I’d use sanded caulk for porcelain and non sanded caulk on glass type tile. My favorite regular grout is currently laticrete’s permacolor select. It is cause by permanently damp conditions (like a shower), especially at the bottom of the tile wall, which is where the water drains to. It’ll leave scratches. I redid our laundry room!! Provided your waterproofing BEHIND the tile is properly tied into the tub so you have a fully waterproof transition from the wall down into the tub you don’t need to have anything there. Thank you, Ranada. That should do it, if it’s not sufficient the shower will let you know by doing the same thing wherever you need another one. I have been trying to decide what do do with the gap between the hardibacker (red guard applied) and the mud shower pan. It should not go all the way back to the substrate, it should only be as deep as the tile is thick (this is so that water can still run behind it.). Creating weep holes in your existing area creates a combination system even though you have a tiled floor. One of the most asked questions by do-it-yourselfer’s is whether they should use caulk or grout in the corners. Your walls and the framing of your shower must be absolutely rock solid. It’s not the technically proper way, but it does get the water to the drain and doesn’t trap it. GE All Purpose Silicone 1 10.1-oz Clear Silicone Caulk, GE Advanced Silicone 2 10.1-oz Clear Silicone Caulk, GE Advanced Silicone 2 10.1-oz White Silicone Caulk, DAP Alex Plus 10.1-oz White Paintable Latex Caulk, GE Advanced Silicone 2 2.8-oz Clear Silicone Caulk, DAP Alex Painter'S 10.1-oz White Paintable Latex Caulk, DAP Alex Plus 12-Pack 10.1-oz White Paintable Latex Caulk, DAP Dynaflex 230 10.1-oz White Paintable Latex Caulk, DAP Alex Fast Dry 10.1-oz White Paintable Latex Caulk, GE Tub and Tile Silicone 1 10.1-oz White Silicone Caulk, Link to Lowe's Home Improvement Home Page, Weakens in extreme temperatures or sunlight, Also called painters caulk or latex/acrylic caulk, Only some can be painted (check the label), More flexible and holds up to extreme temperatures and sunlight, Works for gaps that expand, contract or stay constant, Attaches two pieces together and fills gaps, Prevents cracking as surfaces expand and contract, Fills cracks in parking lots, driveways and other asphalt surfaces, Resists stains from gas, oil and de-icing salts, Can be exposed to water shortly after application, Seals separations around wires, pipes, HVAC ducts and vents, Used for chimney/fireplace or other framing gaps, Made of special material rated for its ability to block fire, Used around roof vents, gutters, flashing, downspouts and other metal joints, Seals leaks and cracks on stucco, mortar, stone, concrete and brick, Flexible, waterproof and mildew-resistant, Fills gaps on large joints (1/8 inch or bigger), Butt up to and match preexisting tile/sanded grout. I have used nearly everything for shelves. That would make it incorrectly installed. I plan on removing the thick grout around the window and replace it with 100% silicone caulk ONLY. I did speak with the original installer, who strongly asserts that the waterproofing was carefully done, stating that he extended the rubber liner base 8″ up the wall, and applied a liquid waterproofer over the durarock. it runs down the wall as normal, then hits some sort of barrier preventing it from running onto the floor, thus seeping into the grout and out. As far as the ‘dam’, you’re correct, that’s why you need weep holes. He grouted all changes in plane except for using a matching siliconized sanded acrylic caulk around the shower floor perimeter and in the niches. Our installer did not seal where tub meets tile/grout. Because latex and some silicone caulk will take paint, you can use white caulk and paint it to match any place you're using it. Latasil will work better, it’s silicone. Both grouts you’ve mentioned work well. It’s actually likely Serratia marcescens, which is a bacteria. I started my project at Target. Would like some sort of shelf. It’s not a gasket, it’s just so you don’t have to stuff so much caulk in there, it just takes up space. The first reason I consider to simply be regular maintenance and the latter is less of a problem since most major grout manufacturers sell matching caulk. I am currently using Laticrete permacolor select as my goto grout – it’s good stuff too. We have tried cleaning with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, bubbling bathroom cleaner and Clorox and it has not done the trick. Much has happened since I first posted my query. 3)there is sanded caulk and non sanded caulk – you can purchase to match your grout color. For certain projects, you may need a specialty caulk designed for a particular task. Caulk is used as a sealant for filling cracks or gaps around windows, doors, plumbing and pipes. The fourth is glass. 