Caulk/Grout question [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-25-2001, 10:50 AM
I was reading thread:

and I came away scratching my head. I am going to Caulk the inside corners of my Shower tile. Mr. Gobis said he Caulks before grouting. I assume he means, caulk the corners and then grout the rest of the joints. Not, caulk the corners and then grout over the caulk. That said, I was going to grout first and then caulk, but I like the idea of caulking first. It seems like it will be an easier way to go. Is that what you Pros do?



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09-25-2001, 11:05 AM
I just finished doing my shower walls and I think caulking first would be a good idea. I didn't do it and I think it would be less work by caulking it first. (you don't have to worry about keepng the joint clean if it is already filled with caulk)

But, it might create a better seal if you caulk afterwards. I don't really know.

Just my 2 cents as an DIY tile installer.

John Bridge
09-25-2001, 04:39 PM

I won't be able to say anything more that what was said on the other thread. Gobis is a pro, no question. So are a lot of the others around here. I think each of them has settled in on what they are comfortable with.

It goes back to the old saying about how many ways there are to skin a cat.

Of course, as an old Army veteran I remember the right way, the wrong way and the "Army way." I wouldn't recommend the Army way, though. It usually comes very close to "Rube's" way.

Bud Cline
09-25-2001, 04:57 PM
Caulking first is by far the better approach but for no good reason I can think of, I just like it.

The downside is that once that caulk is in place it needs to dry sufficiently before you can grout. In some environments this could take days. I normally grout first for this reason. But when I have plenty of time (days) I will caulk first.

The other side of this coin is that when grouting first, the grout must also be set thoroughly and even better dry before caulking. Caulk will not stick to wet grout. The grout will dry faster than the caulk so this makes grouting first prefferable for me in most cases.

Boy that oughta' clear it up for you, what's the next question?

09-25-2001, 08:56 PM
I think Dave applies the caulking first partly because he wants a soft movement joint.Technically the grouted inside corners will at some point crack or exert pressure on the tiles at the corners.This Dave feller runs an "Education Foundation" so he probably does it the "right" way.

I usually grout the inside corners of walls too.Sometimes I apply silicone over these joints.Great way to hide a poor cut...ooops...I've said too much.Hope Dave doesn't scold me at the seminar.

Rob Z
09-26-2001, 07:05 AM
Dano, Alex

To further confuse...I do the "right" thing and leave all corners and changes in plane free of grout, and fill with caulk. On the other hand, I have never seen a grouted corner that exerted stress on the tiles on the other side and caused a crack (the standard reason for doing it the "right" way) in the tiles.

The reason I do it the way I do is simply because that's the way I was taught, and (around here in VA, at least) they are throwing up houses so fast with wet lumber. I have been in houses that were almost brand new, and the grouted corners were already opened up as the lumber shrank. One house I went into last winter (to do repair work, after only a few months occupancy!) had 10 bathrooms....and in all ten, the grouted corners were already cracked!

Rob Z

Bud Cline
09-26-2001, 05:49 PM
I guess I failed to mention the inside corners always get caulk and not grout, as well as changes from tile to other types of materials. This is because of varying rates of contraction/expansion/movement in various materials..