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Unread 01-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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should I caulk or leave "expansion joints" uncaulked

Hi everyone,

For tiled bathrooms, whish is best; to caulk where the ceramic tile meet the drywalls or leave uncaulked? The tile is 12 x24 thinsetted over 1/4 inch hardibacker over plywood.

My tile dude said he normaly leaves it uncaulked. But I am thinking caulking is better...

I am putting MDF moulding as my baseboards.

If caulking is best, what is the best caulk that I could buy today from a big box store.

Much appreciated!

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Unread 01-22-2012, 08:34 AM   #2
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Its dealers choice and I usually leave mine open. Don't make no difference. One could argue that a poor caulk selection could be worse if the caulk hardened over time, but we won't go there.

Leave them open and sleep well.

When installing MDF as base in a wet area, I prefer to primer the bottoms and back sides as well in case the terlit overflows or someone gets over zealous with a mop. A good oil based primer is my first choice such as Zinsser or Kilz.

For when DIY isn't such a good idea...
Houston TX area Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

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Unread 01-22-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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What Paul said about the MDF. Wet MDF is very bad. It will swell and deteriorate with repeated exposure to moisture, much worser than real wood.

Last edited by Pirate; 01-22-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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There are plastic/pvc/etc. non-wood base mouldings available. Painted, you'd never know they were not wood. These might be a better solution for you than MDF.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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In 2004 I got that non-wood stuff from HD to replace rotted bases of pillers by my front door. Repaired the rotted wood at the end of the pillars with wood expoxy. Made new bases with the non-wood and glued the pieces together and onto the repaired pillers with marine expoxy. Have done nothing since then. It's all as good as when I did it in 2004. I did not need to paint the non-wood because it was the same color of white as the wood pillers (which I did paint). It was very easy to work with. It is through and through white. It is paintable. If I ever need baseboard repair, replacement inside it is what I will use. Since it has survived in perfect condition through snow, rain, super-heat, I would expect it to be perfect in a bathroom.
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