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KansasWind 03-07-2008 09:38 PM

Caluking instead of grouting tile in shower?
Our tub/shower walls have 4X4 titles to the ceiling, with 1/8 inch grout lines. The grout is cracking and there is mildew in many places. My husband has removed all the loose grout and scraped the grout in areas where there was mold and water discoloration. Now we are at the point of re-grouting. We have lived in the house for 6 years and never re-sealed the grout. Tile job is probably about 15 years old. This is our 1st house and we are learning about homeownership and upkeep. I want to re-grout the best way to insure no water will seep through and I do not want any mildew/mold or discoloration growth in the future. Why can't we use CAULK instead of grout? Caulk is a supose to be a sealer, 20 years+ and water proof. Why not use it in place of grout? I also found DAP Easy Solutions Tile Grout Repair, it looks like caulk, even in a tube, but is grout that is water resistant. Any one use this? I do not want to grout and then have to keep re-sealing ever few months. I want to do it once and forget about it. So, can I use caulk instead of grout? Thanks for all your help and advice.

Bill_Vincent 03-08-2008 11:07 AM

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but caulking the grout joints in this case is going to be akin to putting a bandaid on a gash thaat requires stitches. The fact that the joints are cracking and showing signs of mildew are only the symptom-- not the problem. There's a good chance it's time for an overhaul. One way or the other, caulking will only hide the problem while it gets worse.

Bud Cline 03-08-2008 11:58 AM

troubleseeker 03-08-2008 11:33 PM


Originally Posted by KansasWind (Post 105370)
I do not want any mildew/mold or discoloration growth in the future.

Eventually, all tiled wet areas are going to get one or a combination of all of the above, to what extent depends on how well it is maintained.
Using caulking will create more problems tha it solves for sure. The best solution is to take your time on one wall at a time, removing all of the old grout, and regrouting with new non sanded grout.

Bill_Vincent 03-09-2008 09:35 AM


Originally Posted by troubleseeker (Post 105698)
Eventually, all tiled wet areas are going to get one or a combination of all of the above

Horsehockey. Not if it's installed correctly, it won't, especially if there's a good ventilation system.

it's misinformation like this that causes people to shy away from tile when there's absolutely no reason for it!

MD_Tile 03-30-2008 11:43 PM

adequate ventilation as well as a good waterproof vapor barrier such as kerdi should help along with a grout sealer to help prevent penetration into the grout. ventilating fans should be left on until steam ond moisture are eliminated from the area. People frequently turn off the fan as soon as they leave the area typically because alot of fans are on the same switch as the light and we get used to turning off lights when we leave a room. when the fan is shut off prior to eliminating all the moisture/steam, it will leave droplets of water against the ceiling. sometimes the fans are simply to weak to draw in all the moisture. you might consider wiping down your shower after each use or installing a better fan if you see the exhaust fan you have doesn't do the job.

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