HOW TO CAULK A SHOWER
Time to learn how to caulk a shower.
Do you cringe every time you have to get into your shower? Does the dark moldy look of your tub gross you out? Now is the time to caulk your shower. If you can get past the fact that it looks disgusting, you will realize this project is a breeze and will make your shower look like new. For this project, we are going to use a clear silicone. Caulk can also be used but we like the look of silicone. Bauen will breakdown the differences of both below.
Caulks, sealants and hybrids are used in construction to fill gaps, cracks and crevices between materials that are prone to movement such as “expansion and contraction” due to temperature and humidity changes. These materials create and airtight, watertight and/or non-porous seal. Now for the differences.
|Caulk||Becomes rather rigid when dry. Tends to shrink and degrade over time. Many types are paintable. Easy to clean.||Around door trim, window trim, baseboard and molding.|
|Silicone||Remains flexible when dry. Long lasting and keeps a waterproof barrier much longer||Bathroom and kitchens or any area where water is present. More difficult to clean. Not water-based.|
|Hybrid||Has the installation ease of caulk and the durability of silicone. Long lasting and easier clean up.||Around door trim, window trim, baseboard and molding. Can be used in both wet and dry areas.|
Bauen recommends using silicone in the bathroom area to ensure longer lasting protection.
Prep your shower before your caulk.
1. Remove Water.Remove excess water from the tub deck by wiping it down with a microfiber cloth.
2. Protect Yourself. We recommend wearing gloves when applying the silicone. Silicone doesn’t clean easy with seal and water.
3. Cut from the Top. Use your utility knife to gently cut into the silicone from the top. Silicone is sensitive to the sharp blade, so you only need to use light-medium pressure. Try to angle the blade so that it is parallel to your bath walls.
4. Cut from the Bottom. Continue cutting into the silicone from the bottom. The same technique as the top should be used, but have the blade be parallel with the tub deck.
Tweezers are a perfect assistant for removing those extra sticky pieces.
4. Clean. Once you have removed all the silicone, use your microfiber cloth and cleaner to clean the grout and remove any silicone remnants. We also like to use an old toothbrush to remove mildew stains that might be stuck to the grout.
5. Dry Time. Allow the grout to dry out. There is a good chance that water had found its way behind the silicone and grout. Now is a good time to let it dry out. We like to let it sit for a few hours. One way of knowing, is the grout will turn a lighter color when it is dry.
6. Scissor Time. Use scissors to cut open the end of the silicone tube. Cut at an angle, as it will help with your application. Start applying the silicone to the grout line. You might notice that it doesn’t come out super smooth. There might be gaps or it comes out to thick. That is ok, because you will smooth it out. We like to wear gloves to smooth out the silicone because it is a product that doesn’t clean easy with soap and water. We learned the hard way and were stuck with sticky finger tips.
As you can see the gloves are too big for my hands, so I use a rubber band to make the glove tip fit tightly to my finger tip. Having floppy gloves will cause the silicone to not smooth evenly and it will get all over the place.
6. Round 2. Add another layer of silicone if the first one seems too thin and repeat the smoothing process. Continue smoothing it with your fingers so that it appears even.
7. Congrats!! And there you go! No more being grossed out by your bathroom.