Home > Shower Questions from Visitors > Help a desperate Aussie!

Help a desperate Aussie!

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your wonderful blog, as a previous poster has said, it’s made it Down Under?

I have a problem I was wondering if you might be able to answer. A contractor recently messed up the caulking on my newly installed frameless shower screen, smearing silicone all over the glass and spreading it well into the grout lines of the freshly tiled floor. The caulk has seeped right in and stained the grey grout black.

The company has apologized and has offered to send someone to remove the excess caulk from the glass. They will not, however, clean up the grout as the manager says this kind of seepage is inevitable due to the nature of the tiles involved (25mm hexagonal mosaic).

Is there really no way around this? Would it not be possible to, say, fashion some sort of barrier to stop the silicone from running along the grout lines?

Best regards,
Melbourne, Australia


Hi Chloe,

Thanks for writing, and for your nice compliments. I am so sorry to hear that you are having problems with your shower enclosure installation. Silicone can be very messy, and it really takes some experience to apply it effectively and neatly. I have a big advantage over other glass contractors because I install shower enclosures almost exclusively. I get a lot of practice with caulking these frameless shower enclosures, so I am pretty good at it.

Still, I will always try to talk homeowners out of caulking the glass wherever possible. No matter how nicely the silicone is applied, it is still undesirable. A frameless enclosure, when properly utilized, shouldn’t require any caulking. Frameless (also called seamless) enclosures are not meant to be perfectly water tight. The environment should be designed to tolerate a small amount of leakage. The frameless enclosure is really designed more to look great than it is to hold water.

The response that you are getting from the company that did the installation is about what I would expect. It may not be ideal, but about all they can do at this point is clean it up as best they can. Since they don’t do tile work, you really don’t want them trying to re-grout your tiles… I’m sure that wouldn’t turn out very well anyway.

Thanks again,


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