Recaulk or regrout?

Question on the home improvement front:

The caulk between my bathtub and the wall tiling above it has dried out, so I’m removing and redoing it. I’m a bit surprised to see that behind the caulk there is no grout, but when I look online, the argument is that the caulk is flexible and the grout is not, so as the wall moves, it’s better to have caulk to keep it filled.

So the caulk has dried out and left a gap anyways. And who knows how long ago it was done, but I feel like the movement/settling has probably happened already. Any reason not to grout between the tub and the tile and then caulk along the seam??

The hole is quite deep btw… some places 1/4", but some places 1/2"

Complicating this is that there is a piece of thin plastic like saran wrap along this seam.


Caulk it with silicone caulk. White or clear

Is that because the hope is that it won’t shrink or just that it’s easier to dig back out when you have to replace it?

It should not shrink. But caulk only last a few years. Has to be replaced occasionally

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Grout is for tiles. Between tile and tub, it should be caulk.

Unfortunately, that needs to be caulked every 2-4 years. Over time, that caulk degrades and falls apart. And even with mildew resistant caulk, there are still mildew or mold that will grow.

I have done several caulking jobs. Doesn’t look great, but usable.

A tool like this can help remove the old caulking. And can help keep the caulking consistent with application. Finger is faster, but less consistent without experience.

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Thanks! I’ve been using razorblades.

even with a shower caulk is supposed to be used at all change of planes even if it’s tile to tile - this is because there is movement and caulk is flexible, so you don’t want grout there at all. I would assume same concept between tub and tile.


I was wondering about this. I guess they didn’t do our other shower correctly then - and the grout is coming apart right at the corner of the tiles :frowning:

most don’t actually do the caulk there even though you’re supposed to - I don’t think it’s usually an issue but sometimes it can be, you can always scrape out the grount and apply caulk there yourself

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I’m actually thinking of hiring someone just to redo that bathroom. Couple of cracked tiles, blackened grout, and the grout in the rest of the bathroom is chipping.