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Old 01-27-2013, 11:46 PM   #1
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Grout and Drywall


I haven't seen much on this topic so I figured I'd ask. I recently painted my kitchen and am now getting around to the baseboard. Whoever installed the tile in the kitchen didn't remove the baseboard and instead just tiled up to it, not evenly either. It was pretty beat up so I tore out the base board and fixed the walls. Now I'm ready to put the baseboard back and I'd rather it look a little nicer.

Is it a problem if I fill the gap between the tile floor and drywall with grout to have a nice surface to rest the baseboard on? Should I put something between the new grout and drywall? I wouldn't think there would be an issue with just throwing grout in the gap (1/4" to 3/8" wide) but I figured I'd ask.

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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#1 That drywall was suppost to be about 1/2 up off the subfloor.
The gap between the tile and the bottom plate is there to keep the tile from "tenting".
Just set the base on top of the tiles, the 1/4 round will cover any small gaps or make up for an unlevel floor.

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
#1 That drywall was suppost to be about 1/2 up off the subfloor.
The gap between the tile and the bottom plate is there to keep the tile from "tenting".
Just set the base on top of the tiles, the 1/4 round will cover any small gaps or make up for an unlevel floor.
Drywall is 1/2" above the subfloor. Can't use 1/4 round due to floor layout/aesthetics. I don't think tenting will be an issue as the baseboard was grouted in when I removed it. Wall repairs built the wall out and the tiles weren't evenly spaced and now interfere with the baseboard.

Will try to take some pictures tomorrow.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:07 AM   #4
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If you don't want to use shoe molding, I would suggest using a caulk that matches your grout color, not grout.

Everything moves relative to everything else.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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Camera wasn't charged this morning and my phone couldn't seem to get a good picture, grrr.

I drew this up a few weeks ago


I went with option 2 since it would provide the most uniform look. Option 1 is basically how it was when I arrived but is no longer possible due to how some of the tiles are in relation to the wall (baseboard doesn't fit). This baseboard continues into other rooms without changing or having a good opportunity to put a transition in. This means the top of the baseboard has to be maintained, if it didn't, putting the quarter round or other shoe molding would look fine. Unfortunately not the case.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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Not a good idea. First of all grout will not bond correctly with wood . Grout the tile first without base boards. After its all sealed and looking pretty, install your baseboards. Most people don't use or need anything between the two. But if you really wanted to, then use some caulk around the baseboards to make it look all nice and it will seal the crack between the two.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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Info2x,

Joe told you the right way to do this, both #1 & #2 are wrong and can someday become a total failure.

You should never grout between the tiles and wall or base moldings. Your floor is prime example of the necessity for shoe molding, especially if the base looks like the sketch. You can rip the new base to match the other room, or there's a way to transition the heights.

*note,
Sorry Gibsonc2, I can't agree with what you said except that it's "not a good idea".

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:33 PM   #8
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It's obvious that no one here thinks it's advisable to grout right up to the drywall, fair enough. I would think it would give long before tile but I'm no expert, hence why I'm here.

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Originally Posted by gibsonc2 View Post
Not a good idea. First of all grout will not bond correctly with wood . Grout the tile first without base boards. After its all sealed and looking pretty, install your baseboards. Most people don't use or need anything between the two. But if you really wanted to, then use some caulk around the baseboards to make it look all nice and it will seal the crack between the two.
I wasn't grouting the wood into place. That is how it was originally though.

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Info2x,

Joe told you the right way to do this, both #1 & #2 are wrong and can someday become a total failure.

You should never grout between the tiles and wall or base moldings. Your floor is prime example of the necessity for shoe molding, especially if the base looks like the sketch. You can rip the new base to match the other room, or there's a way to transition the heights.

*note,
Sorry Gibsonc2, I can't agree with what you said except that it's "not a good idea".

Jaz
Jaz Option 1 was how the floor was originally done and cannot be done today based on clearances so don't worry no plan on doing that one.

