My partner and I bought a house in July. It has 2 tubs, 1 of which we never use.

Both tubs needed to be re-caulked. On 2022-10-31 I had a professional re-caulk both tubs.

The one that my partner and I each use daily (for showers) already seems to have its caulk splitting just a few weeks later, so now it's starting to look like how it did when we bought the house.

What does this mean, and what should I do?

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  • 2
    Some caulk has more flexibility than others. Because of weight of water and person bathtub can sink down a bit in use. A few weeks is soon enough that I'd ask the professional back to redo with a better caulk. Nov 23, 2022 at 18:44
  • 4
    Did he use caulk or grout? That crack looks like grout to be. I've never seen a good quality caulk crack like that in the middle of the joint. Pull away from the surface at one edge or the other - maybe. Note that grout should never be used between two surfaces that move wrt one another.
    – SteveSh
    Nov 23, 2022 at 18:53
  • 4
    When I re-tiled my bathroom, I used GE Silicone II between the tub and the wall. No cracking after 7 years.
    – SteveSh
    Nov 23, 2022 at 18:55
  • 3
    Wow, what a sloppy job. If you use two strips of painters tape, you can get a much cleaner look. Nov 23, 2022 at 19:05
  • 4
    You say you had a "professional" do this job .... ? I don't think so .... :P
    – brhans
    Nov 23, 2022 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


This is why we use silicone round bathtubs, not caulk - or that may even be the same grout used for the tiles, which is even worse, there is no resistance to stress at all.

If that was a 'professional' job, get them back to fix it. It looks a complete mess & they used the wrong stuff. You paid for a shoddy job, I'm afraid.

If it wasn't pros, then you need to scrape that all out again & use silicone.
Before you start, fill the bathtub with water. That will mean that unless the building is moving over time, the stress on the joint will always be either zero or upwards [compression].

If you seal it when the bath is empty, then every time you fill it with water the stress is downwards [expansion], which will crack most fillers except silicone, which will stand a little more stress, but not forever.

  • I wouldn't call them back if they did this the first time! Mourn the money and keep them out of your house. If you just bought your first home this is a great first DIY project! You can screw up and re-do it as many times as you need and the cost of mistakes is near zero.
    – jay613
    Nov 23, 2022 at 19:35
  • @jay613 - yeah, your probably right - but I can get cussed enough that I'll get people back in over & over until they do it properly, or I just threaten them with trading standards & ask for my money back. I did have one guy recently [I wasn't paying so it becomes 'somebody else's problem'] who was so bad that everything he did will now be re-done by someone else [at someone else's cost, so I don't care].
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 23, 2022 at 19:38

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