do shower face plates need caulk?

milklessJanuary 11, 2011

does there need to be caulk between a shower control face plate and the tile wall behind it? (i won't caulk the bottom to leave drainage as a possibility, especially if there is a weep hole)

there is a point where i can stick a credit card behind the face plate.. this point is the top left quarter of the faceplate

some say [1] there's already a gasket behind the face plate that should handle the water and [2] not having caulk makes it easier to service the item

others say [1] why rely on the gasket alone? [2] caulk never really gets in your way when you service the item -- you just scrape/peel it away

what do you think? is The Right Answer clear or is this up for debate?

(and do you get follow-ups emailed to you? i don't think that feature is working for me. i'm going to check the box anyway)

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collins design

I never found a definitive answer on this one, either. We caulked behind the escutcheons in our master bathroom, because there's no access into that plumbing wall; we did not caulk the ones in the hall bath, because there's an access panel where we can periodically check to be sure no water is getting in behind.

As far as email reply notifications... I think you have to have something like "allow email" checked in your profile for that to work.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 8:29AM
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The gaskets do not always seal completely across grout lines.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 10:37AM
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I think it does depend on the situation.

But my DH would say absolutely always use clear silicone caulk around everything in the way of water. He's a general contractor and I know he's seen a lot of water damage when redoing bathrooms/tile, which is probably why he's so insistent about it in our house.

And yes, it's not that hard to scrape it off and apply a new coat once servicing is done.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:14AM
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I think it's best to caulk or silicone the top 1/2 or 2/3.

staceyneil, I never found a definitive answer on this one, either!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 12:13PM
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