With respect to option 2 if there was a way to keep an air gap (or insert very soft material) between the grout and the drywall to absorb thermal expansion and whatnot would that be viable? I understand the shoe molding comments I really do, but to me it looks out of place given the already shortened height of the baseboard. That's the reason I'm trying to avoid it like the plauge. The vast majority of the grout would be hidden so if it cracks near the edge it probably won't be visible either.

Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:57 PM   #9
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Gibson's comment about grout not sticking to the wood is not relevant. It's not supposed to and the job was done wrong the first time.

I know it was done like #1 the first time.

The width of the space you grouted looks to wide to do it the conventional way. The base should have been removed first and then the tiles installed. The last 1/4" or so should be air, or caulk. So how do you plan to cover that space between the tiles and the base? You need shoe. It'll look not only fine, but it'll be right. All hard floor coverings need shoe. Vinyl, hardwood, ceramic etc. The only time you do not use shoe is with carpeting.

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Old 01-28-2013, 11:38 PM   #10
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I haven't grouted anything. The only thing I have done here is remove the old baseboard that we all agree on was installed incorrectly (baseboards in place).

The gap between the existing tile and the dry wall is 1/4" to 1/2", my molding is 3/8" thick so I'm only looking for 3/16" to a 1/4" grout line if I don't go to the drywall completely.

I bought a piece of shoe molding and disagree, it didn't look right because the actual molding is significantly shorter than it is normally. I don't believe that shoe molding is required either, it's a choice.

Thanks
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by info2x View Post
I bought a piece of shoe molding and disagree, it didn't look right because the actual molding is significantly shorter than it is normally. I don't believe that shoe molding is required either, it's a choice.
What does "actual molding" mean? Do you mean your baseboard?

Anyway, we're in the realm of "choice" or opinion and you came here to get it, so here it is.

Shoe molding is more or less required. Not in a technical sense, because there are no codes governing this - it's aesthetics. But at this point you're asking about aesthetics.

If you think it looks wrong, then you got the wrong baseboard or installed the baseboard too low (like option 1).

Shoe molding is not always "quarter round". In other words, there is unsymmetrical shoe molding. Normally it's installed tall side up, shown below. But I saw it in one house installed backwards - i.e. short side up. It looked kinda dumb, but no one looked real close and if the tall side up makes you think your baseboard looks too short, then install it short side up. Not great, but WAY better than your idea of leaving it out.
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Last edited by jeffnc; 01-29-2013 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:06 AM   #12
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Sorry, I should have been clearer... actual molding in that case is the baseboard.

You're right we are into aesthetics where the line between right and wrong is as clear as mud, joy. I was aware of the non-quarter round shoe molding. I was using that as my comparison.

Ok let's change tact here... If I were to replace the baseboard with let's say a thicker piece or one that I didn't care about height and could have shoe molding such that the gap is covered how would one go about transitioning to another type of baseboard? The baseboard that I'm dealing with is cut down so it matches the height in the joining rooms (just about the entire first floor). There is no easy transition point that I can see due to the openness of my first floor.

Since I'd rather not have to replace all of the baseboard because someone mucked up one floor at some point I'm basically trying to cheat the system, I understand that. I also accept that there is a certain margin of risk in that as well.

If only the whoever put this floor in had just done it right or at the very least left a proper gap.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:30 AM   #13
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To transition, you have a couple choices. First photo shows a transition piece installed between the 2 types of baseboard. (In this picture the baseboard is the same, but you'd use the baseboard corner piece simply placed between the 2 baseboards).

Second photo shows a transition where you simply butt the baseboards together, but you trim up the side of the higher baseboard first. You cut the higher baseboard trim at a 45 degree angle, just like you were going around an outside corner, but you cut the second piece very very short. (This picture shows it going around a corner, but just ignore the corner.)
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Last edited by jeffnc; 01-29-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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I can't locate a picture of how to change height, but it's done with a few miters. Grab a piece of paper and I'm sure you'll figure it out. Or.......

You can change at a doorway by doing something like this;

Jaz
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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You can change at a doorway by doing something like this;
Ironically, no shoe molding there (or in my photo either)

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