Shower grout & caulk question


Old 07-06-11, 12:26 PM
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Shower grout & caulk question

Hey folks,

I have a tile shower that has grout in all of the joints (as opposed to caulk along changes of plane). In most areas, the grout is doing just fine and I'm inclined to leave it (if it ain't broke...). But, along one edge between the floor & the wall, there is a sizeable space (bigger than a hairline, not big enough to put a dime in) between the tile & the grout.

I've noticed that this area takes a looooooong time to dry after a shower, which concerns me. I've tried re-sealing the grout, and it still gets wet and takes forever to dry (we're talking several hours).

I'm inclined to remove the grout from this joint and caulk it instead. Thoughts? I don't suppose I can just let it dry out really well and then caulk over the grout, can I?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 07-06-11, 12:33 PM
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I'd remove the grout and caulk - I think that will give a better looking finish than caulking over the grout.
Old 07-08-11, 05:30 AM
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I too have a shower with grout where the floor meets the wall. It was put in this way in a new house about 4 years ago but the change of plane area was starting to crack a bit due to house settling...

I went ahead and removed the grout (it was quite a job)... I'm ready to either regrout or use a matching colored sandable caulk. One guy I talked to again said he would definitely caulk this joint because the grout would just fail again over time and let water in.

Is this standard practice? Do most tilers just assume grout replacement at this joint after several years or do they just caulk it from the start? For a new house I can see grouting right from the start (for best appearance)...

Any recommendations for doing a good caulking job? I'm planning to use a "Bone" color-matched sanded Acrylic Caulk (made by "Mapei"). It is called "KeracaulkS" and it has "Bioblock" antimicrobial protection.

Will this caulk work well? It does a good job keeping things looking nice...

Any recomendations for working with this type of caulk to get good results?
Old 07-08-11, 07:36 AM
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I think you will find now with the availability of the sanded color tile caulking that it is used on all new installations where two surfaces meet. Shower corners, tub to tile seams, and tub to floor seams. If you want the caulk installation to look professional use blue masking tape and tape both sides of the seam first, leaving the small 1/4 inch or less gap between the tape edges. Smooth the caulk with a wet finger after applying the bead. Remove the tape and then make one more pass over it with a wet finger. The bead will be straight, even and consistent.
Old 07-08-11, 10:50 AM
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Thanks, mitch! I shall do as you recommend and remove grout before caulking.

Thank goodness for ye olde Rotozip. Best tool purchase, well... since the last tool I purchased.

Caveman - I'm no pro, having only used sanded caulk once in a different spot in this shower, but I found it really easy to handle. Much easier to work with than some other caulking applications I have done. What really worked for me was cutting the tip of the caulk dispenser so that it had a very small opening (maybe 1/8"), which let me control the flow easily and end up with clean lines.

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