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I don't know what the proper name of the cover is that hides the hole that the water supply line comes through the wall, but does it need to be sealed to prevent moisture and steam from getting in to the wall? If so, what material should be used? Plumber's putty, caulk, silicone?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have personally never sealed or caulked the shower neck cover and haven't had any real moisture problems as a result.

The plate is mostly meant to be aesthetic rather than functional, to hide the ugly hole in your wall that your shower neck extends from. Moisture shouldn't be a problem unless their was negative pressure inside of your wall as compared to the bathroom. This of course shouldn't happen because you should have a fan going while you shower, and this fan will create a negative pressure in the bathroom vs. the inside of your wall. When the fan is running, air will actually move from the inside of the wall into the bathroom.

If it really concerns you then you can use a bit of paint around the edge to form a seal, but I don't think it is necessary.

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Very good point regarding the fan. –  Evil Elf Mar 22 '13 at 14:15
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The plate is callen and "escutcheon". –  RSMoser Mar 22 '13 at 14:55
    
If I had a tube of caulk open already, I'd run a bead around the inside, just to act as a glue to hold it up. –  Chris Cudmore Mar 22 '13 at 16:42
    
I would avoid any kind of gluing that got too aggressive with the escutcheon plate. Come the day that the shower head extension pipe needs removal or replacement and you could have a much greater chore on your hands. –  Michael Karas Mar 23 '13 at 20:59
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