When it comes to the grouting process, one of the most upcoming problems in the ceramic tile installation is getting across the message that there are certain applications that require a flexible grout caulk joint. A joint filled with cement-based tile grout will often crack for a variety of reasons, such as excessive shrinkage or structural movement. This is especially true in new houses where structural shrinkage occurs and cabinets settle.
If the joint at the juncture between horizontal and vertical surfaces opens, it becomes an area where mold and/or mildew are likely to proliferate. And as most of us are now aware, mold/mildew is one of the latest and hottest litigation specialties about house decoration.
In most cases, mildew-resistant flexible grout will prevent such problems. Under “materials” in the Movement Joints section, the Tile Council of America (TCA) says silicone sealant may be used. The silicone sealant – used for sealing joints in ceramic showers and around tubs, sinks and plumbing fixtures – must be single-component mildew resistant, which means it contains fungicide.
Most of us tend to regard the grout process as a lesser part of the tile-installation job. But when you consider the many problems that frequently crop up relative to this aspect of installation, you will regard tile grouting in a different way.