Shower Enclosure Problem

31 Jan 2012
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United Kingdom
Late last year we had our en suite refurbished. As part of that we had a new shower enclosure fitted. The siliconing around the shower I did myself. I siliconed all the outside and also the inside uprights only, not the bottom of the frame inside.

The first time the shower was used water was leaking from the corners outside the enclosure through the tile grout and onto the floor. As I knew the silicone I had done was sound I wondered if the fitter had siliconed inside the uprights before instillation? He assured me that he had and also said I should have siliconed 2 inches along the bottom corners of the shower frame, the bottom bit of the frame in the corners before it gets to the bottom runner bit. I said that you aren’t supposed to silicone inside a frame (especially the bottom) as water should drain back into the shower.

Anyway we got the fitter out and he said he had sealed behind the uprights but I wasn’t convinced and asked him to take the shower down. Sure enough behind the uprights were not siliconed. After a full day getting the silicone off the shower frame, tray and walls. I let the walls and floor dry out thoroughly for a week before attempting to silicone behind the uprights prior to the frame going up.

I did notice that the tiles on the wall came down really tight onto the shower tray touching in places and there was not much room to get silicone actually in the gap. I would have thought the expansion gap between the tiles and tray would have to be at least a couple of mills to make sure the silicone gets well into the gap. Surely the thinner the gap the less the silicone can stretch?. Anyhow I used a small nozzle and forced as much in the gaps behind where the uprights were going to fix, squeezing it in with the gun, pushing it in with my finger several times., and obviously overlapping onto the wall and tray.

I was still concerned about the stretchiness of such a small amount of silicone in what could be a place where there potentially could be so much movement. I couldn’t over lap too much on the wall and tray as the frame had to go over that silicone and I didn’t want it disturbed in the fitting process. The fitter returned and started to put up the frame, before he put up the uprights he did put a bit of silicone on the bottom of the uprights before he fitted the frame to the wall. One the frame was up I then was left with the task of all the siliconing.

The shower was ok for a week but today the problem has returned. I spent ages making sure that the silicone behind the uprights was done to the best of my capabilities. Is it possible that the silicone behind the uprights could have failed as there wasn’t a big enough gap to seal properly in the first place? Now that the shower has been used and the tray flexing slightly and not enough silicone to stretch with the movement? Or even the tray rubbing on the tiles and wearing through the small bit of silicone. As I said the tiles were tight up to the tray. Or is the fitter right that I should have sealed the little bits inside along the bottom corners of the shower frame, the bottom bit of the frame in the corners before it gets to the bottom runner bit as shown in the picture.
But then again if its sealed behind the uprights then this shouldn’t matter.

Below is where the fitter suggested sealing
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Did anyone seal between the tray/wall tiles behind the wall upright before it was screwed to the wall. Also around the bottom inside the wall upright (sides & back) before the glass panel was inserted?

Does tray have a first mastic seal between tray & wall before tiles were put up?

Some manufacturers say you should mastic a couple of inches on the inside uprights as well

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