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We have a tiled shower that is grouted. The installer put caulk on top of grout where the wall and floor meet and the corners where the walls meet. Problem is, the caulk mildews and disintegrates. Since there is grout there already, can we remove the caulking?

The grout is Laticrete 1500 sanded grout. By the way, what is the best sealer to use for unsanded grout?

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Grout will also mildew over time. The other problem is that grout is not as good as caulk in repelling water which is the reason it is used where shower surfaces meet at 90 degree angles. Your installer did the right thing by caulking those corners.
Eventually, you'll want to remove the old caulk as it starts to break down and recaulk it. It's a basic maintenance process that's necessary in keeping any shower leak free.
Additionally, new grout should be sealed which will help maintain it.

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  • I cannot find a quality caulking that lasts. What caulking and sealer would you recommend? The other problem is the caulking doesn't seem to stick to the grout.
    – amrog
    Feb 21 at 18:01
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    It's contrary to SE policy to recommend specific products. However, GE and a number of other manufacturers make high quality silicone caulks that are waterproof, have good adhesion and come in various colors. The key with any of them is to make sure that you've removed any old caulk and cleaned the surfaces of soap scum and other film before applying. If you haven't done it before there are a number of youtube videos that show method of application.
    – HoneyDo
    Feb 21 at 19:13
  • Either silicone or latex caulk will work fine. Latex may not last as long as silicone but it is easier to work with.
    – HoneyDo
    Feb 21 at 19:48
  • you bring up a whole other problem. I think the reason for the degeneration of the caulk is using vinegar to remove the soap scum from the shower. We have a huge hard water problem in Houston. We have tried several name brands with no effect so we used vinegar as a last resort and it seems to work but I am sure it is harsh on the caulking. I know you cant recommend a specific product, but what have you used that has worked for you?
    – amrog
    Feb 21 at 20:14
  • Hard water will often leave calcification on the tile - that's not soap scum but you do need to remove it before caulking. Vinegar and water will usually do it. Neither vinegar and water nor any good off-the-shelf brand cleaner will harm the caulk once it's cured. Be sure to rinse it off and dry all surfaces before applying the caulk.
    – HoneyDo
    Feb 21 at 21:07

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