How to Caulk a Bathtub

Updated 06/25/2020

Anyone who lives in modern society understands the importance of having working plumbing fixtures. As soon as you’re unable to flush your toilet or fix your leaky sink, your first call is probably your local plumbing service. After all, most of us can’t deal with the inconvenience (or, worse, the potential health hazard) for long.

That said, not every plumbing problem may require you to call in the professionals. If you have a completely broken bathroom sink, you might need expert help. But if you’re fixing a leaking tub drain or you need to know how to reseal a bathroom sink, chances are that you can find all the information you need online. And if you need plumbers silicone caulk for sink drains, you can probably locate that through online sources, as well.

These days, everyone is a DIY guru. But if you want to know how to seal your bathroom, you’ll need to start with the basics — and that means finding out more about the best silicone sealant for plumbing and how it should be applied.

what is plumbers caulk

What is Plumbers Caulk and What Does It Do?

First, let’s answer the question: what is plumbers caulk? Before you ever look for caulk for sink drains or bathtubs, you’ll need to understand what this product actually is.

Caulk is an adhesive that can also seal cracks and other vulnerabilities. It’s both thick and flexible, allowing it to be used in many different ways throughout a home. If you’ve ever seen videos on how to use plumbers putty on bathtub drain, caulk is a very similar material (and the term is sometimes used interchangeably, despite the different ingredients each contains).

If you want to know some appropriate uses for caulk and plumbers putty drains, faucets, showerheads, tubs, and backsplashes are a good place to start. Essentially, any place that moisture can get in or air can escape would be a good candidate for caulking or sealing.

how to seal your bath

How Can You Tell if Your Bathroom Needs Re-Caulking?

Trying to determine whether you need to apply caulk for sink drains, tubs, tiles, and more? Look for the presence of mold or mildew underneath existing caulk, as well as any caulk that appears, cracked, dried out, peeling, or absent. Generally speaking, caulk that’s older than five years should be reapplied. Just make sure that the caulk or sealant you use is safe for bathroom applications for best results. Your caulk or putty should easily adhere to materials like fiberglass, porcelain, and ceramic tile and should be resistant to both mold and mildew.

How to Caulk a Bathtub

Now that you know what caulk is and what it does, we can move onto application. A bathtub is supposed to be very important part of your washroom and if you do not stop the penetration of tiny water drops coming from bathtub, you would surely damage your valuable home. To avoid facing this damage, you need to make sure that whether the tub is properly caulked or not.

Here are some solutions for you:

1. Examine the joint between the bathtub and the wall:
From the edge of bathtub clean soap scum, mildew, and all old caulk. During the course of this process make sure that the surface of tub is not scratched. For cleaning the moisturizer always use denatured alcohol.

2. Use caulk approved for bathroom surfaces:
You will be having plenty of color options while buying the silicon. It is said that the more silicon you use, the more costs it demands.  But, it must be in your mind that it has mildew prevention and can be used as per the required needs.

3. Apply masking tape to both sides of where you want your new caulk bead, with the edges of the tape lining up to exactly where you want the bead of caulk to stop:
This is supposed to be professional technique used by most of the professionals for ensuring the even looking bead without any mess. It is suggested that this technique should be applied at eighth-inch between two tape pieces.

4. Load caulk tube in caulk gun:
Experts hold the opinion that use of sharp knife may cut the application tip and opening should be very carefully made as it may not form big bead. Similarly, opening should not be small so that caulk may not to be highly pressurized. Actually, most of the tubes are coming with thin barriers which prevent the caulk from curing hence you should complete the solution by inserting a wire.

5. Hold caulk gun over trash and depress trigger to move caulk forward filling the tip:
When you press the button of caulk gun, it must not burst or drip. Hence, you should release trigger lock for maintaining light pressure inside the tube.

6. Point tip in position at seam:
Tip must be above the surface and during the course of tipping the seam, try to create a uniform bead.  It is suggested that keep pressing the trigger unless you do not complete the corners. But the flow of caulk should be carefully watched.

7. Repeat for each seam, usually three walls:
Continue the process in the same fashion under the said instruction.

8. When you stop, remember to release the trigger lock to relieve pressure inside tube or caulk will continue to flow out:
This is very sensitive and highly recommended. Hence, you should employ due care while executing this work.

9. Smooth the caulk out between the pieces of masking tape, pressing it into the corner with your finger as you go along, and removing excess caulk:
For wiping your fingers off, keep a bunch of tissues or dry towel.

10. Remove the masking tape before the caulk starts to skin over:
For perfect cleaning, you may use your finger. Wondering how long do you have to let plumbers putty dry? For proper caulk cure you need to wait at least 24/36 hours before exposing the water.

There you have it — you can now re-caulk your bathtub or apply a sealant to your bathroom with ease!

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