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I'm installing some shower fixtures and the escutcheons need to be sealed and adhered properly but I'm not sure how to do this the right way.

Here is a photo of all 4 fixtures/escutcheons. I'll refer to them by #1 - #4 starting from the top.

Shower fixtures

  1. #1 The shower escutcheon is loose. It needs to be sealed/adhered
  2. #2 The transfer valve escutcheon has no seal behind it. I will need it sealed somehow but the handle itself tightens it so no adhesive required
  3. #3 The hot/cold valve has a foam/rubber thing behind it that is kind of sticky and leaves a gap at the 6pm location for water to escape. I probably will want to add additional sealant unless you think this is fine. No adhesive needed
  4. #4 This is the output to a hand shower that isn't in the picture yet. This thing has a rubber gasket but it doesn't provide a way (that I'm aware) to actually compress it to the wall. I believe this is also supposed to have a sealant and adhesive.

What sealant/adhesive should I use? How do I apply it? Does it go inside or outside?

Here's a closeup of the #4 escutcheon when it's loose from the wall:

Elbow escutcheon


I saw this answer but I'm not satisfied with the depth it provides: How Can I re-attach my bathroom fixtures which are hanging loose from the wall?

  • 1
    What does the fixture manufacturer say when you ask them? Or in their product manual, but I'm supposing you've found the directions lacking. 1 I'd not be surprised with no comment, 3 & especially 4 should say something. i.e. 3 might specifically NOT want additional products - but the instructions (or the technical help line) should specify that. – Ecnerwal Jun 26 '15 at 22:44
  • 4 says to use an adhesive/sealant of some sort but doesn't specify anything about what kind or anything helpful to me – Joe Phillips Jun 27 '15 at 0:48
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I did mine with clear silicone. Everything must be bone dry before application. Just push the escutcheon flush to the wall and apply silicone around the outside where it meets the wall. The key to a good job with silicon is to make sure you don't over apply. Nothing is worse than having silicone spread out an inch past where it's supposed to be, especially on nice stone. To prevent this, put some masking tape down first, both on the escutcheon and the wall. It is hard to get tape to go around a circle, but the taping job doesn't have to be perfect. Leave a 3/16" gap for the silicone to adhere to the surface. Apply the silicone and smooth with your finger. For best results, dip your finger in mineral spirits (not water) before you smooth the silicone. Make sure you pull the tape up before the silicone cures.

  • This sounds very similar to the process used on the grout colored silicone I've been using. Thanks! Hoepfully this works – Joe Phillips Jun 28 '15 at 4:21
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"kitchen and bath" (or "tub & tile") (mildew-resistant) caulk (with a gap at 6 o'clock) is the stock approach. Some folks also use a thick ring of plumbers putty (inside the caulk at the edge), but that is contra-indicated with natural stone; unless, perhaps you use a putty that purports to be suitable.

Oatey (a brand) says, apprarently referring only to their stain-free putty:

Unlike all other plumber's putty, we make oil-free putty that can be used without pre-treatment. This includes natural, porous surfaces such as stone, marble, granite, plastics, rubber, and fiberglass, as well as grout and on manufactured sinks, shower bases, countertops, and other surfaces.

  • What does "pre treatment" mean? I have sealed the stone already – Joe Phillips Jun 27 '15 at 0:49
  • You forgot the word silicone. ;) – Mazura Jun 27 '15 at 3:10
  • I have clear silicone and I have non-sanded polyblend siliconized caulk. Where do I put it though? Is it supposed to be seen or not? – Joe Phillips Jun 27 '15 at 3:52

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