Showers are increasingly found in modern bathrooms. This is due to their ergonomics, attractive appearance and variety of options. Cabins are prefabricated structures, the tightness of which is ensured by gaskets. Usually they are included with the shower, but this hardware can be bought separately.
Features and purpose
A sealant is an elastic contour laid along the perimeter of cab parts. The release form is thin, up to 12 mm wide whips, the length of which is 2-3 m. Thanks to this element, a close fit of the structural parts is ensured, which means its tightness. This type of fittings, firstly, prevents water from entering the bathroom, and secondly, prevents moisture from entering the joints between the parts. This, in turn, eliminates the risk of an unpleasant odor, mold, and also simplifies the cleaning procedure.
Mandatory seals should be laid between the following parts:
- pallet and side panels;
- pallet and door;
- adjacent adjoining panels;
- bathroom wall and shower door;
- in the presence of sliding or swing doors.
Dimensions and the number of sealing circuits are selected based on the models, sizes and installation features. In addition, moldings are also used with a sealant at the joints of showers with the floor, ceiling and walls.
A quality seal must meet the following requirements:
- resistance to water and temperature surges;
- resistance to high temperatures, up to 100С;
- resistance to mechanical impact, shock;
- safety, non-toxicity.
Factory cabs usually have seals in their kit. When they fail or are initially not of high enough quality, they are dismantled and replaced with new ones. The main signals of the need for replacement are water leakage, seal rupture, the appearance of condensation on the walls of the cab, the appearance of a smell of mustiness, mold.
Depending on the material used, the following types of seals are distinguished:
A common form that is resistant to moisture, temperature extremes and mechanical damage. Also distinguished by high elasticity, this component is not able to withstand the appearance of mold. However, this drawback is leveled thanks to the impregnation with antiseptic properties. In addition, they do not cause corrosion of metal profiles. The advantage of the element is also the ability to use it in combination with silicone-based sealants. Models demonstrate the optimal combination of affordable price and high quality, reliability.
Plastic seals are based on polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In their properties, they are similar to silicone ones - they provide a tight fit, withstand increased humidity and a change in temperature conditions.
The basis of this type of gaskets is a modern rubber polymer, the feature of which is the change in functions depending on the microclimate in the shower. At room temperature, the material is identical in properties to rubber, and when heated to about 100 ° C, it is thermoplastic. In the latter case, it is characterized by increased flexibility. This provides high mechanical resistance of the material and a long service life (up to 10 years).
The seals of their thermoelastoplast are characterized by a uniform structure, a snug fit to the surfaces, rapid restoration of shape, and the absence of deformation. It is logical that the cost of such elements is quite high
Rubber meets the requirements of elasticity, strength, temperature resistance, moisture resistance. However, the service life of the sealing gum is shorter than that of analogs based on silicone or polymer. In addition, such models may lose their properties under the influence of some detergent compositions. Finally, they begin to lose their properties when the temperature rises above 100C.
A magnetic seal is an element of any of the materials examined, equipped with a magnetic tape. The presence of the latter provides improved tightness indicators, a denser closure of doors, especially sliding ones. Most often, magnetic tapes have silicone models. A distinctive feature of this material is that they differ in the value of the angle at which the cabin door is closed. Here, indicators of 90, 135, 180 ° are distinguished.
If the magnetic version does not fit, you can purchase a seal latch with an adjustable angle of fixation. For cabs of radiused construction (convex doors, semicircular or asymmetric cab shapes), special curved fittings are used to ensure a snug fit on convex and concave surfaces.
The sealing tape is classified based on its thickness. The latter depends on the thickness of the shower panels and is 4-12 mm. The most common are gaskets with a thickness of 6-8 mm. It is important to precisely select the width of the whip seal. If the width is too wide, installation will fail, if the profile is insufficient, it will not be completely filled with a sealant, which means that there is no need to speak about tightness.
As a rule, high-quality foreign manufacturers produce cabs with panels whose thickness is more than 6 mm. Inexpensive Chinese and domestic models have a panel thickness of 4-5 mm.
The sealant can take various forms:
- A-shaped. Used in the space between panels and walls, between 2 glass panels.
