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Thread: Silicone Won't Stick

  1. #1

    Default Silicone Won't Stick

    Hi Guys (and other Gals),

    I finished having my totally enclosed 4'x2' shower stall (with tiled ceiling) totally redone but am having a problem.
    I used GE Silicone II Bath & Kitchen Caulk to seal joints where the wall tiles meet each other (vertical joints) and also 'tween floor tiles and walls (horizontal joints) but caulk has just come away from all joints after about 2-3 months.

    One day I was taking a shower and noticed a strip of it just bowing out from the side wall at the floor joint as the heavy water spray hit it.
    I was able to just pick it up and pull it totally away from the floor/wall joint without any effort at all. There is NO space between or at the joints, I think it is mastic (which was used to set all tiles) or grout there.

    The caulk was still within the date stamped on tube, 10/06.
    I complained to GE but they were no help.
    What are my options now. I am afraid if I use the same caulk - it will fail again???

    I am afraid to use the shower until I solve this problem and caulk all seams again!

    Thank you soo much!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Cindy

  2. #2
    Engineer jdkimes's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Littleton, CO
    Posts
    181

    Default

    The only explanation would be that the surfaces were wet or oily or dusty when it was applied. That Silicone II is very sticky, in fact some people don't like using it because it's so sticky it can be hard to work with. I'd try it again but make sure it's clean and dry before applying. Use towels, hair dryer and maybe some rubbing alcohol to dry and clean away moisture, dust, oils.

    Caulk can sometimes be a big headache in showers when water gets behind it.
    The hard part you'll find now is removing all the caulk that you applied already. But it's important to try and do that too.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,388

    Default

    You mentioned a dirty word for showers - mastic. If you didn't use thinset - the stuff you buy in a bag and mix with water (or a latex addative), you shower is going to fail. Mastic stays soft in the bucket in the store until you put it out in the air and it can dry out...it doesn't set, it dries. Now, guess what happens in a shower - it gets wet again. It turns to mush. If you read the fine print on the stuff, they say not to use in wet areas - it is great for putting tile on a wall in a dry area, but should never be used in a shower. Sorry, if that's what was used, it will fail. My unprofessional opinion. What did they use for grout? Something also in a bucket? You can probably pop the tile off of the wall, wash it off with a wet rag, and reuse it for a real new shower that will last. Did they put a waterproof membrane on a sloped pan? or was it put down on the floor, then the slope put down? Another big no-no...Hopefully, I heard you wrong...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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