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BATH...Cracked tiles, cracked grout & moisture in wall

15 years ago

I have a few issues in my bathtub area that I need answers for, but first, here's some background info:

About 4 years ago, I had the plastic backsplash for my bathtub replaced with square 4"x4" ceramic tiles. There is a window on the long wall of the tub, so tiles were fitted around the window instead of wood trim. When the men removed the old plastic backsplash, there was quite a bit of moisture in the wood on the wall where the window is located. The men stated that they could do the tile job even though the wood was moist, that the wood would dry out inside the wall, that they come across this all the time. They chipped off some of the most moist areas of wood, then did the tile job. I believe they put a moisture barrier up and adhered the tiles to that barrier.

I didn't realize that they did not caulk where the bottom tiles meet the tub (only grout was placed there), and so showers were taken. Now the grout between the tub and the bottom tiles is cracked with bits of grout missing. A few months ago, I noticed that the bottom tiles that meet the tub have hairline cracks in them...these tiles are on the wall with the window.

So my questions are:

1) For the cracks/missing bits in the grout between the tub and bottom tiles, should I re-grout and then apply caulk or should I just apply caulk without re-grouting the cracks? I don't know if it's necessary to re-grout first.

2) What would cause the 4-year old bottom tiles to have hairline cracks? The tiles are on the wall where the window is located.

3) Were the men correct when they said that they could immediately do the tile job without allowing time to for the moist wood (behind the old backsplash) to air dry, that the wood would dry out by itself over time with the tile job completed? I'm concerned that the wood has never dried out and perhaps mold may be growing.

Thank you for any help, advice and information.

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