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Unread 05-23-2021, 12:13 PM   #1
cbohaker
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Vinyl window expansion/contraction on shower wall.

Hello, I need advice on the issue below. I finished my bathroom with tile and put a thin bead of Keracaulk U between the window and the tile gap. Recently the window has seemed to pull away from the wall/tile leaving a larger gap. I have cleaned the gap out the best I can and I am thinking of filling it with 100% silicone. Any suggestions/ideas? I have attached a photo.
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Unread 05-23-2021, 12:31 PM   #2
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Christopher,

Can you step back and take more pictures so we have an overall view?
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Unread 05-23-2021, 01:07 PM   #3
cbohaker
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Hi Houston, thanks for the reply. I have attached two more photos. Its my first time doing tile. You can see I have taken out the grout under the ledge too because it cracked on me.
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Unread 05-23-2021, 01:53 PM   #4
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I don't know that it would hurt anything, but I don't know that it would help, either. I can't tell from your pictures what your waterproofing is, but if the waterproofing isn't sealed to the window, then it won't really matter what you use to seal the tile to the window, because water would get past that anyway and eventually to the framing around the window.

But as a general answer to your question, you would want to use 100% silicone in that application anyway. The expansion and contraction of the vinyl will be different than the tile, and silicone would be one of the sealants that could withstand that movement.

There's nothing wrong with Keracaulk, but it's not what I'd use in a shower, except maybe where the tile meets the ceiling.
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Unread 05-23-2021, 02:30 PM   #5
cbohaker
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Hi KMAN. Before I did the tile I waterproofed all the way up to the plastic window with redguard and membrane.. it was flush I have no idea why it pulled away. What would you do in this situation?
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Unread 05-23-2021, 02:48 PM   #6
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So with regard to the waterproofing where it meets the window, was there any gap at all, even a tiny bit where water can get through? If there is, I'd remove the tile around the window and fix that. The waterproofing should go onto the window a little, maybe a 1/4" or so, to prevent water getting past that layer.

Windows can be problematic when it comes to waterproofing, as they require the same care you would give a bench or niche. Since it's a horizontal surface, it needs very careful waterproofing to prevent water intrusion.
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Unread 05-23-2021, 03:10 PM   #7
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The coefficient of thermal expansion of vinyl versus cement is about 7.5x larger for vinyl...it won't take much temperature change to notice. There's a limit on how much stretch you can get with silicone, too...I don't think you'll get 750% before it tears itself loose. I'd question the ability of RedGard to stretch that much, too, but some of that depends on what the temperature differential of the window frame would be versus the tile around it. 750% of nearly nothing is still nearly nothing...hassle is, the sun can play havoc with things and make for fairly large temperature swings between say the window frame that might get direct sun, and the tile that may not.

Tape a sheet of typing paper on a flat surface at the long end, then slide the opposite end a slight amount, and note how much the paper starts to bow...it doesn't take much to cause it to bend, or in the case of the window frame, warp. That's why there are slots in vinyl siding for the nails so the panels can move as they heat up and cool down...making a rigid seal with the stuff to other materials can get tricky.
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