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Seal Corian to Travetine Tile

We bought a house with a fancy walk-in shower made all of travertine tile, including a built-in bench (this work was done just before we bought the house). About a year later, we noticed water in the basement below the shower. We figured out that there were two problems: 1) the travetine bench was separating apart, letting water 'inside' the bench, and 2) somehow this water was not getting caught in the pan (we suspect that whoever put in the shower didn't install the pan correctly).

Long story short, we didn't want to spend a fortune to rip out the whole shower. We had a new bench made of Corian so that it would be one-piece and couldn't let water beneath/through it. This solved the problem except for one little thing. Where the top of the bench meets the wall (where Corain meets Travertine) it was caulked, and after another year or so that caulk wasn't adhering anymore, and now there was a seam for water to get behind the bench again (and into the basement).

I have made a repair to this about every 9-12 months since, trying a different product each time. Everytime I make the repair, the water in the basement stops immediately (so I'm dead sure this is where the water is coming from), but nothing sticks to the two surfaces for very long. I suspect that expansion and contraction of the two surfaces doesn't help. I've tried very hard things (epoxy, superglue) and flexible things (caulk, marine glue, silicone).

Any ideas what will bond to both of these surfaces and stick for a good long time? Any other ideas how I can permanently fill the sub-millimeter gap that is letting water through?

Ken Dolph
Re: Seal Corian to Travetine Tile

Travertine is the most porus of the marbles. Adhesives and caulks have trouble adnering to a porus material.

This is what I would do.

1 Clean out everything that is in there. You may
need a solvent as well as mechanical scraping.

2 Use a wicking grade cyanoacrylate dhesive to
seal the travertine.

3 After 24 hours use a 100% silicone sealer. Use
the applicator tip to force the sealer deeply
into the opening.

4 IMPORTANT Do not cove the adhesive while wet. I
know that is what it says on the tube. Leave the
big ugly bead there for 48 hours.

5 After 48 hours use a razor knife, flat against
the Corian, to slice off the bead. The tip
should touch the travertine.

6 Peal the bead off the travertine.

By making the cove, as per directions on container, you are ruining the joint by pulling some of the sealant back out of the joint. Also you are making 2 feathered edges that will later peal when cleaning the shower. This will allow water to get under the silicone and rot the joint. This method will make a permanent joint that will not mildew or rot.

I hope this helps

Art Specialties International, Inc. 1-800-724-4008
Sells a great wicking CA that contains a surfectant that helps it get into pores.

Re: Seal Corian to Travetine Tile

This sounds like great advice - like you really know what you are talking about! I will do exactly that and see how it goes. Of course, I won't know for sure if it is a long-term fix for many months, so if you don't hear back from me, assume all is well.

Thank you so much!


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