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Question DetailsAsked on 2/6/2016

Should you caulk between shower pan and tile wall?

I had my shower redone. It is tile walls with a shower pan base. The tile contractor did not caulk bewteen the tile and shower pan. Should this be caulked and the joint between the back wall and side wall?

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1 Answer


Is he done with the job - or is he coming back to grout still, or to do the final deglazing and cleanup - which is commonly done a day (or more) after the joints are grouted, so he doesn't have to wait around for the grout to harden before his final sponge down ? That is when I would do the caulking - aftear the final spongedown.

OK - shower pan and base are different - but I presume you mean the base - the part you stand directly on. The pan is the secondary waterproof lining within the sloping mortar mayear under the base (in tiled base showers) - or a membrane liner under a plastic or fiberglass base for a kit shower.

The tile should overhang the lip on the base (as should the water barrier membrane under the tile and also the backer board) so any water coming down those surfaces drains into the shower base. Then the base-to-tile interface should be caulked with a mildew-resistant caulkk like Dap Tub and Tile caulk - but you need to leave a gap in it along each wall about 1/4" wide or so as a drain for any water the gets in behind there throught the grout joints so it does not build up and go stagnant, or eventually overtop the base lip.

Joint between back and side walls some tile layers grout, some caulk - I prefer grout to hold the tiles firmly in place, but not to the surface - hold back about 1/4" from normal grout joint depth (so about half depth on normal size tile), and then caulk the surface for waterproofing, because a pure grout joint in that location commonly cracks as the walls expand and contract with house movement and heating from the shower use. Code generally allows either - or caulk only too.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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