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Unread 02-24-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
sugarsugar
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Caulk/grout repair - patch job or the whole thing?

Hi there,

I need to repair some cracked caulk and grout in my Mom's shower. It's a problem basically just in the corners and a few tiles in the floor. My question is do I need to do all of it, or can I just replace the caulk/grout where it's cracked? For instance, in the corner the caulk is cracked for maybe six inches from the floor, otherwise it looks great - do I need to remove and replace the caulk all the way up to the top of the shower, or would it be ok to just do those six inches?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Unread 02-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #2
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I always remove everything that is cracked or looks old. If there is some grout that is solid, sometimes I'll scrape it down so when I recaulk the entire thing it looks uniform.
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Unread 02-24-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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Sally,

Inside corners are best caulked with 100% silicone caulk. You can use the off the shelf colors from the hardware store or get perfect grout color matched silicone from our friends at Color Rite Inc.
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Unread 02-24-2013, 05:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys! I seem to be in a bit of a pickle now. We bought this Dap Kwik Seal Plus from Home Depot, and I checked the reviews after seeing your recommendation and see it fairs poorly on Amazon. I went to the ColorRite site but I'm confused about what to select from the product directory. I would've thought it would fall into "Bath Fixtures" or "Grouts" but I didn't know what to select next. I'd actually prefer to pick something up locally at a place like Home Depot or Lowes since I'd like to take care of this ASAP. My Mom needs to take a shower.

Any caulk recommendations that I might find locally?
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Unread 02-24-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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go to your local big box and 100% silicone in the color of your choice.
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Unread 02-24-2013, 06:29 PM   #6
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If you have a Dal Tile near you or any other tile supply store, they might have it. I agree with the 100% silicone. It doesn't clean up with water so you'll need to tape off the joints to avoid a mess. It will last much longer and is the best product for what you're doing.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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Repairing caulk/grout - what now?

So I started removing the grout that was in the corners of my shower. A couple of things I need some advice about. First off there's a loose tile that popped out.

I discovered that it is actually a bit damp behind this tile. That lower grey area was damp and felt like plastic material.

How do I fix this? What materials would I need? Right now I've got the 100% silicone caulk and a bag of grout - what do I need to get this tile back in place? I'm so frustrated with the state of this shower and we don't have the money to get this completely redone, so I need to figure out how to just fix this quick.

Second, take a look at the area where I removed the grout at the floor joint. Notice that there's still some jagged bits of grout still stuck to the wall - is that ok or do I need to remove it completely?

Lastly, I was planning on sealing all of these corner and floor joints with caulk, is that correct? (And would it be a problem having that bit of jagged grout still there if I'm using caulk?) I'm a little concerned about the size of the gap in some areas. In one place it's 3/8 of an inch - is that too much to caulk? Should I use grout instead? From what I've read, I thought you were supposed to caulk anywhere two planes meet. Why did they grout it in the first place then? Am I wrong about caulking at the joints?

Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can give!
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Unread 03-01-2013, 05:59 PM   #8
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Oh and i forgot, one of these big wall tiles is cracked - is there a way to repair that, or do I need a whole new tile? This shower is nothing but problems.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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Welcome, Sally.

It'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered.

The gray material appears to be a PVC liner and it being damp is perfectly acceptable. That's your shower pan and its job is to catch and direct water to your shower drain.

If you have a moisture barrier behind your wallboard and If your wallboard is a cementitious type board, having dampness there would be normal. I'd like to see you scrape the surface of the wallboard that we see at the bottom of your photo where you've removed the tile and see if you, or we, can determine just what the material is.

I'm also concerned with the appearance of the bonding material that is no longer holding your tile on the wall. It appears that it might be removing a paper surface from your wallboard. Can you determine if that's actually the case?
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Unread 03-01-2013, 08:56 PM   #10
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It looks like mastic over greenboard

Can you remove the escutcheon plate at the valve and take a picture at a sharp angle like this?
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Unread 03-02-2013, 03:23 PM   #11
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cx, sorry for not placing this in the right place. Apologies!

