Caulk & grout around a bathtub


  #1  
Old 02-06-04, 09:05 PM
SilverSping
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Question Caulk & grout around a bathtub

Hi,

I'm a first time homeowner just beginning to take his inital steps into the world of home improvement. The caulk around my bathtub was getting pretty dirty and it had several small cracks, so I decided to replace it. I bought the caulk, a caulking gun, and even a small tool to remove the old caulk. To my surprise the caulk was quite hard and very difficult to remove (unlike the pictures, which showed caulk coming off in great long pieces). Eventually I began to use a sharply pointed tool to remove the caulk, except that part of what I was removing appears to be grout (it's hard, a bit chalky). My question is, 'do I need to replace the grout that was in between the bottom tiles and the bathtub before I lay the caulk?' The gap between the tub and tile varies between 1/32" and 1/8" (estimate), and it would be very difficult (I think) to install grout into the smaller gaps (I've never applied grout before, either.) Is it necessary, since the caulk is supposed to provide a water tight seal? Finally, not all the grout is removed (some looks 'okay'); should I remove it all before placing grout or caulk?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

MQ
 

Last edited by SilverSping; 02-07-04 at 06:53 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-07-04, 06:26 PM
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MQ

Hello & welcome to the diy forums. The line between tile & tub should be caulk, that's how I do mine anyway. I'd get all of it out of the way and use the caulk. Make sure it's waterproof & approved for shower use. Good luck with the new house.
 
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Old 02-07-04, 08:46 PM
SilverSping
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awesomedell,

Thanks for the advice & the good tidings! I've removed all the old caulk and grout (a really difficult job, and I have my torn and worn hands to prove it) and have cleaned and smoothed the tub and tile as best I can. I will be using 100% silcone caulk, which should hold up to the water. Given that the gap between tub & tile varies between (approx.) 1/32"-1/16" on the small side and 1/4" on the large, what bead size would you recommend? Also, would you recommend using masking tape to define the caulking edges (which the manufacturer recommends) and if so how far from the gap should you tape, or would you apply it directly w/o the tape? My concern with the tape is that after removing the tape it would leave an edge on the caulk that could lift? Finally, is there a product (mechanical or chemical) that can loosen/remove old, hard, strongly bonded caulk, or is that always going to take good old fashioned elbow grease??? (I've got a lot of future caulking jobs to do.)

Thanks.


MQ
 

Last edited by SilverSping; 02-08-04 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 02-08-04, 09:29 AM
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Only time I mask anything off is when I'm spraying mud or paint, & then I let the helper do it.

Best to redo before it becomes so dried & shrunk up it's like mortar, usually when I'm into a bath remodel we're doing all new walls, tub, surround, the whole nine yards, so don't do much recaulking. Generally use either a grout saw or chisel, carefully. Good luck & let us know if you run into anymore snags.
 
  #5  
Old 02-09-04, 04:32 PM
SilverSping
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bathtub caulk-->follow-up

Hi Awesomedell,

Well, I went ahead and caulked my bathub. For the most part it went alright, except when I went over the caulk with my finger. The caulk bunched-up in some places, leaving a less than smooth finish. I can live with this, except that I noticed a couple of spots where the caulk/gap seal looks a little thin and maybe even slightly uncovered. My question is whether I can wait for the Silicone II caulk to dry and then go over those suspect spots with a little extra caulk? Can this be done? How would you go about doing this?

Thanks.


MQ
 
  #6  
Old 02-11-04, 08:25 AM
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Congrats on your new house.

Remember to wet your finger before using it to smooth out the caulk. This works better for me when I use Latex or Acrylic caulk then silicone caulk. But around a bathroom, I would use silicone caulk, like GE silicone II.

The best result I got was from a little gadget made by DAP and costs less than $2 at the HomeDept. It had what looks like a long fingernail. I followed the direction and it worked great.

Good luck.
 
  #7  
Old 02-28-04, 08:59 AM
dizzy
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Lightbulb

another tool to make chaulking smooth is a spoon, plastic works good and is disposable. I hate cleaning up!
 
 

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