Is it a residential building requirement to caulk between a bathroom tile floor and a wood base? I live in Snohomish County, WA.

  • Welcome. Please note that as per the faq only national building code questions are on topic. Local building codes vary too widely to be something we can reliably help with. – The Evil Greebo Jun 28 '18 at 15:24
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is about local building codes, which is off-topic – Machavity Jun 28 '18 at 15:26
  • @Machavity How do you know it’s about a local Building code? The International Residential Code (IRC) is adopted in all 50 states. – Lee Sam Jun 28 '18 at 15:52
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    I continue to be baffled by people who consider their bathrooms to be bathtubs themselves, as this question seems to imply. Rooms should not be depended on to contain water. That's the purpose of the bathtub and toilet. – isherwood Jun 28 '18 at 20:07
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    Caulk is more likely to cause damage by retaining water than it is to protect it. – isherwood Jun 29 '18 at 1:54

No, the code does not specifically require caulking between anything in a bathroom. However, it does require, “a non-absorbent floor and walls up a minimum of 6’ for tubs and showers”. (See IRC R307.2)

However, as we all know, that wood you’re concerned about will absorb moisture on the “end-grain” very easily. You should protect it with a few coats of sealer or paint to protect it...especially in a moist environment like your bathroom.

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  • Thank you Lee Sam. I appreciate your reply. My builder did not provide caulking protection at the wood baseboard where it met the tile floor and that just didn't make sense to me if there was ever any big water spills. – user87174 Jun 29 '18 at 0:41
  • @user87174 I think just scrubbing the tile could “push” water under the base board. – Lee Sam Jun 29 '18 at 0:53

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