Remodeling Tips and Reviews

How to Caulk a Bathtub

How to Caulk a Bathtub

Jan 9, 2012

Every tub needs to have a nice bead of caulk at the base of the tile to keep water from getting behind the tile. If you have an old tub you likely have old, moldy, cracked caulking around the tub, or worse yet, no caulking at all.

To fix this situation you will need a few things:

Cleaning out the old caulking is simple, using the 5 in 1 tool scrape all the caulk out all the way around the tub with firm strokes until you have gotten all of it off. If you leave any behind you will likely have issues with mold later. You may also remove a little grout if it is under the caulk, but the new caulking bead should cover it.

Once it has all been removed you will want to vacuum or sweep up the mess, trying not to let it go down the drain. You don’t want to have to unclog your drain after this is done. Now you are ready to run the bead of caulking.

Getting Ready to Caulk your tub

You need to make sure and cut the tip of the caulk tube at a clean 60 degree angle or so with a sharp razor, making sure you have a bead the thickness of more than 1/8″. When  you are ready you will place the high side of the tube’s tip in the corner of the tub area and in a smooth stroke pump the caulking gun while you pull a bead across the tub to tile seam. When you get about 3/4 of the way across the back wall you will have to start from the opposite corner and pull another bead of caulking until the two areas meet. Then You will need to use your index finger and carefully pull it along the bead to press the caulking into place, but make sure you don’t press too hard, you want to leave a nice amount of the caulking in place. I usually have a rag handy to clean up water based caulk. You will need mineral spirits to clean up the silicone. The goal is a clean looking seem that covers a little of the tile and the tub. Sometimes larger beads are necessary.Running a clean sponger over the caulk bead can also create a clean look.

You will repeat this process on all 3 sides of the tub and down the sides of the tub. Allow tub to dry overnight.

Ace has a nice video on this process, I don’t recommend using the self squeeze tube in the video, but adding tape is a nice touch.