grout vs. caulk: one will crack at the edge of the shower, and one won’t
Q: Our bathroom renovation was completed last spring. Within a few months, there was a crack between the shower pan and the wall brick. Separation is only at the drainage end of the shower pan (so far). The contractor is willing to fix it. What is a permanent solution? A: As the temperature fluctuates, the building materials will expand and shrink, and different materials will expand and shrink at different speeds. So showers — And many other building parts. Need what some builders call \"motor joints\" and what others call \"expansion joints \". \"In the shower, the motor joints are all corners of the vertical and horizontal. A cement-mud Material based, perfect for filling space between tiles. However, where the shower pan or tub meets the surrounding walls, it is not flexible enough to remain intact. Grouting is also not the right material to fill the corners seam on the wall. The right material for these spaces is caulk. There are a variety of dazzling types of Caulk. Acrylic caulking agent is the easiest to apply neatly and can be painted, which makes it best to seal most joints before you draw. But, when it is cured, it shrinks, and it may break in the shower, where moisture and temperature fluctuate sharply. The 100% silicone filler does not shrink and will not remain elastic, but it is very sticky and hard to fit neatly. Silicone acrylic caulking is in between: easier to apply and more flexible than pure acrylic, but still less flexible than pure silicone. In addition to choosing the caulk that has performed well over the years, you want a product that blends with the rest of the shower. The photo you sent shows relatively wide joints with sandpaper and colored grout. You will want color caulkers made by color ceremony in Okla Yukon, such as color Sil silicone cauldron. (405-354-3644; colorriteinc. com ). On January, Colbert, a technical spokesman for Color Rite, recommended this product on coloring, sand-grinding silicone acrylic caulking agents also produced by her company, as Color Sil is 100% silicone. \"This is liquid rubber,\" she said . \" \"So you have more action on it. \"There is no way to successfully plug the cracks in the existing grouting. \"Never do that,\" Colbert said . \". Instead, you or the installer need to remove all the grout from the seams you need to fill in. Grouting is usually used by professionals- Disassembly attachment on the oscillation tool. (Milwaukee 18-volt lithium- Home Depot\'s ion cordless model costs $119. ) Pay attention to avoid scratching the shower pan; You might want to cover the edge of the pan with masking tape. When the mud disappears, clean up all the dust and other debris to allow the surface to dry completely. Then, before adding the caulking, you can smooth the painter\'s tape along both sides of the joint. Or you can skip the tape, spread out the cauldron and browse through it in one pass to smooth it out. For newbies, recording is an additional safety measure to prevent manufacturing confusion. But it will soon cover silicone. In about five minutes, color Sil- Therefore, unless you remove the tape as soon as you finish each seam, the edge of the cauldron is slightly raised, which can easily fall off or collect moisture, resulting in mildew. Whether you choose tape or skip tape, Colbert strongly recommends the use of two ancillary products sold by her company: pre-processed fog for silicone caulkers and perfect bead tools. The silicone caulking doesn\'t stick to anything you spray, so if you lay a circle of caulking and immediately spray it on the surface on both sides, says Colbert, you can smooth the joints without any excess sticking to the tile or shower pan. The bead tool presses the filling seam evenly in the seam, allowing you to create a flat seam even in the face of the tile. If you replace it with a damp finger, you may produce an inward -- Collecting the curved surface of the water, you push the cauldron to the back, instead of leaning against the side where you want it to stick, Colbert said, in order to avoid fog on your joints that you have not yet filled, she recommends starting to fill along the bottom edge and continuing to fill in a few inches in each corner. Do not try to stitch all seams in one pass. Each joint is made individually, but one by one. It sticks best when the cauldron connects two surfaces, not three. You want it to bridge the edges of the tile and the shower pan, but not to connect to the cement board or other surfaces behind the tile. If the joint width is greater than 1-Four to three 8-inch, fill the seam with filling Rod and foam first Type material in rope form. Leaving the front- The 4 inch is empty so you can fill it up with a cauldron. The bride price sells fog, bead tools and 10. 3- Through dealers across the country and their websites, Oz colored Sil tubes. ( The order is placed under contact. ”) The best deal on the Web is to buy a tube of caulkers, tools and fog for $33. 03. Depending on the width of the joint, a tube is enough to hold about 11 to 100 feet. To clean the fresh dirt of silicone cauldron, use mineral spirits or paint thinner. But test a small area of the shower pan to make sure the solvent does not damage it. Or, better yet, have the installer call the shower- Pan manufacturer, ask if the solvent will be damaged.