Tile beads act as a flange between two surfaces to create a waterproof seal. Some tub models and tile have a flange cast in place while others require it to be created with a tile bead. While caulk can be used to create this seal, manufacturers such as American Standard offer tile bead kits to make the process easier. Using a kit to install tile beads is easy, and as long as the two surfaces are clean and dry, a waterproof seal can be created.
Install the tub or shower according to the manufacturer's instruction. Keep a gap between the tub or shower and the tile it will be sealed to by inserting wood shims between the two.
Make sure there is no dust or debris between the two mating surfaces and that the surfaces are completely dry.
Remove the two coils from the tile bead kit. One is a vinyl flange and the other is the sealing putty.
Unroll and press the sealing putty coil so it is attached to the tile and positioned just under where the edge of the tub or shower will rest.
Peel the tape from the vinyl flange coil to reveal the adhesive side.
Attach the vinyl flange to the tub or shower by pressing the adhesive side to the underneath of the edge. Make sure the lip of the flange rises over the side edge of the tub or shower.
Remove one shim at a time and lower the tub or shower onto the tile so the vinyl flange and sealing putty meet. Press down firmly to create a waterproof seal between the two.
If you have a few helpers to help support the weight of the tub or shower, apply the putty and vinyl flange before the tub or sink is inserted. Lift the tub or sink and lower it in carefully. This eliminates the need for wood shims.
Do not install the tile beads if both mating surfaces are not clean and dry--a waterproof seal won't be formed.