Rot behind the kitchen sink...

21 May 2003
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United Kingdom
Last summer we installed a new kitchen. Behind the steel sink there is about 2 inches of worktop, which meets the wall behind where there are two rows of tiles. At the joint of the worktop and tiles, I grouted, and then sealed with a layer of bathroom sealant.

Water collects there easily, and though I try and keep it dry it's inevitable considering it's the kitchen sink. Already I've had to replace all the sealant once, as it went black and shrunk, and the state of the worktop below it didn't look too great either.

Is there anything I can do/use to stop this happening? Other peoples kitchens don't seem to have this problem...

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Did you buy a good quality sealant or a B&Q type own brand? I had a similar problem with sealing a bath. The cheap sealant just kept cracking. Since using a quality product (costing about 3 times as much) having a long guarantee, it has been fine. You will need to remove ALL the old stuff. Give the surfaces a good clean with white spirit to make sure the joint is free from water & grease.
Just to add on, make sure there is a support at the back of the worktop behind the sink, if not the worktop do bend slightly with weight of the sink & water. 2"x1" timber should be okay with screw and plug into the wall.
When applying your new, high quality sealant, make sure you use masking tape to get a neater finish, and peel this off straight after tooling.

Good quality silicone is very difficult to get off once it has dried, so wipe up any superfluous sealant whilst still wet, with a damp cloth (that you don't mind throwing away!).
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Also best to leave the sealant off until dried out or heat it with a hairdryer to make sure there's no wet/damp left.
Thanks guys - good advice about the worktop support - mine is sagging, and there's a noticably larger gap to fill behing the taps than the rest of the worktop.

What should you use to smooth in the sealant? I always use a wet finger and cloth...
In terms of quality - I'm using Unibond - that's reasonable isn't it?

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