The ceramic tile walls in your bathrooms or kitchen are easy to maintain and, if properly maintained, will be impervious to water. The seams, joints and sealers are not waterproof and require proper maintenance to prevent water seepage and damage to materials adjacent to and underneath the tile.
Cracks in the caulking joints between tile and tub, in the shower stall corners, and at the floor, are normal and are caused by the high degree of moisture present in every bathroom, as well as from the normal shrinkage of caulking material. Separation between the tub and wall tile is caused by the weight of the tub when filled with water. Maintaining these areas is critical since excessive moisture can severely damage underlying materials.
It will be necessary to re-apply a tub and tile caulk when the previous caulking has dried out or eroded. To re-caulk the area, use a top quality flexible tub and tile caulk. Do not use a clear silicone caulk, as it yellows with age. Begin by removing the old caulk and cleaning the area. Once the area is dry, apply fresh caulking to fill the vacant space, then smooth out the finish with a wet finger.
Regrouting and recaulking is a homeowner maintenance responsibility for the life of the home.