4)I like using caulk where all 90 degree corners meet another tile wall or ceiling. I don’t care what they say, construction always has wood somewhere that can move. It does an amazing job removing hair spray from tile also. I am new to running my own tiling business and want to use Spectralock 1 grout on all my jobs–it is a new Laticrete pre-mix with epoxy strength. Installer did not use silicone caulk at the change of planes–apparently grout vs. caulk at the corners is a subject of some debate (yes, I have been doing some internet reading) — but it appears the industry standard, and of course your valued opinion, would have been to use caulk. In addition to cartridges and tubes, you can also buy caulk strips. It is likely Serratia marcescens, which is a type of water-borne bacteria. The gaps are 3/16”. Great website by the way. Epoxy grout is bulletproof! So although extra care must be taken to properly use grout at your plane changes, the advantages for some people are worth the extra time. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Professional Tile Installation Contractor Fort Collins and all of Northern Colorado. Newsletter sign up. You can still make weep holes in those changes of plane. The water WILL get behind the tile. Regular acrylic caulk will lose it’s elasticity much faster than silicone will, which means it needs to be replaced sooner. I want to use it in change of plane as well to eliminate caulk from our showers. Would the wall that is having a leak be an interior wall? However if you install glass type tiles one needs a non sanded grout. But one sometimes chooses what the budget allows. It will not stay if the grout has no grout line to hold onto – if it is simply attempting to grab onto the face of the tiles at a 90 degree angle. I would put one about an inch from that corner (on either wall) and probably another on the opposite side of the shower by the other corner. Thank you. 4)I like using caulk where all 90 degree corners meet another tile wall or ceiling. Tile is 4×12 with 1/16″ joint. In a combination system (tile walls, acrylic or steel base) that is normally behind the wall tile and over the top of the base. So, even though the shower has hardly been used and it has been over a year since last use, we have suddenly developed pink grout! If you would like to understand more about the chemistry, manufacture, physical characteristics, and some tips for re-enforcing, coloring, dangers, and proper disposal, please read on. What you must understand about tile installation is no matter where you are installing the tile, it is always a structure that moves, no matter how minutely. I am using the Aquadefense to waterproof the entire shower. Thanks again. The discoloration is more noticeable on the very bottom row of tile l, where the tile meets the top of the tub & The bottom corner, but also, appearing along the very bottom row of tile where it meets the tub… The grout is a very light gray & the discoloration appears to be a reddish orange in color.. That’s why you waterproof the substrate behind the tile. I did not understand that water is meant to run behind the tile wall and under the tile floor to the drain, but this makes perfect sense since grout is porous (I did learn that sealing grout is not a waterproofing step). Some plumbers tell me caulk isn’t needed. There HAS to be something there preventing that. I have no knowledge regarding how your shower base was installed. Maybe while they are there you create the problem for them to observe? Thank you for the post on using caulk or grout in corners. In a sealed system (tiled floor as well) it is normally behind all the tile, but it still ends up at the drain. (the sanded vs. non-sanded actually doesn’t have anything to do with it.) Think of rubbing sand across glass. There is also a 4×1 transom window on one of the three tiled walls. I also am not sure even if we remove the grout, how caulking just that corner will look given that the grout and caulk have such different textures, but my husband’s first instinct is to keep it simple and repair the current problem and deal with any future problems as they arise. i.e. It is not your grout turning pink. If there is any movement the caulk is flexible enough to move with it and remain in place. As much as I love looking at pictures of my family while cooking I needed a solution to get things up and off the counter. Water running out of there is a fair indication that it is at least waterproofed behind that area. My installer will never work with this product again. Why are some pros so against epoxy in the corners? My least favorite base are the prefab fiberglass. My son told me all the cool kids are doin’ it! However, it is your comments about weep holes that has me concerned because this was not mentioned by the new contractor, and I do not see that any were created–the clear silicone was applied directly over the existing grout. The first time my husband (as advised by the contractor, who does not live locally) dug out the wet grout (Mapei, sanded), allowed the space to dry for several days, replaced the grout and let it cure for two days, then applied sealer and allowed it to dry for two more days. Thanks again for your help. As well my husband did a fair amount of YouTube video searches. It’s a bathtub/shower combo with porcelain tiles measuring 3×9 in size. If water were to run down the redgaurd, it would eventually hit caulking and have nowhere to go? Yes, you can. Unlike grout you are able to use caulk in a corner where tiles are butted against each other. A local company measured the space and mixed their formula for an exact fit shower base, I