Bathroom Vanity -Backsplash Not Attached?

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Old 01-04-20, 08:16 AM
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Bathroom Vanity -Backsplash Not Attached?

(I hope this post is in the right section - I couldn't find any other place to post it.)

Hi All,

Is the backsplash for a vanity supposed to be somehow adhered/sealed to the countertop so that water does not get inbetween? I'm attaching two images, one a close-up showing where I mean circled in red, and the other is a distance shot to provide perspective.

We keep getting yellow gunk in the crack - should it be sealed? Can I seal it now?

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-04-20, 08:21 AM
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(FYI - the countertop material is quartz.)
 
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Old 01-04-20, 08:22 AM
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The backsplash should be attached with adhesive to both the vanity top and the wall or, if that's a problem, at least the vanity top. To avoid the issues you described caulk should be set in the corner and where the top of the backsplash meets the wall. These are two separate but important steps.
 
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Old 01-04-20, 09:46 AM
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With a solid surface material top it is quite common for the back splash to be shipped loose to be installed in the field. What the installer didn't do was complete the installation by caulking the seam. I would use a color coordinated silicone caulk.
 
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Old 01-04-20, 10:24 AM
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Although I agree that the gap should be caulked I would use the newer siliconized latex caulk with microban, they are a much newer and better caulk for bathroom applications!
 
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Old 01-04-20, 10:47 AM
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My marble installer guy said he doesn't caulk the backsplash to top crack. I took his advice but have to clean that crack occasionally. He said he finds that better than removing caulk when it discolors or gets damaged a few months later.
 
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Old 01-04-20, 02:31 PM
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My marble installer guy said he doesn't caulk the backsplash to top crack. I took his advice but have to clean that crack occasionally. He said he finds that better than removing caulk when it discolors or gets damaged a few months later.
maarkr, there certainly are caulks that can become brittle or discolored, but silicone caulk can be used in this situation without concern. Silicone caulk lasts for decades after application. For example, I use it on jetted tub repairs and have never had a problem. Beyond that, silicone caulk can be applied clear so discoloration should be a non-issue.
 
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Old 01-04-20, 03:50 PM
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The backsplash is typically attached to the wall and separate from the vanity top because of the possibility of movement between the two. However, the joint between the backsplash and the top should be sealed with a good, mold resistant silicone caulk.
My experience is that the smaller the caulk bead, the less chance that it will turn moldy. I used a 1/16" gap and a very narrow caulk bead and never had a problem. Wipe the caulk so that there is little exposed outside the gap.
 
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Old 01-04-20, 04:50 PM
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It should have been sealed when it was installed. Now that it is finished I would tape off both surfaces completely with masking tape so that just the crack is exposed, then cut the finest tip you can on the tube of silicone (i'd use a clear 100% bathroom silicone which is mold resistant) and inject that into the crack. Then spritz it with isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle and scrape off all the excess with a plastic scraper... forcing the silicone back into the crack as you tool it. Dont get silicone on any other part of the countertop... be sure its protected with masking tape.

The isopropyl alcohol is like magic when it comes to tooling it. But work fast because silicone gets gummy quickly. From caulking to tooling you need to do it in less than a minute.
 
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Old 01-04-20, 07:05 PM
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Before starting, clean the crack with a tooth brush and isopropyl alcohol.
Also before you cut the tip do a practice run along the seam. This will help you figure out how to calk it smoothly.
How you hold it and the direction can make for a smooth run,
If you need the tape all depends on your calking skills.
On small beads like this I do not use tape just a nice bead, let it set up a bit ( get a bit of a skin) then run a wet finger over it to smooth it out a bit. Spit or water and dish soap work.
Buy a good bathroom silicone not this new environmentally friendly crap just because it is crap.
 
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Old 01-05-20, 02:26 AM
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My marble installer guy said he doesn't caulk the backsplash to top crack. I took his advice but have to clean that crack occasionally. He said he finds that better than removing caulk when it discolors or gets damaged a few months later.
I almost always caulk the top. Normally I'd just use a quality latex caulk and then paint it with the wall when dry.
 
