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Thread: Shower surround - horrible mess with silicone caulk

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member penobscotman's Avatar
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    Default Shower surround - horrible mess with silicone caulk

    Finally got the shower in after a two month horrific remodel. Final step was to caulk between the DW overlapping the nailing flange and the top of the enclosure wall. I left a 1/4 inch gap for caulking as specified in install directions. Used silicone caulk as specified. A horrible mess. I had trouble filling the gap (it was more like 5/16 and a good 1/2 inch deep (should have used backer rod) and ended up smearing lots over the DW where it will prevent final painting. I have considerable experience with latex caulk, zero with silicone. So what to do?

    Functionally is is probably pretty water tight, but it looks awful. My plan is to cut out the mess - the silicone caulk and a bit of the adjacent DW - fill the space with hot mud, flat tape it, skim over with all purpose mud and then apply a modest bead of caulk in the angle formed by the plaster and the top of the enclosure. There would be no gap between the plaster and the top of the enclosure.

    How does this sound? And do I really need to use silicone? What am I waterproofing against? Light spray from the shower?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Your first mistake was NOT using masking tape on both sides of the "groove" to keep the silicone off the surrounding surfaces. Alcohol may remove the silicone from the shower enclosure, but you would have to find something, maybe shellac, which would adhere to the silicone and allow paint to be applied over it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member penobscotman's Avatar
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    Yes, I accept full responsibility for that blunder - not using tape. But I think the best remedy is to cut the mess out and start over. As I see it, another problem with leaving a space to be filled with caulk is that the cut edge of the DW shows above the caulk bead if it is concave. It's a bit ragged. My plan is to bury that edge in mud and tape and apply a caulk bead in the 90 degree angle between the DW and the surround.

  4. #4
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    There are a couple of chemical products available for removing silicone caulk found in stores. New silicone does not chemically bond to cured silicone, so it is important to remove all of the existing silicone a residue before re-applying.

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