love these too. I just can’t sit still very long, so amazing friends, let me tell you what I did with that week! Or should I just caulk? Thank you. Any plane that changes direction is a change of plane. I’ve been seeing cracked grout issues, particularly along the edge where the floor tiles meet the wall tiles. There are several advantages to using caulk in corners and any other area where there may be a plane change or where tile meets another material such as your bathtub or sink. How do you keep grout out of the corners without the walls near the corner looking sloppy. If your caulk does crack out or need to be replaced it is easily done. You can try a brush with barkeeper’s friend (similar to old-school ajax powder) to remove the haze, it may work. If not, I would start making alot of calls asking around for a qualified plumber or construction/tile installer for a second opinion. I am grateful also that you have confirmed that the silicone caulking may exacerbate the underlying issue and that we need to ensure that any water that may get trapped behind the tile has a path to the drain, even if has to be above the floor. It’s normal. What about wall to wall (perpendicular to each other)? In my opinion the best window cleaner out is Sprayway. I like the idea to not have to worry about maintenance with grout until it starts cracking. In my second home we bought poly stone. (That’s the word on the street…), Help with all your tile needs (and extreme jackassery!). The good news is by day 3, no more water had seeped out and the grout now seems dry. Click to get the latest Buzzing content. Some tell me caulk is needed. Here are some of the main types of specialty caulks and their key features. That being the case, I will discuss using grout first. Everything I’m about to tell you is fixable easily. Also, after removing the cracked grout, do I need to clean the gap between the tiles with a mold remover or some cleaner and let it dry before caulking? Because the water in the wall NEEDS to have a path to the drain. Wood moves, it’s just a fact of life. Have you ever used those? There is grout between the window planes and the tiles throughout the window perimeter. With the right information, it can be an easy DIY project. These products offer the easy use of latex with the added durability of silicone. I have sealed all the grout, everywhere in the shower a couple weeks after we started using the shower everyday. I assume at least one on each wall, or perhaps two along the longer (~5 ft) wall (the opposing side is a knee wall w/a niche, and a glass door). Tiles start at the base of the bathtub & go up to the ceiling. Lowe's agreed to refund my money for the cost of the tiles if returned within 90 days of purchase. In my new construction home, we have a standing shower (tiled walls and floor). Using a larger cartridge (usually 9 to 11 ounces) with a caulk gun will result in a continuous bead of caulk. However, I am prepared to fix this myself eventually. However, I wonder how much it costs to fix cracked grout as you will need to repair it quickly to avoid water seeping through the cracks. It held for a couple of months and then happened again, so installer asked the plumber who installed the fixtures and pipes for the shower system to verify that the water was not coming from the plumbing or fixtures—all looks good. With no tools required, these mildew-resistant strips are perfect for sealing bathtubs, showers and wall trim, and can even be applied over existing caulk as a finishing touch. I’d still go with bull-nose tile for the baseboard in any wet (shower-bath) bathroom. It doesn’t matter if it cracks or not, neither grout nor silicone in the corner has anything to do with your waterproofing or preventing water from getting behind your tile – that WILL happen anyway. 1) you can not caulk or grout over existing grout. You seem pretty confident that epoxy will be okay in the corners. Industry standards state that a flexible material be used at all changes of plane. In your case water is unable to run from the wall to the floor – something is stopping it at the bottom of the wall. I would put them about an inch from each corner on the back wall and one on each side wall about an inch from the edge of the shower (inside the glass). Next post: Filling Grout Lines with More Grout. I let the solution stand on the tile & grout for 30 minutes and scrubbed for about 5 minutes. Click Above to have professional TileTips sent directly to your inbox. It’s simply cylindrical foam used to fill empty space before caulking. Would we risk our tile cracking over time? If I am understanding you correctly, by having silicone-caulked over the grout, this could actually make the situation worse by not allowing the water to drain from behind the tile walls, especially given that the entire floor perimeter has now been sealed. I do know that there was a protective waterproof barrier in the floor beneath the tiles. Hi Roger, I’m installing my first tile shower over an acrylic shower pan (Sterling) using 4×12 white tile. You gotta like my page. How it started It all started when I was out with my oldest looking for TV mounting hardware for his room at Best Buy on Black Friday weekend. When using silicone caulk that can't be