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Old 01-05-20, 03:58 AM
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Before starting, clean the crack with a tooth brush and isopropyl alcohol.
I'm pretty sure Mandan meant denatured alcohol. If you use isopropyl alcohol the silicone won't stick. Isopropyl alcohol repels silicone. You would need to wait until it completely evaporated which will take a long time since its a crack. Denatured alcohol evaporates quickly... Isopropyl alcohol does not.

Also it's not possible to get a nice bead behind the faucet handles and spout which is part of the reason to tape.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 09:10 AM
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Hi All,

Thanks for all the advice. I had some clear siliconized caulk on hand, so that's what I used - it came out great! I now have 2 more questions (1 related, 1 unrelated):

1. Related - What's the consensus on whether I should seal the top of the backsplash to the wall? I can use the same clear siliconized caulk, if people think it should be sealed to the wall. (And then I guess, should I seal the sides of the backsplash to the wall? I'm thinking no on that .)

2. Unrelated - it looks like some of the caulk between the (quartz) countertop and the (presumably porcelain?) sink got dried out and has now come out (the counter was attached to the vanity by the manufacturer - the caulk came out maybe 2 months after installation). I'm attaching two pictures looking down on the sink and one picture of being at the drain looking up into a corner of the sink. I'm also attaching a picture of the part of the sink opposite the wall, i.e., with the overflow. All these should show what I mean. So - is this the caulk coming out, or is it just an adhesive between the counter and the sink (and the sealant is somewhere else)? Can I fix it by just putting in more of the siliconized caulk? Do I need to remove what's there first? Do I not need to worry about this?

This is the actual item, Burmeister 30" (although maybe different colors - don't judge!, and it was named something different when we bought it!): https://www.wayfair.com/home-improve...823%2C32964459

Thanks again for any advice on one or both questions!
 
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Old 01-09-20, 02:29 PM
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I don't know much about under mount sinks but that is either caulk or an adhesive.

Assuming the cabinet is mounted to the wall I always caulk the top and edges [when applicable] with a latex caulk which I'll paint with the wall paint. If you were to use silicone - paint won't adhere.
 
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Old 09-16-20, 03:24 PM
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Hi All,

I wanted to revisit this post because after I caulked the seam between backsplash and sink, its coming undone. I'm attaching a picture of it - does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do?

Also, I had forgotten about the adhesive or caulk between the sink and cabinet coming out, so I never took care of it. I'm posting two additional pictures of it...anyone have any idea what to do with it?

Thanks again!








 
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Old 09-16-20, 04:40 PM
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I'd suggest you reread all the previous advice over again rather than making us repeat it.

What kind of caulk did you use on the backsplash?
 
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Old 09-16-20, 06:31 PM
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Hi Xsleeper,

I don't quite understand what you mean. Of course I re-read everything before I posted my newest one today - I just didn't (and don't) see anything that discusses how to remove the old stuff which is not sticking and then whether I would need to do anything different than last time in order to put new caulk down. Also, as in my last post, I used "clear siliconized caulk."

I also don't see any posts regarding the adhesive/caulk (whatever it is) between the sink and cabinet. If anyone knows, that'd be great.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 09-16-20, 06:50 PM
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The problem is likely that you are using a "siliconized" caulk instead of 100% mold resistant kitchen and bath silicone.
 
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Old 09-16-20, 07:12 PM
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Ok, I can get 100% pure silicone. How do I remove the old stuff?

Also, any thoughts on the adhesive/caulk/whatever between the sink and the cabinet?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-16-20, 07:17 PM
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With a razor scraper. I think all the advice given in the previous posts applies equally well to your other question. Remove old caulk, clean, install new.
 
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Old 09-17-20, 01:49 AM
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.... and make sure everything is good and dry before you apply the caulking.
 
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