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Old 02-17-2019, 07:30 PM   #1
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Lasting backer to tub seal

Hypothetically speaking...

I have backer board that overlaps a tub flange, small gap between bottom of the board and the tub rim top. I waterproof the wallboard then run some kind of sealant in that gap. Thinset and tile over wallboard, silicone in the gap between tile and tub. 10 years goes by (optimistic) and that tile to tub seal needs to be replaced so I go get a razor and paint tool, rip it out, clean everything with mineral spirits and put in a new bead.

If I dig a little too deep I damage the backer board to tub seal and the new bead of silicone won't patch it or even stick to it. I don't really hear about this as a concern. No instructions for sealing the tub joint ever say to be careful to avoid damaging this joint (but then they probably expect a plastic barrier and roofing tar seal behind the wallboard). Is there something I'm missing that makes this not a problem? Does thinset end up covering and protecting the backer seal? I'm thinking of using kerdi-band on that joint just so there's a bit more in the way.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:38 AM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, Paul.

If you use backer rod in the joint between the tile and tub, the silicone doesn’t even reach half the tile thickness. Using backer rod so that the caulk bead has an hour-glass shape will allow it to perform very well. It’ll last a lot longer than 10 years unless it’s being abused with cleaners or aggressive brushes. And if you want to cut it out, it’s rather shallow. So you’re not likely to go deep. And even if you go deep, the silicone joint between your waterproof cement board and the tub is 1/2” deeper than the backside of your tile. You’d have to get really agressive with a painter’s tool to even think of slicing thfough a depth of at least 13/16”.

With your plan, I think it’s safe to say that it’s a non-issue.

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