Pls evaluate this caulking job (pics--hope it's not too huge!)

talley_sue_nycMay 13, 2010

I hired a handyman to do some work in my bathrooms, several different things. DH is supervising while I'm at work. He's a wimp, and unobservant. And he worries a lot about offending tradesman, and he chats them up when they're here--it's as if he really can only operate in "social" mode.

When I came home and looked at the caulking job on the tub and the shower, I wasn't all that happy. He sort of acted like he thought I was being too picky, so I'm second-guessing myself.

So, I don't feel like I can trust him, and now I don't feel like I can trust me. Please, would you look at these pics, and tell me what you think?

These are of the shower; it's a stall shower from the 1920s, and there's a vertical marble slab that divides the shower from the rest of the tiny bathroom. This is the outside seam, where the marble slab meets the tiled floor, and where the marble slab ends at the doorframe. This is what you see when you sit on the toilet.


Center of the Shower Border


Shower End


all in one pics, from more of a distance

This set is from the tub. The tub was reglazed a few years ago, and the guy who did that job did a crappy job caulking--he used clear, and then he blobbed it all up the tub-surround wall for an inch or so. We coverd it up w/ that self-adhesive tape. Once we had the new guy remove the tape, of course the reglazing pulled up. I said, "Ignore it, I don't blame you in the least, and just recaulk, for safety's sake. Maybe I'll get the tub reglazed. Just caulk nicely." I think he tried to cover the dings in the paint job--but you notice he did squat to the mildew-stained caulk in the corners!


Tub end


tub end closeup


tub side


tub other corner

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metaxa

That is not the best I've seen but it is far from the worst I've seen.

Comes a time when only a total R&R will do the trick, you can only make an old tub look new again for a bit. New acrylic tub surrounds/new tile surrounds preclude that caulk joint.

Caulking is a curious mix between craftsmanship and art.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 12:25AM
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talley_sue_nyc

New acrylic tub surrounds won't fit; new tile surrounds mean grout, and lots of semi-horizontal surfaces to clean. Neither of them is an option now.

Shouldn't the edges of the caulk at the shower border be straight? They're all wobbly.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 12:29AM
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mongoct

Anyone who works that sloppily should be paying you for your aggravation instead of you paying them.

If someone is inexperienced at caulking, at least invest $2 in a roll of blue painters tape. Mask off the area, caulk, tool, then pull the tape for nice clean lines.

It's just not that hard to do.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 12:36AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Mongo (or anyone else)--see that "lettuce leaf" edge that's developed on the tub end? Is that a result of the caulk being too thin? Or of it not adhering well? Or both?

In many of these places, the caulk is spread pretty wide and thin--almost like thick paint. That makes me fear it'll be more likely to lose adhesion. Or am I making that up?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:43AM
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brickeyee

The thin caulk will quickly be removed by normal cleaning (and that is probably what has already lifted it for the 'lettuce leaf').

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 10:11AM
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talley_sue_nyc

So, am I justified in asking him to redo these sections?

And I think I'm going to tell him to leave the tub, bcs it's effective at stopping the water for now, and to see if I can get a tub refinisher to deal w/ the whole thing, including the caulk. Bcs they'd have to redo it anyway, and I think I really should deal w/ the bare patches on the tub finish. Make sense?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 10:43AM
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PRO
Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

So, am I justified in asking him to redo these sections?

I would find someone who actually knows how to apply chalk

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 5:38AM
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worthy

The trouble with having him redo the job is that he was evidently satisfied with the job he did in the first place. He's probably done the best he could already.

BTW, I've never seen any pro use masking tape. They apply the caulking sparingly and (if necessary) immediately use a cloth or tool to keep the line consistent.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 8:29AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Yeah, worthy, I know what you mean. Per my husband, his helped did this part of the job. So I'm thinking I'll give him one more shot. It can't make it any WORSE.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 2:17PM
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talley_sue_nyc

Oh, and thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 2:21PM
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brickeyee

Buy a caulking gun and try it yourself.

The idea is to fill the gap flush, not create feather edges.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 2:36PM
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andrelaplume2

are you sure DH did not do this himself?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 8:58AM
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susanjf_gw

looks about what dh did, despite having the caulk tool (if you don't want to use your finger, and a damp rag)...i just can't stand it,and if i could have, would have done it myself...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:22AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Thanks again, everybody.

Brickeyee, the silly think is, I *have* a caulking gun. I just don't have the inclination to do this. I'm thinking that if the main guy doesn't "get" what's wrong with it, then I may just say, "you have to 'make it right' by taking it OUT," and then I'll redo it.

I'm running early tomorrow to buy tintable caulk at the paint store, and to try to find a really, really pale gray to tint it with.

And andrelaplume2--you know what? I think my DH would have actually done a better job.

oh, that thick coat in the corners of the tub? It's still squishy. We gave it about 30 hours to dry before we used the shower. And the shampoo bottle we set on the corner of the tub got pushed into the caulk and made a huge arc in the blob.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:03PM
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PRO
Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

You will need to remove all the existing chalk and clean it well before chalking it again.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 5:50AM
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cliffrock

Makes me wonder how big the gaps were! The job of caulk is not to act like a wall, but really to fill in a gap. Generally, if the caulk is not in the gap, it is not doing anything functional.
I use the finger-wipe method (sometimes I tape), run a bead down the crack (this requires cutting the tip down to an accurate diameter), then drag your finger down to smooth the bead, wipe finger off on cloth frequently, repeat.
Those pictures indicate that the original person used mittens while intoxicated.
My $.02

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 8:17AM
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