Repairing Shower Caulk and Grout Cracks

Old 03-25-17, 04:32 PM
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Repairing Shower Caulk and Grout Cracks

All this is in the base of a tiles shower stall, with a pan that was installed back in 08.
So… I got lots of questions. This is my first time doing this kind of work and googling just gave conflicting information…

I was having larvae come out of the calking. Even with frequent cleaning. It was driving me nuts.

I used a box knife to cut out all the calking and grinded out the grout with an electric multitool. However much of the grout left large deep gaps.

Also one of the corner tiles fell back in to the wall. I’m not sure what’s behind it or how I should fix it.

Right now my plan is to let everything dry out really well and just pack the gaps with as much grout as possible… grout the corners as if it was caulk… and I don’t know about the collapsed tile… I’d probably end up breaking it while getting it out and packing it with grout… I’m very unsure about the whole thing.

My intention was to not use caulk… because I don’t want to have to redo it from staining and old age and end up back with the larvae. But I have little confidence the grout won’t crack again. Especially in the large spaces.

I’ve attached some pictures for clarity.

The grout i purchased is a HD product, Fusion PRO Single Component Grout.

My questions for now are mainly centered around what to do with the large gaps and the loose tile that fell back in to the wall.

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Old 03-25-17, 04:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Judging from your pictures it looks as if the berm has settled. Now, whether it is a structural issue, or due to water rotting the wood contained in the berm, I don't know. The changes in planes in a shower should not be grouted, but caulked with a matching color grout caulk in a tube. will need to install some backer rod in the wide gap before trying to caulk the area.

As for the loose tile, my WAG is that the tile was installed over sheetrock or greenboard and it has deteriorated to a point to where there is nothing there. If you could remove the tile, you may be able to inspect the void to see what is back there.
Old 03-25-17, 04:57 PM
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Thanks for the welcome!

I guess I need to crawl under the house and see what's up. I really hope I'm not looking at a full rebuild...

So caulk in a shower... is part of a shower is just having to come back and re-caulk every few years? My hope was to not use caulk so id have a permanent fix.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. Just trying to educate myself.

In the event I get the tile out.. and have a degraded back wall; whats the plan from there?
Old 03-26-17, 04:51 AM
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Walls and floors expand and contract at different rates. Anywhere you have a change of plane - inside corners of walls or where walls meet floors in a tiled environment need to have caulk (which is flexible). If you grout instead, that area will simply crack when movement occurs. For a contractor, it involves a return trip to finish. I seem to be one of the few who return anyway to seal the grout so, adding caulking from my perspective is just another part of a completed job. Many, unfortunately do not seal anymore and consider the job done after grouting.

So to answer your question, chalking IS the permanent solution.
Old 03-26-17, 06:36 AM
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a pan that was installed back in 08
I was having larvae come out of the calking.
one of the corner tiles fell back in to the wall.
Based on the comments I can guarantee you have rot behind the walls.

I know it's not what anybody wants to face but a shower is the worst place for short cuts and appears that a rebuild is in order.
Old 03-26-17, 09:30 AM
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What's the average life span you can expect from caulk? Do some cleaning products cause it to degrade faster?

Thank you for your thoughts. They've been very helpful. Maybe if I get under the house I'll get a better look at what's up.

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