Caulk Repeatedly Cracking In Shower - Tiling, ceramics, marble - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 03-18-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Caulk repeatedly cracking in Shower

Help! We removed a 17yr old tub, the old tile, and drywall in our bathroom and had a professional install new cement board, a shower pan, a bench and new tile. It's been almost 1 1/2 years and he has had to come back at least 3 times to regrout - first he tried the grout he used originally - it failed again - he f/u with the manufacturer and they determined it may have frozen and thawed out (I think it was pre-mixed?). The last time he used a caulk that allows for some flex - a buddy of his advised him that there is probably some movement due to the removal of the old tub. Now that caulk is flaking out. It always happens in the same two areas - one area on the wall and on the bench. He wants to replace the tile on the top of the bench with a solid surface - but that doesn't address the problem with the walls. I noticed after the job was first completed that when I stand on the floor right next to the shower that it makings a cracking noise and the caulk between the pan and the vinyl floor is pulling away from the floor. This is on the second floor - can we go up from the ceiling below and re-enforce the floor - if that is even the problem? Is the caulk job the problem?


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Old 03-18-2010, 12:28 PM   #2
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By the sounds of it your floor is the issue. There is a lot of flex and when you walk around on it that will move the times because the floor is flexing. thus cracking the grout/caulk. Whe you pulled out the olf stuff did he check the condition of the floor? There may not be much you can do from underneath. sorry to say you may need to remove what is there and get down to the real issue with the floor.


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Old 03-19-2010, 06:24 AM   #3
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Any joints where surfaces change direction, will not hold grout for long. A caulk that remains flexible is the best thing for that. There are colored sanded and unsanded caulks available, go to a tile supplier.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:05 AM   #4
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Use a series of levels to determine if the floor dips when you step/stand - and where it dips.
If your joists are undersized or your subflooring is too thin, warped, sagging from age (and thus lacking it's own solidity) then it will add to the flex issue.
Depending on what it looks like from underneath - you can sister in new beams to the old ones to give it more rigidity and add in some bracing between the joists to aid in the prevention of tipping/dipping and so on.

For problems that are related to subflooring - sometimes exposing one small area isn't enough, you have to have access to as much of your joists as possible.

You might find other things are the problem once you remove the ceiling below - a thought that comes to my mind is if your bathroom has been renovated before and a new subfloor was put down. If they didn't support the edges of the subfloor sections (where they meet the sole plate at the wall) then that will allow for a lot of flex/bounce - so the joists might not be the issue, it just might be a lack of adequate support at the edges of subflooring.

Remember, A tub can weigh anywhere from 200 - 500lbs or more with someone in it bathing.
At this present moment in time I am making cabinets for the kitchen - just in case you wanted to know what I'm doing when I'm not around.

Last edited by Snav; 03-24-2010 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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the tub is moving. the tub needs to be set in cement and filled with water or put a lot of weight. It could also be the floor but I think its the tub.
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