enter image description hereAbout 6 months ago, we hired a remodeler/carpenter to install a new bathroom vanity top. They caulked around the vanity and it looked good until a couple of months ago, when it started to gap and tear away from the wall. The wall, which we painted before the vanity was installed, is a glossy paint. I called the remodeler who said that it could be dry and hot air that affects the silicon. So, today, he came back and put some new silicone over the old. It looked ok when he left, but now is buckling again! Here are my questions:

  1. Why is this happening?
  2. Can I simply pick away the silicon and can we reinstall?
  3. Is silicone the best caulk for a bathroom vanity (to fill in the gaps between vanity and wall)?enter image description here

UPDATE: thanks to good suggestions, I used a "level" on both the countertop and the floor. The "bubble" in the level is the same -- slightly off-center to the left -- on both the countertop and floor, leading me to believe that the settling of the house is to blame. Ok, so I can't fix that settling, but how can I at least fill in the gap between the countertop and wall?

  • houses move seasonally, which is why you have to caulk in the winter and summer.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 18:48
  • Wow -- I didn't know that. I've never had to recaulk before. My problem is, how to get the caulk off the pretty newly-painted wall? Any ideas? Thank you :)
    – Annabanana
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 1:38

3 Answers 3


This looks like something is shifting and pulling the caulk off the wall. My guess would be the vanity top shifted a bit on top of the vanity cabinet due to not being secured enough to the vanity.

Silicone caulk shouldn't be applied over old silicone caulk. Your contractor should have removed all the old caulk and installed all new caulk. This is something you can and should do.

  • thank you! The countertop feels solidly connected to the base ... and DRAT on that contractor for applying new caulk over old.
    – Annabanana
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 3:01

The caulk is peeling away because something has moved beyond the caulk's elasticity limit. You need to figure out what is moving, and why.

This is a symptom, not a root cause. There looks to be a vertical displacement now - is your floor settling, or worse sinking relative to the wall ?

Just squirting more sealant on won't address the underlying cause, though will hide it for a short time.

  • Thank you for answering! Our countertop appears to be solidly on the base of the cabinet and our floor is level ... How could anyone find the root cause?
    – Annabanana
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 2:59

Another reason could be house moving from vibrations outside it. I've had items in the past move on shelves from heavy trucks on my street. In one case it was a piledriver down the street, a quarter mile away, that caused things to shift. When they were done everything stayed where I put it. If nothing like this is happening then I am stumped.

  • Hi Gabriel, did you read the whole post? The OP already knows what the problem is. Commented Aug 13, 2023 at 19:43

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