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Unread 05-22-2021, 05:28 PM   #1
95viper
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Grout or caulk iron door

Hello experts,

I built a wine cellar and am grouting the limestone. 3/8” joints, limestone varies 1” to 1 1/2” thick, chiseled face. 4” x 4-8” size stone. I am using c-cure sanded grout. One wall has an 8’ arched top iron door. There is an even 3/8” gap all around the iron frame that the stone goes up to. Wall is 2x4 framing, closed foam insulation, 5/8” drywall inside, 1/2” cement board outside. Inside of cellar will be constant 55 degrees and exterior is anywhere between 75 and 77 degrees.

Should I worry about the grout cracking against the iron and use caulk instead? I read how people have cracking on countertop edges or tub edges with grout so wondering if the same is applicable here.

If I can figure out how to attach a pic I will.

Thanks!!
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Unread 05-22-2021, 05:34 PM   #2
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Name:  CB482BAE-B73C-4BF1-AD6F-63041CB22363.jpeg
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Unread 05-22-2021, 06:10 PM   #3
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Welcome, Viper.

That's a fairly big joint to grout and an even bigger joint to caulk. Technically you would want a flexible sealant between those dissimilar materials. And you can get such products that match the color and texture of your grout these days. You'd need to check with the sealant manufacturer to see if their product is recommended in gaps that size. For sure you'd want to use a backer rod in the joint before caulking.

Or you could simply grout the joint and accept the inevitable cracking as "character."

I would also recommend a different grout. That C-Cure grout doesn't even meet the standard (ANSI A118.7) for the more current polymer modified cementitious grouts. I could find no information on that grout at all except that it's made locally (don't know who makes it) and meets A118.6. There are a good many grouts available with newer formulations and specifications indicating they can be used in grout joints the size you have.

Interesting project. You do recognize that you're likely to be somewhat older by the time you finish grouting that, yes?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-22-2021, 07:29 PM   #4
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Thank you CX.

First thing is that is very disappointing news about the grout ansi rating. I went to the top professional mortar and building supply store in Phoenix and asked for the best grout. I’ll take a pic of the bag.

Nevertheless I have no option now. I worked on it 6 hours today and am 90% finished on the left wall. I have to keep going with what I have. They do sell a matching sanded caulk to their grout. I will have to debate tonight if I want to order it and I am the worlds worst caulker so I just wonder how many tubes I will need to fill a 3/8” joint, backer rod in to reduce depth. The door is 8 feet tall x 30” wide so that’s about 19 linear feet x 3/8”.
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Unread 05-22-2021, 07:32 PM   #5
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Adding pic
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Unread 05-23-2021, 12:47 PM   #6
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My thought this morning is to caulk. I also have mahogany bins inside that are mounted inside a frame/cabinet with the stone. Will need to caulk there too.

So I could use backer rod to get depth to about 1/2” and try to fill this 3/8” gap...or I could insert a 1/8” shim next to iron, grout up to it, remove and caulk. Challenge would be how to get a shim/spacer for the arch.
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Unread 05-23-2021, 12:50 PM   #7
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Something like this pic if you can see that I inserted a steel ruler
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Unread 05-23-2021, 06:03 PM   #8
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Nothing wrong with an A118.6 grout, Viper, but you'll usually find a modified grout easier to use and there are some that are far more color consistent and less likely to wash-out with the cleanup.

Not sure what you're trying to accomplish with your ruler example. What would the purpose be?

As for your caulking depth, here is what a perfect caulked joint would look like. You'd want to get as close to that as you can.

Name:  Caulking Bead.jpg
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My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-23-2021, 07:39 PM   #9
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Thanks again CX,

The purpose of the 1/8” wide steel ruler is to reduce the amount of caulk needed in the gap. I would fill the void with grout and the ruler, remove the ruler and have 1/8” left to caulk. This is only due to the fact that I suck at caulking anything in my life and have done it a lot. I just caulked the mahogany countertop inside the cellar that I custom made and routed the edges. That was as stressful as can be so I used tape and it ended up being perfect.

I can scrap this idea and do what your picture shows if 3/8” wide caulk doesn’t seem absurd. I have no idea how to calculate how many tubes to buy though. I would need 20’ of 3/8” x 3/16” (2x1 in pic) and the bins are about 8’ each so 36’ total linear feet.
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Unread 05-23-2021, 08:22 PM   #10
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Manufacturer of the caulk will usually have a guide for that online.

These people will make you a color-matched sanded caulk to match your grout color. You might wanna give them a call about the 3/8ths" joint. Tell'em we sent you.

Or you could do the smaller gap you propose. Never tried that and it might be a problem finding something to bend around the top of the door.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-04-2021, 07:11 PM   #11
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Ok so I ended up taking two strips of rubber 1/16” and 1/8” and lined them against the iron. Then I grouted squeezing hard to fill the joint and the next day it was perfect. This worked great around the arch.

Took 5 bags of grout squeezing through a mortar bag. What a pia. Sure looks good though.
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