painted, choose the color that most closely matches the surrounding area, or select clear caulk for an unobtrusive look. By taking proper precautions you can minimize the movement, but it’s still gonna move. Best HD/Lowe’s grout suggestion for those and I think I’m set. If it does not have a specific method to get into the drain it will build up behind that wall tile (unless the shower is not used often enough, in which case it will dry out through the grout lines, similar to your initial issue) or it will find another route out of the wall. The tile will drop down to within 1/8 inch of the pan. if you are unfortunate to have a base issue and have to replace it. I want to use caulk, but thought you had to grout underneath, oops. Paint won’t stick to silicone caulk and most polyurethane caulkings. Given the above parameters I believe caulk to always be the best choice. What do you use for the bottom of the niche? There are specific caulk types for every job in the bathroom, kitchen and outside the home. For smaller projects, a smaller squeeze tube (usually 3 to 6 ounces) may be a more convenient choice. More likely, however, the biggest issue is that the water behind the tile (completely normal) drains to the bottom of the wall and has no way to escape into the tub. The nuclear option is to remove the bottom row of tile, figure out what the hell is preventing the water from reaching the floor, remove it and rebuild it correctly. Any suggestions? All the cool kids are doin’ it. Although it is not flexible it will grab the tile well enough to prevent it from splitting or cracking out. They are fast setting and you can get into trouble with them. But to get a good looking job you really need to hire a pro who will use thin-set mortar to attach it to the walls, make angle cuts with a wet saw, caulk the top and bottom with a nice small bead of silicone, and grout the joints with “sandless grout”. Fast forward now, to Feb 2021 when I realized that it may not be covered under warranty because fine print (the crack needs to be a certain size). Previous post: How Large Should Grout Lines Be? Choose a caulk gun that'll accommodate the type of caulk tube you'll use. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted. First, thus far we have seen no evidence in the crawl space that water is leaking into the framing. Can I silicone the next day. We live in CA (earthquakes)… is epoxying change in planes, corners, etc. I use 0000 grade steelwool to clean water stains on doors. My question: Can the caulk (GE Silicone II) be applied over this haze/will it adhere and be an ok seal? I’d use sanded caulk for porcelain and non sanded caulk on glass type tile. I’m confused. This haze is proving extremely difficult to remove, especially because it’s on marble and acids are a no-no. We were fortunate when we were just learning we had a gentleman who owned his own tile company later selling it to a son. Finally, I watched the video by laticrete on how to install the latasil and they were using some type of “gasket” in the changes of plane prior to the latasil. Polyurethane caulkings must be primed before painting, oil base primer. In that case the water would run behind the tile down the wall and onto the floor (also under the tile) and into the weep holes in the drain (which are a standard part of the drain). Thank you for all of your help. Link to Lowe's Home Improvement Home Page Lowe's Credit Cards Order ... For caulking around sinks, tubs, showers, countertops and ceramic tile floors. Also do I caulk/silicone changes of plane before grouting or vice versa? If your wall moves your grout will eventually crack – it’s that simple. If one tiled surface meets another at a different angle, it should be caulked or siliconed. When applied properly, it can prevent water, bugs or air from entering your home. Second question is the debate on whether to caulk or grout the gap between the wall tile and shower floor tile. 1. We’ve written several articles about basement insulation and a cost effective approach to basement insulation using foam board and fiberglass insulation.Since writing those articles we’ve received quite a few questions about when to use a basement vapor barrier and when not to. As to whether or not it’s needed: Caulk or silicone is not TECHNICALLY needed, as it doesn’t do anything in regards to waterproofing. Yes it will bond, yes it will be okay. These rolls come with adhesive backing and a fast, no-mess application. Morphological leveling. The thresholds work well, you can ‘polish’ the edge of the threshold by coating it with an enhancing sealer, or sanding it (orbital or vibrating sander) with progressive grits up to about 2000 or so, the shine will match the finished surface. You can practice on a piece of cardboard or a tucked-away area before tackling visible projects. We suspect that the grout is cracking due to movement (the shower is installed in a bathroom bump out and over a crawl space, and against two exterior walls—though they were reframed and well insulated during the remodel). Precautions must still be taken but the Epoxy is strong enough to withstand normal structural movement. Question: can we put silicone caulk over these areas to cover pink without causing further issues? Another type