caulk problem

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by CherylS, May 29, 2012.

  1. CherylS

    CherylS New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Missouri
    Hi guys. Just had my shower tiled and I have a problem. I had bought silicone caulk to match my grout and when I told the contractor he said that was fine. Well, when he got to the point of caulking, after trying two tubes and about 30 minutes later he came to me and told me he couldn't work with the silicone caulk. He was used to using sanded caulk and just couldn't use the silicone.

    I had to special order the caulk, so in the meantime I cleaned the tile and dealed the grout.

    So, I special ordered the sanded caulk to match the grout and one of the guys came out the next week to caulk. They had not totally removed the silicone caulk and just caulked with the sanded right over it.

    Went in there today to clean the caulk off of the tile where it was smeared in places and sure enough...the caulk in the corners where the silicone caulk had been is peeling right off!

    Help!!! PLease advise.

    Thanks,
    Cheryl
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    RE: Caulk problem - proper prep is needed for Silicone Installations

    Sounds like you need a complete do over with the chaulking. Get the old stuff removed, the walls cleaned and then try again.

    Perhaps the silicone was out of date?

    JW
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,237
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Nothing sticks to cured silicone caulk.

    You have to remove every trace amount of the old silicone before applying new sanded caulking. Even the slightest film of silicone left on the surface will cause failure of the new material to adhere.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Nothing sticks to cured silicone caulk

    Unless it is "paintable" silicone, that is. You have found one reason why I seldom use silicone caulking, it is difficult to apply "neatly" and a real pain to clean up once it cures. Alcohol and a razor blade MAY remove the residual silicone.
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Using painters tape for neat caulking jobs. Avoiding the problem of smearing!

    In order to install silicone neatly in the showers we build we use painters tape on either side on the joint.

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    Silicone is in my opinion a far better option over anything that is water soluble. Most chaulkings do not hold up well in a wet environment.

    JW
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Silicone installation in Whistler, B.C.

    We did a road trip from North Vancouver to Whistler to spruce up our clients new Whistler Condo yesterday! We do love the road trips for work. The master en-suite toilet had be changed prior to my clients buying the condo and the plumber never bothered to silicone the toilet or remove the old residue from the last toilet. Needless to say it looked like shit so we cut back all the old silicone and prepped for some new.

    Silicone does not stick to a moist tile or toilet so we cleaned and dried things before applying the painters tape.

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    We use short lengths of tape and over lay them one over the other while we follow the curves of the toilet. I try and stay back an 1/8" from the toilets side so we get a bond to the tile when applying the silicone.

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    Once we run a bead of silicone we force it in and under the lip of the toilet. We wipe off as much as possible to a rag and then remove the painter's tape. This will left the silicone so we then re tool the silicone with our finger or thumb.

    We prepped the tub deck much the same way.

    JW
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Avoiding problems with your bathroom caulking - Silicone Toilet Installation

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    First pass with finger after tape is removed. You can see how the silicone flares out. This does not look the best so we rake it back closer to the toilet with our finger or thumb.

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    Wipe the excess off on a rag. Once that is done we press our finger or thumb hard to the floor and use the toilet as a guide to smooth out the silicone once again. Then with a clean rag we remove any excess from the floor.

    That's it.
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    [​IMG]

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    You will notice a lightening of the grout at the face of the tile. This same thing is happening all over the condo and I fear there is moisture problems on hand. I inspected the ceiling of the parking garage and found a lot of evidence of efflorescene there. This toilet can be leaking but I suspect the problem is higher up and coming from the condo above my clients. I noticed the grout at nearly 8' above grade is wet!!!

    Yesterday we completed the list from my clients. I will give them the "News" or my "Fears" once they have enjoyed the first weekend with the new Hot Tub.

    JW
  9. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I have found that if you remove the painters tape immediately after applying the silicone and tooling it in (with my wet finger), there is no need to re tool it again becase no ridge will form at the caulk edging, it will shrink flush in less than a minute or 2. comes out looking beautiful.

    I can't believe a tile guy does not know how to work with silicone and had to use an acrylic caulk. Well, yes I can, because I had somebody do a job for me and the same issue came up. He could tile OK, but needed latex caulk because he was too sloppy and unskilled for silicone. Kind of funny if it were not sad. is than an oxymoron? lol
  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Often the most visible blemishes the grouting or caulking are preformed by the least skilled or newest employee in a renovation crew. I always laugh at the Mike Holmes show when you see Mike doing the caulking or "Lip Stick and Masquara" as he calls it. But it's true.

    Doing a nice job of silicone takes time and practice. The tip of the caulking needs to be cut right and the tube pierce properly for good flow. These skills are learned over time and with practice.

    What flys on many jobs is a quick Caulking with a water based product like Dap, wiped with a sponge, bata bing, your done. Just don't add moisture and it will look OK.

    When getting pricing from your builder or tile crew the question of caulking should be discussed. Do you want caulking in the corners? On the vertical and horizontal or just the horizontal. Who will do it? What is the procedure? What is the product? Is it fresh product or old? Clear or colour matched?

    Do not leave this discussion to the last day or to the last guy on site. Detail it out. Specify the type and size of bead and make sure you have not paid your crew fully (keep your hold back until the work is done) until the job is done to completion, and meets the specification details you set in the beginning of the renovation.

    Asking the tile setter who will grout is an excellent question at the beginning of a sales call. If he says he will - hold him to it. If he says "Bill" or "My Son", ask him how long he has done this for. I can not tell yu how many jobs we see, we fix - where the tile was installed perfectly and the whole job ended up looking like shit because the kid grouted it....

    "Buyer Beware"

    JW
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