Correct Bathtub Caulking Techniques

It’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it. I’m talking about caulking the bathtub, the shower pan, and the bathroom sink. And as we all know, if you don’t do it correctly, over time water can seep into the surrounding walls creating costly damage. So the next time you have to caulk, keep these handy tips in mind. 

  • It’s important to have a clean smooth surface when applying the new caulk. A razor scraper or utility knife with a plastic blade are both good tools to use, though you still need to be careful around fiberglass or acrylic tubs, to prevent scratching. Using a light quick scrapping motion usually will remove the caulk in long strips. For any pieces you may have missed, or those pesky corners, a pair of needle nose tweezers will do the trick. Use a hand vacuum to remove the loose leftover caulk pieces and then prep the surface with denatured alcohol.
  • Some experts recommend taping off above and below the joint line to achieve a nice straight neat caulk joint. They also suggest selecting a silicone based caulk as opposed to the more popular multipurpose latex caulk. A waterproof mold resistant silicone caulk is more expensive but once it has cured it resists shrinking, cracking, and drastic temperature fluctuations. The quality of the caulking gun also matters. One with a sturdier plunger and quick pressure release creates a smoother flow. 
  • The angle of the tip also makes a big difference. Some people prefer a blunt 20-degree angle, while others favor the more popular 45-degree angle. When applying, hold the gun at a 90-degree angle in order for the entire bead to finish in one pass. This angle also helps to press the caulk deeper into the space for better sealing power. No matter which angle you select, always cut the tip with a sharp knife as opposed to the guillotine device built into some guns. Remove any remaining burrs before using as they can create grooves in the joint lines. Smooth the caulk line with a damp lint free cloth and let dry. While most caulk manufacturers say it’s ok to use the tub, sink or shower after 30 minutes, keep in mind most caulks take 24 hours to completely cure. 

Not sure this is a DIY project you feel comfortable tackling? No worries! Closing Contractor is here for any and all home improvement projects you may have. We care deeply for the health of both our employees and customers and follow all prescribed CDC Covid-19 precautions. Please call 864-326-2640 for additional information and to schedule an appointment.

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