BEWARE OF COLOR-CHANGING CAULK
When the time came to update our kids’ bathtub/shower, we wanted to replace the dated tub and grouted tile walls with an easy-to-maintain, white acrylic tub and a smooth wall surround with a clean aesthetic. In Feb 2021 Quality Craftsmen (QC) did a full demo of the existing tub/shower down to the studs, then installed everything new. The process went smoothly, it only took a couple of days, and the workmanship seemed to be high-quality. The Bath Express warranty (lifetime on the tub, walls, and valve system) gave us peace of mind. We were satisfied customers! However, within a few months, we noticed that the silicone caulk around the perimeter of the tub (where the wall and tub meet) was starting to discolor. We tried to clean the stained caulk with products from the list of “approved” cleaners, but it wouldn’t come off. We contacted QC, and they quickly arranged for the installer to return and re-caulk. QC could not explain why this was happening, and claimed they had “never seen this problem before.” So, the original caulk was removed, and a new batch was applied, and we were hopeful that the issue was resolved. However, within another few months, the silicone caulk was discoloring again. Now, after 18 months, and three re-caulks, we are still dealing with this issue! The one-year warranty for the silicone has expired, and our clean, white shower has an ugly reddish/brown ring around the top of the tub. Since attempts to reach out to QC have been met with no reply, we contacted the manufacturer (BCI Acrylic), and they suggested that maybe the problem was hard water (we have city water, and it does not test hard). They also said it was possible that certain proteins or dyes in the products that our kids use was to blame. Our kids don’t dye their hair. They use regular bar soap (ex. Zest, Dial), basic shampoo/conditioner brands (ex. Suave, Herbal Essences, Head & Shoulders), occasionally a scented bath scrub or an acne face wash…in other words, products that are commonly used by families! If the products used in the shower are truly the issue, then QC needs to warn their customers that this discoloration is possible before they invest thousands of dollars on a new shower/tub, AND please provide a list of “approved” toiletries. I suppose we will eventually need to pay another company to replace the caulk with a different, more discoloration-resistant brand. Bottom line, our expectations for this bathroom renovation were high, and we have been left disappointed.