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Old 09-13-2014, 12:30 AM   #1
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Sealing a bathroom


How do I seal this in the bathroom?
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:41 AM   #2
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Looks like you've got some movement there in the second pic with the cracked tile. Is you don't want to do a proper job and tear it apart, try some silicone caulk in a tan color to match. If you are careful when applying it you can probably get it watertight for a long while.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:28 AM   #3
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Any place tile changes direction or meets a different material caulking should have been used, not grout.
Just remove the old grout and use color matched caulking.
Any tile store should have color and sanded or unsanded caulking available.
Since you also have tile cracking it's now a much bigger issue.
Something moving.
Tile over drywall, rot behind the wall or floor, improper underlayment, ECT.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:46 AM   #4
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You don't seal it, you fix it - which means you have to find out why it's cracking. Either the supports are moving because of weight/flex or water has gotten in there and swelled the substraight. And if there is moisture in there, the next thing is mold. Open it up, make sure it's dry, then repair as necessary.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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Sealing it seems easy, but how do you "open it up?"

I've never done this before.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:30 PM   #6
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You take the tiles off and see what's under them. You get cracking like that when there is movement. Movement can be caused by a lot of things - not strong enough substraight (immediately under the tiles), not strong enough support structure (the joists holding the floor and walls), water getting behind the tiles and making the joists or plywood swell, and probably a bunch of other things.

You need to remove the tiles, fix the movement, then replace the tiles. If you are careful, you'll be able to reuse the tiles without much trouble. I'd hazard a guess that they aren't solidly attached with that much cracking.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly_on_the_wall View Post
Sealing it seems easy, but how do you "open it up?"

I've never done this before.
Doing a tear down of a shower wall is a pain in the rear. But, sometimes there isn't a choice. My kid was in the shower years ago and banged on the wall because someone flushed the toilet downstairs (before we had anti-scald valves) and the tiles he hit just caved in. I tore it all down and discovered that the builder had used green board under the tiles, and it was soaked and turned to mush in an area about 3 feet square. Had to tear it down to the studs, dry it out, replace the insulation and vapor barrier, and then put up cement board and re-tiled. I didn't know any better at the time but I should have put Schluter Kerdi on the cement board before I tiled for a true water proof shower, but either way the cement board is not going to turn to mush any time soon. Do it right the first time or you'll be doing it all over again.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:35 AM   #8
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As Dave said, tearing out and redoing a shower is a pain, but not really difficult. I've both done that and built a couple of showers from scratch. Think of it as a chance to buy some new tools. For sealing the cement board, I use Redgard (sold at Home Depot) instead of Kerdi. It's cheaper and much easier to apply. It goes on with a roller, like paint. You must also use thinset mortar to set the tiles, NOT mastic.
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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First things first. Specifically, where in the bathroom are these tiles? Shower? Floor? Wall? Curb?

Joe is right. Those should have been caulked, not grouted.

If it is in a dry area you can try to patch, replace, or re-caulk. Do you have any replacement tiles? Find them before you start smashing up the old. Do keep in mind if the cracked tile was due to movement it may (or most likely) happen again.

OTOH, you may be opening a HUGE can of worms if you start excavating in a shower or wet area. Tile and grout are not waterproof so the area underneath needs to be waterproof before you set or reset any tiles. Not everyone who has build a shower understands this. My shower didn't look too bad. Underneath was a moldy soggy mess.
It is possible you may open things up to find more than what is obvious on the surface and end up hip deep in a full shower replacement before you know it.

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Old 09-16-2014, 01:52 PM   #10
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The inside corner was grouted. Caulk should go in corners not grout.

No need to rip anything it there. Movement is normal between plane changes. Add for the bull nose, it looks like a common issue, not enough support from underneath. That tile needs to be replaced.

Use good caulk. 100% silicone is just about the only thing I use in a wet area. Mapei and Latcrete make some great caulks.
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