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Old 08-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
plainjane129
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Tub tile trim nightmare

Hi. We recently moved into a house with one bathroom. Structurally all seems well. However, there is this unsightly tile trim (it seems like it's plastic?) that goes all away around the tub between the wall tile and tub. I'm including a photo. Nobody at Home Depot could tell me what it is, but after researching extensively online I'm inclined to call it quarterround - is that correct? Needless to say, it has mold growing behind the clear caulk and some pieces are cracked/have holes in them so it needs to be removed. HD told me to remove it and use a clear silicone caulk in its place. Any professional advice on what to do here?
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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Welcome, Bea.

Bad situation. Very likely the result of a poor wall tile installation and the need for something to cover an unsightly gap, but that's just a guess.

For sure the quarter-round has created a good place for the moisture that will end up at the bottom of the tile wall to collect in even larger quantities and feed that mold/mildew growth.

I would recommend removing the quarter-round, but I'd caution that you not be real excited about what you'll find behind there.

Might be a good time for a new tub surround, yes?

And perhaps even a new tub?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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My crystal ball says they used latex caulk which will mold. Removing the caulk with latex caulk remover will lead to removing the quarter round.

After the quarter round is removed post a picture as CX said.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Ok, hmmmm. That doesn't sound like the best news. Here I thought it would be an easy fix.

The bathroom - tub and wall tile, too - seems to be original to the house, which was built in 1960. So I don't know that there would be an unsightly gap. The quarterround looks newer than the tile. I'm not positive here, but I'm guessing. In which case, I am prepared to remove the caulk and quarter-round and am ready with some mold cleaner spray HD provided me with (apparently bleach doesn't kill mold, contrary to what I believed). I'm just nervous that once I get the caulk and quarterround removed and the underneath cleaned up, it might not be as simple as applying silicone caulk and calling it a day. Is this going to require the work of a professional??? Should I put my DIY tools away and just leave it alone?
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
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You're not gonna know until the quarter-round comes off, Bea. I would recommend you do that first.

If you really like it, you can put it back on there after you get it all cleaned up, eh?
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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I figured as much.

But it's our only tub and if I screw this up....we'll be in serious trouble.

The quarter-round on there now is total garbage. If I needed a replacement, where would I buy it? I showed a picture to the helpers at HD - before I knew what it was called - and they claimed to never have seen anything like that before. (???)
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #7
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Bea, if your shower is properly constructed, removing the quarter-round will make no difference at all in its usability.

While Homer may carry such trims, their "experts in the isle" are unlikely to even know that.

I would recommend you go to a real tile shop, preferably with a piece in hand.

I believe it is still called an A-104 or A106 (yours is the 106) and the tile store will know it as such. They might even have it in longer lengths if you prefer, but I think you can still find 4" and 6" in the standard colors.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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Ok, that's good news. I can handle that

Do you recommend replacing what I take off with new pieces or silicone caulk? What is the purpose of what's there now? Is it simply a cosmetic feature?
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:44 PM   #9
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I have seen many baths with trim similar to what you have here.
Typically put in with the belief that it will fix the problems that have been there due to caulking issues.
Home depot would have a ceramic equivalent in the tile aisle if that is the route you wish to go.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:08 PM   #10
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Bea, I'd also worry about tiles coming off the wall while removing the quarter round. It might be just a regular sheetrock wall back there and it's surely seen many years of moisture.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:11 PM   #11
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I Don't know Tom,
Around here if I see a pink tub and pink tile I am most likely to find mud walls.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #12
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Ok. So I shouldn't try to remove it, then?
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:01 PM   #13
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They are and after thought and not part of the original install.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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Take them down and show us what is under neath. If you have a well made tub surround, then all you may need to do is silicone the joint between the tub and the tile, no need to replace the quarter round. But we don't know that until we know what's underneath.
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