I've got a problem with the area around my whirlpool bath and surround.
Problem is, I've got a wide gap between the tub and surround, especially at
the faucet end of the tub. The gap at its worst is approximately a half inch
wide, too wide for caulking alone. When we bought the house, the water was
coming into the kitchen pantry downstairs every time we took a shower due to
a crappy caulking job. We did a temporary fix with that dreadful rubber tape
business, but that stuff of course doesn't stick all that well and is no
I saw another post on this topic awhile back, and replies suggested a
material called backer rod to fill the gap, then you caulk over. After a
trip to the local Home Depot, and dealing with an orange aproned bloke who
had never heard of the stuff, he asked his resident plumbing expert.
The plumbing expert first informed me that he had never encountered this
problem with a tub that HE had installed, because he'd do it right the first
time. In addition, he had never heard of such a thing as backer rod in his
21 years as a professional plumber. I resisted the urge to ask what an
obviously skilled plumber with 21 years experience was doing working at Home
Sorry, my HD rant got in the way of my original problem. Anyhow, I found the
darned backer rod myself (showed it to plumbing expert, who declared it
weatherstripping and inappropriate for the task at hand), stuffed it in the
gap as directed on the package and caulked over it. My husband and I did
without showers for several days to let everything get good and dry.
So, now we're using the shower and bath again. The pantry is staying dry for
the moment. But the darned caulking has started peeling off the backer rod,
especially right under the faucet and in a couple of other spots where it
gets more wet.
I'm sure just the backer rod itself is stuffed in tight enough to hold the
water back for awhile, but we need a more permanent solution. To add insult
to injury, the black backer rod covered with white cracking caulking looks