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The silicone rots out just the same(maybe lasts a year or two longer),yet it takes way more time to remove entirely from the surfaces that are to be resealed.
I've gone to houses where the home owner has smeared silicone all over the place only to have it dislodge from it's inteded area in the same few years.
Now I have to sit in the tub for what seems to be an eternity removing it ALL.
I borrowed this picture from another site to show what a tub tile flange is.
This photo does show the tile flange but whatever is used for the wallboard should not be extended over the tile flange,it should stop at the top of the flange . When you run the board over the flange it's impossible to achieve a 90 deg.corner,the edges of the wallboard will curve in where they are on top of the tile flange.Some studies have shown that silicone actually encourages mold growth,use a product that has something like Microban in it or a mold/mildew inhibitor in it to caulk the tub.
Steve in the trade since 73 doing new residential/Commercial work
My tile mentor " setting tile by Michael byrne " If i go with backer board . I follow Mike's advice. Never seen anyone else do this ! I fur out studs flush with tub flange. I then staple
30 Lb. tar paper to studs , making sharp creases in corners. Cover EACH staple with Henrys
plastic roof cement. Then cover with 1/2" hardie board. of course tape joints.
If the customer calls , It's for another project, not to chase a leak!
I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .