Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tiled Bath Ends

Some baths are installed in such a way that the end of the bath does not fit against a wall. The "gap" is then taken up by boxwork with the surface covered in ceramic tiles. This can prove reasonably successful if the bath is used purely for bathing but less so if a shower is to be used over this end of the bath.

If a small masonry wall is created to fill the gap then this can work quite successfully but a timber framed box covered with plywood or plasterboard can be problematic. Any slight movement in the bath can caused the grout to crack. This can lead to water ingress and damage to the underlying area. The damage can take place for some time before it becomes aparent as the box effectively covers up what is going on underneath. Also water can remain on the surface without draining away which can mould to grow in the grout which can evetually lead to its failiure.

We were recently asked if an Outasight concealed shower curtain could be used in such a situation. It could, but there are few provisos.

The Outasight should be watertight along the tiled area. If the bath is slightly lower than this level there will be a small gap underneath the curtain where the tiled area ends and the bath begins. You could use a fillet of silicone to prevent water from escaping underneath at this point.

If the tiled is level with the bath the joint between the tiles and the bath will usually mean that there is a slight "trough" which can hold water and cause the grout to turn mouldy. It can also conduct water under the Outasight shower curtain and lead to leaks.

If the tiled area is lower than the bath then showring is not recommended at all as the water landing on this area cannot drain into the bath.

Our overiding advice would be to re-site the bath against the end wall rather than try and fill the gap.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sealing Around A Shower Tray

Ensuring there are no leaks from a shower cubicle is vitally important as any water egress can cause damage to the property in the long term.

The first step to elliminate leaks is to ensure that the shower tray is installed solidly. The tray then needs to be sealed to the existing wall with a good quality silicone sealant (we recommend Dow Corning). Smear the silicone up the wall slightly so that there is a skirt of silicone running around the tray.

The panels should then be run down over this seal and another seal applied where the panels meet the tray.

Silicone usually turns mouldy from the back and grows through the seal to appear on the front. For this to occur there must be permanent moisture behind the silicone which can occur due to faulty grouting or movement of the shower tray breaking seals. The surfaces needs to be bone dry and free from dust, soap residue etc before application of the silicone sealant which, together with a solidly installed tray, will ensure it does not peel away.