than it is now...
    BrianZ likes this.
  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,704
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Brian lots of the rules I imagine are in place because our homes are build so cheaply. Most times I see an inside corner at framing stage it might have 3-4 nails holding the two 2"x4"'s together.

    Then most GC use a drywall crew to hang the shower board.

    Then a tile crew comes in and bangs out the job with cheap non-modified thin-set or something else crappy like Versa Bond.

    My showers see, blocking, screws, nails, cement board, taped seams, high end thin-set and often laced corners. Four years later there is hardly a hair line showing....

    When you lace an inside corner with tile it is impossible for a crack to run up the wall in a straight line.
  14. BrianZ

    BrianZ New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I don't know if the tiles in mine are laced, probably not. But its good to hear grout can potentially hold up, and I'm happy to wait and see, as there are plenty of other jobs I have to take care of immediately in this house (starting with searching the forum for grout sealers).

    Also, I just tapped on the tub and found out its not acrylic but a more solid substance (it rings as if its metal, seems too thin to be cast iron - aluminum?). This seems like a good thing.... maybe the tile guy did know what he was doing?
  15. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,704
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Many clients hate the look of chalking everywhere. I know my clients do. I do everything I can to remove needles tile transitions and chalking joints from a shower build.

    Chaulk joints and tile edging pieces are crutches for a fast speedy install. Not necessarily the nicest to look at.
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