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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi. I am a General Contractor in Nevada City and have done many various jobs in my career, such as building a log home solo. I have had a lot of help from people on this website in the past and was actually not able to log in since I forgot my password and tried to reset it. OH well.
I am always trying to learn new ways of doing any type of construction and keep up with my education.
I am having a real problem trying to find the correct caulk to use on the seams of an acrylic 3 piece Tub/shower surround. This was a new install and I used the manufacturers suggestion of 100% silicone the first time and it failed. You could pull it almost all out in one long strand. I then used Loctite polyseamseal and the same thing happened. I had cleaned it and dried it thoroughly before using the polyseamseal and asked that the shower not be used for 48hrs. I am talking to my local tile supply house and they are suggesting Bostik utra performance urethane caulk. I have researched so many caulks and forums and am confused and don't know what to do next. I really need some help on what I am doing wrong. I have also thought about GE silicone 2, but read it also fails. Sorry for the long explanation and if I posted this in the wrong area.

Thanks to all.
 

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I like Locktite's polyurethane caulk. I never used it around a tub. But, it's great stuff. Not easy removable like others.

Google it. I'm not sure if it's mild and mildew resistant, etc.
 

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contaminated bonding surfaces.

Clean out old chalking, blow out any moisture with compressor.

was with rubbing alcohol.

brand name 100% silicone, small test area first.

let dry as per direction, before using
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hi and thanks for the response. The bonding surfaces were cleaned first with rubbing alcohol when I first installed it and I actually used 100% silicone. I was wondering if I needed to prime or etch the surfaces where the overlapping seams meet. Thanks for you great comments.
 

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I ran into that problem once before for my sister's best friend. The caulk wouldn't adhere to the surface. I was the third guy to try and address the problem.

I removed all of the previous caulk. I wiped the area down with acetone first then alcohol second. Applied tape above and below the caulk area. Applied a nice bead of silicone caulk especially formulated for tubs and showers. I tooled it, removed the tape. It looked great. It didn't adhere either.

She had someone else remodel her bathroom shortly after. There was no miracle fix in that situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jb, and at least I know it's happend to someone else. Kowboy super nice link and I was actually thinking about it. I had done this with some vinly gutters once before and then painted them and it worked pretty good. What kind of caulking do you suggest. I am a bit nervous to go with the 100% silicone.

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was just watching the 3m link about the primer. I am not sure if it would work on acrylic, and tried to google it, but can't find anyone that sells it. I would probably need to find a medical supply house. I have used ectchings and primers purchased at the big box store and might look into that. Thanks again Kowboy for the link.
 

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I had this same problem with a Sterling tub surround. The surface was slick as snot. As if it had a rain-x finish. Once a part of the caulk came loose I could peel the whole seam out in one long strand.

Id be careful with the Vulkeem, it can get discolored be contaminants before it cures. Than it won't come out.
 

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It's hard to beat 100% silicone, but if you have the smallest amount of moisture when you apply it, it will peel off like the skin on a banana.
 

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I bet the panels may be loose. When they move the seal breaks. Theres no way silicone didn't work. I installed plenty of that type of product and always use silicone. Make sure the pieces are tight and whatever you glue them too is tight.
 

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im a plumber...i never use silicone for anything that shows....in hidden area's like to seal a tub overflow its great...i would never consider it on a tub surround

i use polyseam seal.....water cleanup......i prefer the sterling modules that dont need caulk in the joints....99% of what i install are those units

you may have to scuff up the area a bit to get something to stick..it could have wax/polish causing caulk to not adhere.....id try some light sand paper in the joints and then rubbing alcohol to clean it up...then try re caulking
 

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The OP needs to clearify what type of surround he's referring to. Is it panels glued to a substrate or a surround mounted to the studs? Totally different things. Most new kits that mount to the studs don't require sealant on the joints. They are designed to drain and dry out. Applying sealant just traps the moister and will most certainly loosen any sealant (designed for interior use)that is applied. Those kits are only fastened on the upper and side edges. They move alot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The panels are not loose, and it makes no difference as to what type of surround it is. If the caulking is water resistant and adheres to acrylic it should not fail because of water behind it. All that would do is cause mold and a build up of water. I have never seen 3 piece surround that was not overlapping.On what your describing your panels should not be moving, when you install this they need to be blocked between the studs, glued and then braced while the glue behind the panels set up.I have never seen these surrounds move a lot unless the handyman remodeler did not install it correctly. I have used loctite before with good results, but not this time and if you google silicone on acrylic surrounds then you will see other contractors that had this same problem. Thanks to everyone with the suggestions and I thinking I need to remove it and clean it again with denatured alcohol,vaccum, scuff or etch it and then apply the bostik. Thanks again huggytree,inner10 and dconstructs.
 

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There are different types. The cheapy kits and the custom 1/4-3/8 thick panels that get cut and scribed to fit and then glued to cement board or other substrate like culture marble kits.

Sure whatever you say. Im not the one asking how to do my job though. Nor am I a generic contractor oh I mean general contractor. My cheaper customers like the surrounds and I've installed over a dozen in the past 20 years in basement baths or when I cant get them to do it with better quality products. Water behind caulking will most assuredly cause it to fail. Go ahead scuff up your surround and screw up the factory finish if you think that'll help. The next time I redo something for the third time it would be a first for me.



Which model of surround is it? That may be helpful. I was jut trying to help. You're in no position to try to "big league" me. Like I said I aint the one asking how to do my job bro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I forgot that these forums were for those that had all the answers. I wish I would have you on my log home jobs so you could always make everything right the first time. There is always one on the job site that you have to follow behind and because they know everything Bro. Take a look at my website and the last log home I built solo and from milled logs on my saw mill. I don't need to big league you, you do it to yourself everyday. I actually never use surrounds and in all my years this was the first. I build and tile my own showers with kerdi-shluter shower kits. I did not know that this forum was for only high end jobs and for those that know it all. 20 surrounds, you keep contradicting yourself. What you said in the first reply made no sense. Water should not make a water resistant caulk fail. It is either that I did not prepare the surface correctly or I am using the wrong caulk for acrylic and that is why I am here. Just because you have a lic. does not mean your smart. I have known a few Plumbers, Sparky's and framers that new more about building a house then some GC. I was merely responding to your relply talking over my head to others here about moving panels. You then came back and said they move a lot, HUH? I don't think you ever really understood the situation as that I was looking for caulking that adheres to acrylic. It makes no difference what model it is. I guess all the other contractors above me here that also had problems with silicone were dopes like me and should have come to you first Quad Racer for all the answers.Too bad I wont be responding to your relpy to this so go ahead and say whatever you want.Thanks to all on this for your answers. I appreciate the real knowledge that was given from Contractors that know their Trade. Sorry for how this thread turned out, but that I guess that is because I am not a high ender contractor and have had to recut and scribe my boards to a log more than once.
 
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