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Our contractors have almost finished the tile work in our half-bath. I noticed there were large gaps between the wall and the tiles. They are very noticeable. (Please see the pics.)

The gap, the tile and molding of the doorway is also very large. The contractor told me that it was because our wall wasn't even and he would put caulking to fill the gaps.

I'm wondering if using caulking to fill the gaps between the tiles and walls is the right way?

Is there an alternative solution to make it better?

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The gap on the door frame is fine. It's also necessary for adhesion.

Say there is humid weather, and the wood door frame expands by 0.5 mm. That will squish the caulk joint in the gap a bit, but it is wide enough to accomodate this. Same thing if the wood shrinks due to a dry summer, or flexes when someone closes the door. If it was a 1mm gap there would be no room for stretching and squeezing, and the caulk would end up no longer sticking to one side of the gap after a while. If he had laid the tiles right against the wood without an elastic caulk, if someone slams the door pretty hard, that can crack a tile.

Since it is between something very hard (tile) and something that flexes and expands and contract according to humidity (wood) it has to be a flexible material like silicone. If you use tile grout instead, that is quite hard and brittle, it would crack and fall off.

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Without something for scale it's hard to tell but it looks about right based on the gaps between other tiles. It's a good call to use caulking on the gaps between the wall and the tile as it allows for some movement. If you were to use the grout it would likely crack at some point.

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  • Got it, thanks.
    – Lynette
    Apr 12 at 0:02
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Caulk may be the best answer at this stage but that looks sloppy. Either the trim strip wasn't installed properly or if your wall really is that uneven the metal edging was a poor choice. It should be flush with the wall, behind the cement and hide the whole tile edge without any caulk.

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  • I know, unfortunately, the job is already done like that. Thanks.
    – Lynette
    Apr 12 at 19:26

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