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Thread: Sterling Ensemble Shower -- A Few Questions

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member DigitalMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Columbus, OH

    Default Sterling Ensemble Shower -- A Few Questions

    1. The instructions call for a relatively small amount of caulk at the front sides (lower) of the walls. I'm thinking I should liberally caulk all along the bottom of all three walls (where they meet the receptor). Do you recommend this?

    2. Should I caulk along the vertical seams? Or should I leave these alone, to let the water run down to the receptor? (Leaving a small gap in the caulk between the walls and receptor)

    3. What is a safe and effective way of removing caulk from the smooth vikrell surface?

    Before you say "read the manufacturer's recommendations," a little story. The installation guide recommends (as the primary method) using the supplied felt underlay with the receptor. The instructions also mention using a mortar base as an "option." Well, my box contained no felt underlay and neither did the other two boxes we opened at Lowe's. So I called Sterling and after a long pause they said "We no longer supply the felt." Why not, I asked. "We now recommend you install a mortar base." Well that would be nice to include in the instructions and on the Sterling web site. Instead, Sterling hasn't bothered to change their instructions nor their web site, which still says "Use the pad supplied." This is why I'm asking the experts instead of the customer reps at Sterling.

    I thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    DIY Member CharlieM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Despite the felt issue, I would still suggest reading the instructions. I'm glad to hear they now ask for a mortar bed. If this is one of Sterling's "no-caulk" units, then I wouldn't caulk it except for the little part on the ends where the instructions say to caulk. Caulking other places only makes a mess and risks compromising the no-caulk design.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member JOHN_P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Milwaukee, WI


    Hi DigitalMan,

    That's odd. I had purchased the tub from Home Depot, there was no felt pad, but returned that one and custom ordered a deeper 32" model. That one came with the felt pad (which I tossed because I did the mortar (and that turned out great though I was so worried when doing it), and the custom ordered one also came with a nice thin plastic molded construction guard which covered the whole tub to keep it from getting scratched during the project. That didn't come with the one that was in stock at Home Depot either. Maybe they cut costs on ones in the big box stores, no idea.

    Do the mortar bed. The tub felt pretty good without it, but solid as a rock with it.


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