of concrete caulk you'll encounter is called self-leveling caulk. Caulk and silicone allow for this movement – grout does not. The only two disadvantages to using caulk instead of grout are that you need to periodically remove and replace the caulk and, depending on your choice of grout, you may not be able to find a caulk that matches exactly. Can you clarify exactly where we should cut these weep holes (I assume along the floor) and how many? Thoughts on which option is better? You will need to remove the old grout. The second test used 1 cup of OxiClean added to 1 gallon of hot water. The rest of the shower walls are white subway tile. Quikrete Fast-Setting Self-Leveling Floor Resurfacer is a self-finishing interior floor topping and underlayment specially formulated to produce smooth surfaces ready for the installation of ceramic tile, resilient flooring or other finishes. This produced somewhat cleaner grout but the tile didn’t look any better. Was leaning towards the Mapei Flexcolor CQ or Fusion Pro. The orange discoloration is mold. I just cleaned my shower and I do not have any soaps or shampoos that are that color… I am sick to my stomach about this, as we recently had it done in June of this year.. Do you have any suggestions that I may be able to pass along to the contractor to correct this if an issue?? It simply isn’t draining the way it should. We moved into the house in August 2020. Our tile are over kerdi membrane, shower pan, ditra (on top or drywall / wonderboard). The space between the tiles at the change of plane must be large enough (for sanded grout) or small enough (for non-sanded grout) to be able to support the grout. It comes in rolls and is used most often for weatherstripping windows and doors. I am going to use either latasil or laticrete premium acrylic caulk for the changes of plane. There must be a grout line at the changes of plane. The easiest solution is to dig out a weep hole in the grout at the bottom of that corner. 3)there is sanded caulk and non sanded caulk – you can purchase to match your grout color. I don’t go out to stores much … When using silicone caulk that can't be painted, choose the color that most closely matches the surrounding area, or select clear caulk for an unobtrusive look. You want to use silicone. Is that ok? Zep grout whitener is a great product. Yes, spectralock pro is my favorite epoxy grout. Normally prime first then caulk, but it can be done before the caulking. The instructions for this caulk specifically state it is for use in “predominantly dry areas”– and so I am mystified why it would be considered appropriate for a shower vs. using a matching silicone caulk. Recently I was fortunate enough to have my dream bathroom become a reality.. We hired a licensed contractor do the work. It’ll be fun. 2) Regarding the change of plans, can I still leave a gap of 1/8 inch at the corner tiles and fill with 100% white silicone (grout will be white) or do you recommend a butt joint? It a foam so it has time to work rather than just run off. In our first home I chose a solid onyx base-loved it, fantastically solid. As a side note, I can say that the clear silicone caulk stands out against the matte shower tile, and so the aesthetic is not nearly as nice as the sanded caulk. Really. OK, maybe it’s not bulletproof but you can hit it with a hammer a couple of times before it chips. It is commonly referred to as ‘pink mold’. Trying to stay away from epoxy grout. Many professionals simply grout that corner as they do any other space between the tiles. 2. Here, also I have noticed cracked grout around the window. So again, my husband repeated his repair process. The idea of removing the grout at all joints to replace with silicone caulk seems extreme (though I do realize that we should be prepared to experience grout cracking in other parts of the shower over time). Hi Roger, I plan on using epoxy grout in my shower and bathroom and I’m hoping to not have to use caulk. Whether you have drywall, backerboard, or a membrane, if you go far enough behind the tile, you’ll find wood. But is it okay to do this? There are a couple of things that must be taken into consideration before choosing this method. Do you grout everything, including the corners, then go back and scrap out the grout in the corners, then apply silicone? I left 1/8” clean cut space between the tub and walls , can I leave this space open (no caulk) just the outside ends ? How much time do you think I have before I may have any or more damage than today? If that is something I need to use… Then what is it? I hope you find a good solution. It can also be caused by hard water deposits. Prices, Promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Also, how soon after grouting can I silicone? Grout is a cement-based product and as such is not meant to flex. Reply. Because latex and some silicone caulk will take paint, you can use white caulk and paint it to match any place you're using it. These small tubes are good for easy touch-ups around the house such as sealing shower tile or the kitchen sink. Here’s how to fix it: Locations of weep holes in showers, Click here to get an instruction manual for your waterproofing installation. 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