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Thread: Best caulking for acrylic shower base

  1. #1
    DIY Member dirtmover's Avatar
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    Default Best caulking for acrylic shower base

    I recently installed an new shower with acrylic base and have been having terrible problems getting the caulk to seal at the base. It just does not want to stick to the acrylic and water seeps underneath it. The first application was made immediately after removing the plastic protective film so I assumed it was spotlessly clean. After a few days water was seeping under the glass and from the corner where the aluminum supporting rails meet the glass. I removed the silicone and throughly cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and re-caulked. Again after a few days it had detached again. I have been using GE silicone II and it has absolutely no problems sticking to the tiles, glass or aluminum rails but just doesn't want to stick to the acrylic base . Any ideas why or suggestions for a better product that will stick properly to the acrylic base.

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    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    Does your pan flex much?
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


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    DIY Member dirtmover's Avatar
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    There is very little to no flex. I emailed the manufacturer and here's the response I got:

    Hi,

    Acrylic has no porosity, that is why silicon doesn't adghere to it.

    Use masking tape and leave approx 1/4" of acrylic...use a fine sand paper to scratch the acrylic surface...then the silicon will adhere.

    Thank you


    Interestingly the installation instructions don't mention anything about this and unlike other pans I have since looked at does not have a raised edge that would have prevented water seeping over the edge in the event of caulking failure.

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    That is interesting. But silicone will stick to glass. I wonder what is different about acrylic?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The acrylic could still have some mold release on it, which would make it tough to stick anything to it. Also keep in mind that some of those caulks, while they may get a skin on them fairly quickly, take up to a week or more to actually cure. Wetting them before full cure will cause them to fail.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Member dirtmover's Avatar
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    OK, I found it. The stuff is called Lexel and it sticks like sh** to a blanket. Once I knew what to look for a quick Google search reveals that it is highly rated for this type of application but unlike silicone doesn't have a huge market penetration. Unfortunately up here in Canada I could only find one source locally and only stocking small tubes of clear - I would have preferred white but clear is better than a leak.

    So far so good but only time will tell how is stands up.

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