- H-shaped. Purpose - sealing 2 glasses in non-standard type cabs, where the panels are not located at right angles to each other.
- L-shaped. It is characterized by uniqueness, as it is effective for installation between panels and a pallet, wall and panels, glass. It is also mounted on sliding panels to improve sealing, and the design of swing doors makes it more airtight.
- T-shaped. It has a side, and therefore is suitable for installation in the area of the lower edge of the doors. Eliminates leakage of water from the structure.
- C-shaped. It is possible to use the bottom of the door leaf, as well as between the panel and the wall.
A more modern can be called a dropper, called a petal seal. The scope of its application is sealing in the area of the lower part of the door leaf. The design consists of 2 connected strips 11-29 mm high. The outer vertical strip ensures the tightness of the space between the lower part of the door leaf and the floor (pallet), while the inner one does not allow water to spray, directing it inside the shower box.
Droppers are especially popular in designs with a small tray or floor drain. For greater efficiency, such seals are recommended to be combined with a threshold.
As a rule, reputable manufacturers of showers also produce seals. This option is convenient, because you can easily and quickly select the optimal fittings for a particular model.
Among seal brands, SISO products (Denmark) are trusted . In the manufacturer’s line, you can find accessories with a thickness of 4-6 mm for glasses and universal analogs up to 10 mm thick. The length of the whips is 2-2.5 m. There are models equipped with black and white magnets. Products are compatible with the most popular shower models.
Another reliable cab fittings manufacturer is Huppe. Plumbing of this brand is characterized by increased reliability and impeccable quality, the same can be said about gaskets. They serve best on shower fireplaces of the same production, however, Huppe gaskets are compatible with most other European and domestic devices. Similarly, you can characterize another well-known brand Eago. The manufacturer also specializes in producing a full range of equipment and accessories for the bathroom, including sealing fittings.
Good quality and affordability are distinguished by Pauli silicone seals . The only inconvenience is the rather long whip designation number. However, if you know what each of its constituent numbers stands for, acquiring the desired model is not difficult. So, the first 4 digits are the serial number. Next is the maximum thickness of the glass or panel, for which fittings are suitable for sealing, the latter is the length of the whip. For example, 8848-8-2500.
The least cost have Chinese gaskets. As a rule, their price is 2-3 times lower than branded peers. In addition, such models may have non-standard sizes, which also contributes to savings. For example, if only a small segment is needed.
You can replace tires with your own hands or by calling a wizard. Self-replacement is a fairly simple procedure that does not require special tools and professional knowledge. It is important to degrease the surface and close adjacent surfaces. Please note that a snug fit is only possible on carefully cleaned surfaces. When working, do not stretch the whip, and make sure that it does not fold.
To increase the service life of the element, simple maintenance will help:
- do not use aggressive detergents to clean the profile;
- do not allow drying on the sealing system of soap foam;
- regular airing of the shower room after use will help to avoid dampening of the sealant, the appearance of mold;
- when taking a shower, do not direct its stream towards the seal, this reduces its durability.
When buying accessories based on silicone, it is important that it does not contain substances that are toxic to humans. Going to the store for a new gasket, cut a piece of the old and take it with you. This will allow you to make the right choice.
If the seal is in order and a water leak is found only in some places, you can try to replace only the old sealant. To do this, remove it, clean the surface, and then apply a new layer. If the sealant update did not help, the hardware must be changed.
Magnetic hardware can be used on doors without a door closure and hinge lock. If the design has the specified options, it is better to use a persistent profile whip.
When choosing between soft and hard models, give preference to the first. The best option is the fittings, which are soft tubes - it provides a better fit.
When storing magnetic models, it is important to observe special conditions. Changes in temperature and direct sunlight negatively affect their quality, so it is better to purchase them in specialized stores. Extend their service life will allow a simple tip: leave the shower door open after taking a shower, this will allow the furniture to dry out in a non-magnetized position.
Seals can be painted in any color or be transparent (silicone models). It is recommended to choose shades of the sealant to match the color of the panels or create contrasting combinations. And transparent models allow you to create the effect of weightlessness of the structure.
An overview of the vertical seal for the shower, see the next video.