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Unread 02-07-2011, 01:35 AM   #1
henhowc
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Gap between tiles and tub

Hi All,

I recently removed most of the existing grout in the area between my bottom shower tiles and tub. The reason being, it appears that water was getting through the cracked/worn areas of the grout and reaching the walls.

Whether it be due to shifting or poorly cut tiles, the size of the gap seems almost too large and too deep to caulk. And if I'm supposed to grout instead how can I get the grout that deep into the gap? What should I do in the far edges outside of the tub where the tile, tub, wall would all touch to prevent water from leaking out. (hopefully that makes sense). I'd played around with foam backer rod but that doesn't seem like it would create the appropriate buffer.

As you can see I'm pretty much clueless. Hopefully I'm not FUBAR, really stressed about the whole thing now. Apologies in advance if I haven't done a very good job of describing the problem or using incorrect terminology. I'm embarrassed enough as is that my situation has even gotten to this point...

Have a painter waiting in the wings who says he can patch the walls, but I'm thinking that I need to fix the gap situation before I even deal with the walls?

Updated with images:
1st image is left side of tub
2nd image is right side.
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Last edited by henhowc; 02-07-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 05:19 AM   #2
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I tried to open your pictures, but couldn't. Can you up load them using our "Manage Attachments" option from your computer? Doing it that way saves your pictures to our database and the software auto-resizes them at the same time.

Grout is not appropriate for that joint. The weight of water and people in the tub causes movement that will make the grout break. Your description of the joint makes it sound like there is nothing behind the gap. Usually there is a flange or lip on the tub and the tile overlaps that lip. You should be able to pack some backerrod in there if that was the case. You may have to get a larger diameter rod and split it.

To close the width of the gap, you might consider getting some coordinating trim tiles and surface mounting them on the existing tile to close the gap. Some gap is necessary for the caulk, though. You can use a premium quality modified thinset to adhere the trim tiles to the old tiles. Scuffing the gloss off the old tiles will help the thinset bond.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
henhowc
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Hi Bob,

There is a flange/lip (not sure of the correct terminology) but when I try and pack the backer rod in there it seems to go up the backside of the tiling...hope I'm making some sense here...
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Unread 02-07-2011, 11:06 AM   #4
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Use the "Manage Attachments" option below the posting "Message" screen to upload us a picture of what your talking about.

This should help.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
There is a flange/lip (not sure of the correct terminology) but when I try and pack the backer rod in there it seems to go up the backside of the tiling...hope I'm making some sense here...
I think I understand what you are saying. Try using a thicker backerrod. You don't have to pack it tight against a stop, just slide it back there and let friction hold it in place. You can put two or more rows of backerrod in there until the combined friction of all the rows makes it unlikely for it to continue moving. The last row should be right at the back of the tile, or a little higher.
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Unread 02-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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Post updated with pics. Hopefully it helps. Also, any tips on silicone caulk removal? The seal between the frame and tub may also be the possible reason why water leaked through. I play on redoing that as well. Is the caulk softener gel they sell at places like Home Depot safe to get on the shower frame?
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Unread 02-08-2011, 02:50 AM   #7
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And what work order would be the most conductive based on the pics I have up? (so that I don't have to redo something)

I.e. caulk tub/tile join first, then patch, then re-caulk frame/tub?
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Unread 02-08-2011, 05:39 AM   #8
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Clean out the old caulk. Pack something temporary in there to allow you to patch the drywall, then stuff in the backer material, then caulk.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 12:38 AM   #9
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What kind of caulk is recommended for this type of work? Was just looking at both the DAP and Polyseam website and now I have a headache. Their descriptions sound all the same. I'm really concerned about a water tight seal due to the current condition of walls adjacent to the tub.

I kind of feel like all of the caulks are improperly labeled. Most of the stuff labeled kitchen and bath seem like they shouldn't go anywhere near a tub or shower. I wish they would differentiate between stuff like sinks and shower/tub surrounds. Having to redo something in a year or two is not something I want to do if it can be avoided.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 04:54 AM   #10
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Look for something that says 100% silicone caulk. It may not say bath and tub or sink and so-forth. All you want is silicone caulk, not latex or acrylic with silicone in it. Look for GE brand caulks. Ace hardware stocks them.
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Unread 04-16-2011, 04:19 PM   #11
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I've been slowly cleaning up the clear caulk between the shower doors and the tub. Looks like water was pooling inside there as there was a bit of mold on the caulk I was digging out from underneath the doors.

When I re-caulk is the correct method to caulk both the inside and outside of the door or only one side? Outside?
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Unread 04-17-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Caulk the outside of the door only. That way any water that gets in there can drain out to the pan.
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Unread 04-18-2011, 12:55 AM   #13
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Along with the tub/shower I'm also planning on re-caulking a separate standing shower that has gotten moldy as well. Is the general rule of thumb to only caulk the outside the frame, all the way around or does that only apply to the door?

Also, I've been having trouble with removing the tape after caulking. I followed all the tips about pulling it away from yourself and the joint but it always seems to lift the join up slightly at the edges. Any tips on what I'm doing wrong and how to avoid this?
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