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Can Anyone Recommend A Good Reliable Sealant For Around The Bath?

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bravejordy | 20:28 Tue 08th May 2012 | DIY
34 Answers
Here's the problem: I have a shower fitted over my bath but everytime I use it, water drips down into the kitchen below. The problem is the silicone sealant around the entire edge of bath keeps splitting even though I've tried replacing it time and time again. I've even tried removing all the old sealant and starting all over again from scratch, but the same thing happens. I was even advised to fill the bath with water before applying the sealant (to allow for the weight of the water), I've done this but it still doesn't seem to resolve the problem.

Would appreciate any help with this.


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I could be wrong here, but I make a lot of stuff that needs fixing together, and I have always been taught to 'score' each surface so that the adhesive has something to grip to. Maybe a very gentle sanding, just where the sealant sits will help?
Oh, and only half fill the bath. If you fill it completely, when you release the water, the upward pressure will force it away from the wall side :)
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Cheers Mojo, it's a white enamel coated metal bath resting against ceramic tiles. Would it be possible to sand these surfaces without causing damage?
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Yes, I have tried both half-filling and completely filling the bath, but neither seems to help. :o(
is it quite a wide gap? I have bodged a wide bath gap by buying a can of expanding foam and squirting it into the gap and letting it set before putting the silicone sealant on.
The other thing is to make sure that all the surfaces are grease free. Once the old sealer is off, clean it all round with meths. When the meths is dry, buff off with clean kitchen paper.
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Cheers woofgang, it depends what you mean by a wide gap, I'd say it's approximately 1-2 millimetres. Actually, I do have a can of expanding foam that I bought for my shed but never got around to using, so if all else fails, I might try your suggestion. Thanks again. :o)
Where are you buying the sealant from? I found out to my cost that buying cheap stuff costs more in the end. I bought brown sealant from a well known store for £1 and put it round my window frames. Heavy rain that night washed it out!!
hmmm 1 to 2 mm should fill with silicone. It sounds like your bath has some movement going on. have you tried giving it a good wriggle and shake to see if it moves?
You could try using sealant tape User Recommendation

Also using shower curtains with the curtains dangling a few inches inside the bath will get most of the shower water landing in the bath , minimizing the amount going around the edge of the bath .
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Thanks for all your replies.

needawin: I wouldn't touch the cheap pound stuff with a barge pole. I've tried silicone sealants from Wilkos and B&Q ranging from £3.99 - £5.99 but none seem to solve the problem.

woofgang: Have just tried giving the bath a good wiggle like you suggested and it seems firm enough but it's hard to tell for sure. I would've thought any good sealant would stop any wiggle or at least allow for slight movement?

argorstran: Yes, I do have shower curtains that hang completely inside my bath, on a "U" shape rail, but obviously not on the wall where the shower itself is located (above the bath taps). No matter what I try, the water still splashes onto the split sealant and drips down through the kitchen ceiling. I really do think the only solution is to find a decent sealant. Just checked out that sealant tape on Amazon btw, but sadly none of the reviews have anything favourable to say about the product. Cheers anyway.
Is the bath butted into the wall correctly?
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I assume so, it was fitted by a qualified plumber about ten years ago.
When did the leak start?

I only mentioned that because that's what happened to us. The plumber hadn't pushed the bath far enough into the wall so the tiles were level with the bath, which meant water seeped down the back.
Any decent sanitary silicone should do the job Jordy. Dig it all out again :o(
After you've had a good clean around, thoroughly dry the area with a hair dryer. Get it nice and warm. Silicone hates water, even a little dampness. It just won't stick.
Next, force sealant into the joint as much as you can. This is just the first coat........ don't worry about neat finishing. Wipe all excess off and let it cure for a few hours.
Now go for the final bead of silicone........... as neat as you can. Keep a cup of water handy. To finish ........... dip your finger in the water and run gently along the top of the bead to smooth it out.

This is only one of many ways to get good results with silicone. Others will have their own ways. This does work for me :o)
extremely good advice from TB.......this is the very best method to go for in your situation.........
I was having a problems with mine and when dad went under it one of the feet had slipped so might be worth checking. He sorted that for me than filled the bath with water and put the sealant on before leaving for sometime with the water in it to to dry - he used unibond.
it will allow for occasional slight movement (silicone) but frequent wiggling will break the joint, especially if the joint was not good one to begin with (wet or greasy surfaces) I would really check that you have no movement, shove a few matches or cocktail sticks down the gap in various places so they are just wedged lightly, try and wiggle the bath in all directions and see if the matches/cocktail sticks move or fall out. If it does, the bath will need repostioning and the clamps/stands refixing.
You might like to try this sealant:
Dow Corning 785 Acetoxy Bacteriostatic Sealant (and, yes, I have copied the words accurately!). On the back of the cartridge there are these numbers:
ISO 22196:2007
A cartridge cost me about £5 last year. I mention this brand because I, too, have been disappointed with sealants that are available for the amateur market. A local plumber has done two or three jobs for me, and I noticed that his sealant was much better than the stuff that I had been buying. I went to the same plumbers' merchants that he uses, I mentioned his name, and I asked for the sealant that he uses, and I was sold the Dow Corning (which was in a back room and not on display). If you can get hold of that, you won't be disappointed.
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Thanks everyone for the much appreciated help and advice. I'll try The Builder's suggestion first and see how things go from there, but I'll certainly keep that Dow Corning stuff in mind, bookbinder. I probably won't be doing it until the weekend but I'll keep you posted on how it all goes. Thanks again. ;o)
There is also something on the market that looks like DRAUGHT EXCLUDER

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