Silicone for Shower


I'm regrouting/caulking a shower. I do fairly well with the tub/tile caulk for the joints. But when it comes to silicone (I am using it for where the metal frame meets the tile) I tend to make a mess of it. It's hard to apply well. Does anyone have any tips or secrets for using silicone? Or a website to point me to? Thanks,
Ross Payne
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Someone posted here a month or so ago about "pushing" silicone rather than dragging it. I tried it, and by golly they were right. Much, much easier and smoother I find I spend less time fixing my mistakes.
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Patt
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wrote:

Although I have yet to try this, I did read about the following tip....
Caulk your joint free hand, then spray windex over the caulking and any areas you don't want the caulk to stick to.
Using a stiff piece of laminate or vinyl siding, cut it into a small rectangle and round off one corner. Use this to shape your bead and to scrape off excess.
Regards Dale
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By the way do not use caulk where the tile meets the tub. Use grout instead so water can drain into the tub or pan.

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Grout's also more "cleanable" with a brush, which is probably what it'll need from time to time. Silicone won't stand up to a brush, although admittedly, I have not used every single brand of silicone sealer that's ever been sold.
By the way, I seem to recall at least a couple of people here saying they'd had real problems with GE silicone not curing properly no matter how long they waited. You'd think a company would take all the bad product off the shelves after discovering a problem, but this is GE, the company that raped the Hudson River with toxic chemicals and pretends they didn't.
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What does flexibility have to do with proper drainage?
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Nothing, but grout, which is not flexible, will crack and fall out over time. I have done a fair amount of tiling, and all the references I have consulted recommend caulk for the corners and bottom, and grout elsewhere.
I guess I am confused by Art's post as to why caulk would prevent water from draining into the tub or pan if applied properly.
JK
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Because caulk is water proof and will act as a dam and stop the water from draining into the pan. Corners should be caulked but that bottom edge needs to be grout. Fill bathtub with water to weigh it down while grouting it.
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Sorry Art, I'm still not getting it. Maybe I'm stupid. You tile down a vertical surface to about 3/16" for the top lip of the tub, a horizontal surface with a slight pitch into the tub itself. You fill in the gap with caulk, in a cove shape. Water runs down the the wall, over the caulk, into the tub. How does this form a dam??
JK
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On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 08:40:28 -0500, "The Streets"

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Art wrote:

I disagree. Joints that might move should be caulked. Silicone will last forever if done right.

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On Mon, 26 Feb 2007 22:25:05 -0500, Ross Payne wrote:

Put masking tape on the metal frame and on the tile. Apply the silicone. Smooth and press the silicone into any gaps with your fingers. Carefully remove the masking tape.
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The biggest mistake people make is cutting the tip too wide and applying too much. You want to cut the tip smaller, apply less than what you think it needs, just and then smooth it out with a wet finger. I dip mine in rubbing alcohol and it comes out near perfect. Doesn't hurt to practice on something first.
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Also, (forgot in my last post) Silicone shrinks as it dries / sets. Try not to fill huge gaps with it, or it may split as it dries.
JK
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Ross Payne wrote:

Make sure the tile and frame are absolutely clean and dry. Wipe tile with full-strength bleach and dry it. Wipe both with denatured alcohol and dry them. You want the silicone to form a cove-molding shaped corner. Put down painters tape as far as you want tth silicone to extend. Be sure to push the tape down in grout joints so caulk doesn't go under the tape. Cut the caulk tip so the opening is about the same width or a tad narrower than your caulk bead. Push the caulk tube to apply it. Wet yer finger and run it down the bead once to even it out. Remove the tape right away. Practice if you have never done it before.
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