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Old 03-12-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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Grout replaced with caulk by tile guy?


I recently purchased a new construction home and the grout around the fireplace and bathtub began to crumble and fall out the first month we moved in. The tile guy came back and regrouted the section that fell out. Well, it fell out again...so he matched the color of grout and used caulk instead. Is this acceptible or is this just a questionable fix? Jeff in Carlsbad

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Old 03-12-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Grout replaced with caulk by tile guy?


its what should have been done the first time

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Old 03-12-2010, 12:04 PM   #3
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Grout replaced with caulk by tile guy?


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Originally Posted by tomstruble View Post
its what should have been done the first time
Exactly; I can understand this mistake being done by HO's, but every guy who works in the trade knowns better than this. If he really doesn't know this, he should not be working as a stone/tile installer; he should still be a helper, and not a very knowledgable one at that.

This is just a "don't give a crap" attitude, because he is too lazy to pick up the material, or too cheap to spend the few dollars for it.

As you may be picking up on, this is one of my pet peeves that really swells my N###.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:26 PM   #4
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Grout replaced with caulk by tile guy?


Sorry but I am confused. Grout and caulk are for two very different things. You cannot caulk a tile job and use it where grout should be. You can caulk where the tile ends and the tub starts or at the edge where stone meets a wall (up to a point).

Are you saying caulk was used where tile ended and in the gap between the tub? Same question for the fireplace and where it meets the wall. Fine if this is the case although you might want to think about a subtle piece of wood molding around the fireplace if the gap is wide.

You have big problems in store down the road if someone used caulk to fix a grout fail. Something serious, like someone not setting the stone or tile properly in the first place is going on behind the bath tile or stone to flex the wall or otherwise cause the grout to crumble out. Mickey mousing caulk where grout should be will not help you at all or at least not for long.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:09 PM   #5
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Grout replaced with caulk by tile guy?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Sorry but I am confused. Grout and caulk are for two very different things. You cannot caulk a tile job and use it where grout should be. You can caulk where the tile ends and the tub starts or at the edge where stone meets a wall (up to a point).
It is not about using caulk in place of grout on the entire tile job, but in the joint between the bottom of the last tile and the horizontal surface of the tub. These two surfaces expand at different rates and directions, thus the joint line at the tub surface will always break free of the tub.

Same thing for the joint line where tile/marble slightly overlays the metal of the typical pre fab firebox.

This applies to the joint where a tile backsplash meets a horizontal countertop surface also, even if both are tile the grout joint will crack.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 03-12-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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