Ok, in case it wasn't obvious, I'd like to preface my situation with the following, let's pretend I'm dumb...then stop pretending. At least in regards to tile work I am an complete ignoramus, so forgive me if I don't know what the heck you're talking about. I'm assuming that the wallboard you're talking about is the cracked up mess you can see in the pictures below. You'll notice in two of the pictures I've scratched a bit like you asked. I have no idea what this material is. As far as your concern about the paper surface peeling from the wallboard, well, if indeed that cracked up mess is "wallboard" then I'd say yes, that's happening at least for this tile. Taking a look at the pics, I'm seeing some frayed, torn edges on what looks to be paper - are you seeing that too? Maybe I'm seeing things.

I hope these pictures give you a closer look at the problem. If you'd like to see high res versions of these pics go here.

And Houston, mastic...greenboard?? Please read my prefacing comment above about my situation ...I've no idea. I took the picture you asked, but I'm not sure how much help it is, sorry.

Lastly, I can not tear out all the tile for this and redo it. Time and money are just not available. I need a quick fix for just this tile, or a SMALL number of the surrounding tiles. Please keep that in mind. The money( especially) just isn't there kids.
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Unread 03-02-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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Not a problem, Sally, that's why we have moderators on duty.

You've got a very serious problem there. You do, in fact, have tile set directly to gypsum board, as Paul guessed, with no form of water containment at all in those walls.

You can put that missing tile back on the wall very gently with any adhesive material you like. It's not gonna stay there very long anyway. Some construction adhesive might be the safest bet. Just shim it up so it stays in place until the pookey dries and then grout it very, very carefully. Caulking instead of grouting might be the safer idea. You'll be able to poke your hand through that wall very, very easily.

You'll want to be very careful about the walls in the shower until you save up enough money for a new shower. One person in there at a time, eh?

There's no real "fix" for what you've got. You really want to replace the whole shower at your first opportunity. Little hope that the pan might have been done correctly with walls done that way. Sorry.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-02-2013, 05:00 PM   #13
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This is so upsetting. This house is only six years old! And we've hardly used that shower! There are so many things that have gone wrong in this place I wish to heck we never bought it.

Well, construction adhesive - if I just go to Home Depot and tell them that, they'll help me right? Or do you have a brand in mind?

Just to be clear, considering my pickle you're suggesting to use caulk all around the tile, not just at the floor joint right? Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I don't need to screw this up any more than it already is.

I'm a bit concerned about trying to stick anything on that board since it's cracked to hell - what if it falls to pieces while trying to attach it? One way or another I'll let my Mom know not to touch the tile with a ten foot poll.

Also, what about my questions on caulking the floor joints and corners - am I right using caulk not grout for those, especially considering my situation? Also, taking a look at the last pic from my previous post, do I need to remove all of the grout from those tiles, or can I just caulk (or grout as the case may be) it as is?

Thanks so much everyone for your help! While I'm practically in tears over this, I feel a bit better have some advice, thanks!
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Unread 03-02-2013, 05:23 PM   #14
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1. My favorite construction is PL Premium from Dap. But it's really overkill for your purpose and you might be able to find small squeeze-tubes of something that will suffice. Go to the paint department and Homer may be able to direct you to the correct isle. I'm thinking one of the Liquid Nails varieties comes in a small tube. If all else fails, get a tube of PL Premium and a caulking gun if you don't have one. Every household should have one, anyway.

Be very, very careful in the replacing of the tile.

2. Yes. My thinking is that you'll be able to use a much lighter touch with the caulk than with the grout. You don't wanna be pushing on that area any more than absolutely necessary.

3. Just caulk those floor/wall joints as they are. You really don't wanna be jostling those lower tiles any more than absolutely necessary. Just caulk it and hope it holds together for another couple months while you save dinero.

Actually, there is no real need or benefit to caulking that joint at this point other than some possible short-term aesthetic improvement.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-02-2013, 05:30 PM   #15
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Alright, trying to stop my hyperventilation. I just checked this video here, and I'm freaking out. Is this what you're saying we're dealing with? Are you sure about the water protection because then what about the plastic sheeting that I felt, the grey area below the cracked board in the first pics I ever posted? Doesn't that offer some kind of protection? Sorry for my ignorance, I'm just trying to understand ... is it really THAT bad, like that video I linked to? Even if it is we literally do not have the cash for a new shower so....crap.

Thanks again! Sorry for my freaking out.
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