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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
miamicuse
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Outside corner inside a shower - grout or caulk?

I have a tiled recessed alcove inside my shower, therefore I have four outside corners and eight inside corners.

For inside corner joints I know I need to use caulk.

How about outside corner joints? Caulk or grout?

If it makes a difference, the outside corners are not made from two beveled edged tiles. But one tile edge is "finished", covering the unfinished edge of the adjoining tile.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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Change of planes are technically supposed to be caulked with a flexible sealant. 100% silicone is a good sealant and usually available in a variety of colors if you know where to look. Do you have a source for color matched 100% silicone?

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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:41 PM   #3
miamicuse
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Thanks, it's white grout so I think I can just use white silicone.

Since it's inside shower and I am in Miami the capitol of humidity and mold, what is the best mold proof silicone?
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Unread 08-17-2013, 05:20 AM   #4
chuck stevenson
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Hi MC,

I have been using Lexel instead of silicone for over 10 years.

http://www.sashco.com/hi/lexel.html

It seems to work well. Available in white or clear. It is paintable as well.
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Unread 08-17-2013, 07:13 AM   #5
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I don't know if it's the best, but GE Kitchen and Bath Silicone II has mold and mildew inhibitors in it. It's pretty good stuff.

http://www.caulkyourhome.com/ge-sili...n-and-bath.php
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Unread 08-17-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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We avoid all caulk inside a shower, unless it has been specifically called-out by a builder's Scope of Work. Before everyone jumps all over that statement, let me give the specifics of why:


1) We only do mud work, and one-coat method.
2) We only use exact match, latex/acrylic-based caulk from Colorfast.
3) We are a tile company specializing in custom, or semi-custom "tract" projects.

Latex/acrylic caulks have the unfortunate tendency to shrink and separate, specially in a wet environment. Silicone is a far superior caulk, but it does not "match" the look of the grout, specially sanded grout. We have found that we can't win in complaints about the caulk doesn't match the grout, and the "But I don't like it" means we are screwed because once silicone caulked, nothing else can be used without problems.

Mud showers don't crack in corners nearly as often or as badly as other methods. Chances are we will get through the year warranty without cracks. The showers I tiled in my home are now 10 years old. The master stall shower has cracked the grout at the pan/wall junction only. I have re-grouted it twice. The bath 2 tub surround was caulked at the tub from day one (always need caulk there). One corner has a 4" crack at the ceiling, otherwise no cracks. I re-caulked the tub once. In both, the tile/drywall junctions were grouted. No cracks.

This is my opinion only, backed from almost 4 decades of doing tile. I have limited experience with other install methods besides mud work. Other methods probably call for more need for caulk.



Worse scenario for grouting instead of caulking initially is that you will have to caulk later. All caulks will eventually need to be re-caulked. Why not discover where your shower needs caulk by the test of time? It's not as though cracks compromise the actual waterproofing, they are just un-sightly. Why not grout it all, and wait and see where you need caulk?

Just my 2 cents...
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Unread 02-20-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
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"Worse scenario for grouting instead of caulking initially is that you will have to caulk later. All caulks will eventually need to be re-caulked. Why not discover where your shower needs caulk by the test of time? It's not as though cracks compromise the actual waterproofing, they are just un-sightly. Why not grout it all, and wait and see where you need caulk?"
That sounds like a good idea. I am almost ready to start grouting on my first shower stall, (I did complete a tub surround last year) and so am pretty green at tiling. Anyway I was planning on using sanded color matched caulking for all inside corners, but some of my grout lines are over the 1/4 inches the grout co. recommends. Maybe I will grout it all and then caulk later if needed.
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Unread 02-20-2015, 04:26 PM   #8
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FWIW, for the grout in my remodel, I used a urethane grout from Bostik: TruColor.

I hate caulk and I hate that I might have to rip it out and replace it every 5 years or whatever. Caulk looks terrible...grout looks much nicer.

Bostik claims its urethane grouts are "flexible" but as to how much and should we be grouting change of planes with it, who knows...probably not.

So in my master bathroom remodel (see link below my sig), I had my tile guy grout EVERYTHING. There is zero caulk in my bathroom. If it cracks, I'll be on here letting y'all know it did. Or maybe I should say when it cracks, I'll revive my thread with the info and pics and the may begin!

However, the bath 2 tub surround (the tub flange) is one place where I disagree about caulking. That spot is the only place any moisture that may have gotten through to the waterproofing (be it plastic or Kerdi or whatever) can drain out.
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Unread 02-20-2015, 04:31 PM   #9
Brihen
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I wonder if I should use backer rod in some of the larger spaces? I did try to use some before along the tube and bottom row of tiles in my last project, but latter took it out and used just caulk because it always felt real soft and spongy.
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Unread 02-20-2015, 04:41 PM   #10
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You really wanna ask those questions on your project thread, Brihen, where folks can get some context for their responses. Asking similar questions on another visitor's old thread usually results in confusion in both places.
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Unread 01-18-2020, 11:36 PM   #11
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From the 2019 TCNA Handbook's EJ171 MOVEMENT JOINT GUIDELINES
FOR CERAMIC, GLASS, AND STONE
, the Location and Frequency of Joints section says

Quote:
Change of plane, exterior—movement joints required at
all inside and outside corners.

Change of plane, interior—movement joints required at
all inside corners.
Assuming that this shower is inside, then, inside corners alone require movement joints, so grout should be fine in your outside corners.
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Unread 01-19-2020, 06:51 AM   #12
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Maaaay wanna check the dates on the threads you're responding to, Tim.

Welcome aboard BTW!
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Unread 01-21-2020, 02:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Maaaay wanna check the dates on the threads you're responding to
I was well aware of this thread's date when I replied. I consumed it years later as I expect others will. The thread presents contrary advice, so I did my own research and arrived at a strong conclusion. It was a minor courtesy to present this strong conclusion with citation, and I found your response unwelcome and unwelcoming.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 07:37 AM   #14
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My apologies, Tim, no offence intended. We do, on occasion, have new members reply to old treads, sometimes very old threads, without realizing they're doing so. And, given the last line of your post;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim
Assuming that this shower is inside, then, inside corners alone require movement joints, so grout should be fine in your outside corners.
I hope you will grant me some leeway for believing you were replying directly to Brihen's question from 5 years ago.
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Unread 01-23-2020, 11:28 AM   #15
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Good work, Tim!
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