Grout or caulk in corners of tiled shower?

Old 08-06-05, 05:58 PM
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Grout or caulk in corners of tiled shower?

When we moved into this house 8 years ago (it was new construction), the grout in the corners of our tile shower quickly developed cracks. Probably due to settling or just poor installation, I don't know. So I sawed out all the grout in the joints where the walls meet the floor and the walls meet each other, and caulked instead, figuring this would be more flexible than grout, therefore not crack again right away.

Fast-forward 8 years to now and the caulk is getting mildewey, so I'm in the process of removing it. I was going to recaulk, but FIL told us that grout would be better.

So, two questions:

1) caulk or grout?

2) if grout, sanded or unsanded? These are your typical bathroom tiles, 4" square or so, with 1/8" gaps. I'm fairly certain that what is there is unsanded (and all the other grout is still in fine shape). At places in the corners, though, the gaps do get bigger than 1/8". So should I go with sanded to be safe with the bigger gaps? Will that look ok with all the unsanded grout used everywhere else? Everything is white, if color makes a difference. Will any of it need to be sealed?

OK - since I'm already over 2 questions, one more - since it's just in the corners, can I just use my fingers to put it in, or do I need to use the corner of a float?

Thanks for any help!
Old 08-06-05, 07:35 PM
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I would recommend the caulk wherever the tile changes planes (no, not the airport ). Those areas are subject to seasonal movement like wood expansion and contraction or an outside wall that heats up and cools down dramatically from day to night and things like wind buffeting the side of the house. The house shakes or moves and the grout in the corners cracks.
Old 08-07-05, 08:33 AM
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In addition to what tileguybob said, silicone caulk will last longer than latex. However, eight years is a good long time. I wouldn't feel to bad about having to recaulk every eight years.

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