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Old 12-30-2017, 10:06 PM   #1
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Found few small issues while re-caulking tub

Hello Friendly Forum People,

I have recently removed the caulk from the tub in the children's bathroom. It was moldy, cracked, and not applied very well in the first place. Removing the caulk wasn't too hard and is 98% done. The tub also had sliding glass doors that we decided to remove.

The house was built in the mid-late 1970s and I assume the tub and tile work is original to that time. The caulking can't have been that old, just a few years.

I have encountered a few issues that I need help deciding how to address. Included are a few pictures from standing at the faucet and looking at the back of the tub, the right inner corner is of interest.

At the very top of the corner I was removing caulk and with aggressive scraping removed what appears to be a large glob of grout. Afterwards I realized maybe I should have left it in place. I don't know how to fix this before re-caulking. I am comfortable dealing with the ripped drywall above, but there is a gap with at least a 1 square inch opening where the two tile surfaces meet. I have heard of using backer rod for large gaps but don't know if this is appropriate. I could also replace a large glob of grout if that is acceptable.

Midway down the corner there is a tile that has a crack running up-and-down. It actually extends into a second tile below. There isn't much displacement or much of a gap, just enough to snag your fingernail on. I don't know if this needs to be addressed or not.

At the bottom of the corner where the walls meet the tub there is another cracked tile. This one has a large piece missing, which I believe was filled with caulk. You can tell by the pictures that these are 4x4 tiles so yes, the caulk was smeared up a good 1" or so to cover the crack. There is also a side-to-side crack across just above it. I don't know if this needs to be fixed or how.

I'm also interested in general opinions on the construction. I don't like that there are no corner pieces at the top, or that there are such narrow pieces meeting at the inner corners. But I don't know if that's acceptable or at least used to be acceptable 40 years ago.

Thank you,
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:57 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum

Those cracks are caused by movement. Looks fairly significant from here. Are there other cracks in the house and foundation?

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Old 01-08-2018, 09:43 PM   #3
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Thank you,

Sorry for the delay in replying, we've had a snow storm for the first time in years.

To reply about possible movement, on the other side on the right is a bedroom with no signs of movement. On the left is an exterior wall with no signs as well. I have been unable to get in the crawlspace and look underneath.

I wonder why you think it is signs of movement. If you are most worried about the spot at the top that was due to my aggressive use of a scraper tool. I removed the grout embedded in the corner and since the grout was attached to the caulk which was attached to the paint and the drywall it left a large defect. But that was all my doing, it looked fine before I started. I have taken a picture of the other inner corner to show that it is filled with mortar/grout. Note that there is no actual tile in the corner, just filler material.

As for the other pictured cracks I don't know how long they've been there but they don't seem to be getting any bigger and no new ones seem to be appearing.

The problem still exists on how to fill or patch these areas before re-caulking. If it is OK to fill the top of the corner up with mortar or grout I can do that, I just didn't know if it was ok. Also the crack in the bottom corner is a large defect, maybe 1" high by 2" long which I'm at a loss as to how to handle.

Thank you
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:56 PM   #4
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If you could locate the same tile you could cut the grout around the broken tiles and replace them. Finding matching tile is likely to be fruitless. It could be possible to just cover the damage with some trim pieces as they are mostly in the corner.

You can fill pretty large gaps with backer rod and sanded caulk. That should work fine for those top corners.
I probably have no idea what I am talking about.
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