How to Caulk a Bathtub in 7 Steps – [Guide With Pictures]

Are you looking for an easy guideline to caulk your bathtub by yourself? Then, here you go. This article will educate you about how to caulk a bathtub without any difficulty. Caulking a bathtub is much easier than you think provided if you follow the correct steps.

If the caulk around your bathtub looks bad or gets cracked; it is high time that you need to fix it. Applying caulk to your bathtub will not give it a fresh and nice look but it will also protect it against any leakage. Apply the right caulk and use proper tools to get your job done even by yourself.

Read to learn the simple steps given below to caulk your bathtub and get ready for an exciting job. So, let’s begin.

Table of Contents

7 Simple Steps for Caulking a Bathtub:

If you live in an older home or are planning to live in the same home for a few more years; then, it’s more likely that you need to apply caulk to your bathtub. Sooner or later the mold usually shows up in the bathtub caulking. So, you need to clean up the old caulk and caulk your bathtub again. You can do this by following the 7 simple steps listed below. But before then let’s explore the tools and material that you will require in this error fixing activity. These are:

Tools Required:

  1. Utility knife.
  2. Caulk gun.
  3. Rags.
  4. Putty knife.
  5. Razor scraper.
  6. Oscillating tool.
  7. Materials Required:
  8. Paper towels.
  9. Mineral spirits.
  10. Caulk remover.
  11. Masking tape.
  12. Caulk that contains mildew and mold prevention additives.

Step 1: Remove the Old Caulk

The first step is to cut, peel and remove the old caulk with the help of a utility knife or any other specialized tool. The advantage of using caulk removal specialized tools is that they tear away the caulk in a clean manner and helps to perform the work efficiently. Follow these simple steps to easily remove the old caulk:

First of all, soften the caulk with a commercial caulk remover. Do not forget to read out the manufacturer’s instructions in this regard as every tool is not compatible with all the materials.

Now you need to strip the caulk by utilizing a putty or utility knife. Slice the caulk and peel it away.

If there are multiple layers of the caulk; then, it is recommended to use needle-nosed pliers to do the work

Step 2: Clean the Caulk with a Cotton Rag

After you are done with the caulk removal; you need to clean the surface with a dampened cloth to avoid any residuals. A few tips in this regard are listed below:

Use a non-abrasive and dry pad to remove any traces of the caulk. Afterward, use a pad soaked in mineral spirits to do effective cleaning of the surface.If you need to avoid scratching plastic fixtures; then, use a soft rag dipped in mineral spirits rather than considering a scouring pad.

Remove the caulk dust with the help of a pad or rag and prepare the surface for the new caulk.

Finally, dry the area with a hairdryer, a dry rag, or with the help of paper towels.

Step 3 : Get Rid of Any Loose Grout (if left).

When the old caulk gets removed from the bathtub; there are high chances that loose grout is left in between the walls and the bathtub. But there is nothing to worry about because the following tips and tricks are right there to facilitate you. These are:

You need to treat the grout with a mold-killing product. Chlorine bleach is one of the best products to consider in this regard. It not only kills the mold spores but also disinfects the area completely. It also removes the buildup of soap from the grout and tiles, respectively. 

Scrub the grout and rinse off the mold killer with water.

Afterward, dry it with the help of a hairdryer, and speed up the drying process.

Finally, clean the surface with mineral spirits and let it dry completely.  

Step 4: Mask the Gap for Applying the Tape.

After you finish working with the prior steps; now it’s time to mask the gap between the bathtub and the walls. Follow the following steps in this regard:

Find the largest gap between the bathtub and the walls. 

Then, apply the tape to the walls above the bathtub.

Now finish the process by applying the tape to the bathtub.

Step 5 : Cut the Nozzle Tip & Apply Some Pressure.

At this step; you need to be careful in cutting the nozzle tip so that it matches the gap width. Follow the given steps in this regard:

Hold the gun at a 90-degree angle and push a bead of caulk slightly ahead of the nozzle.

Do not forget to apply pressure from the hand as you push the gun forward.

Apply the caulk to fill the gap appropriately and do not exceed the required amount. 

Pro Tip in this regard would be to cut the nozzle tip at a 20-degree angle. Hold the gun at a 90-degree angle to get things to work in the best manner. 

Step 6: Withdraw Excess Caulk from the Gap.

At this step; you need to remove the extra caulk from the gap by doing the following process:

Wet your finger with water at first.

Then start with an outer corner.

Wipe your finger across the caulk so that a rounded bead can be created.

Finally, remove the excess caulk from the gap.

Step 7: Finally, Peel off the Tap and Smooth out the Caulk.

The final step is to peel off the tap to get your work done. A few steps to follow in this regard are listed below:

Make sure that the caulk is still wet before you start peeling off.

Along the bathtub, lift a corner of the tape and pull it off.

While you pull it off; do not forget to choose a steep angle to this activity.

Afterward, you need to remove the tape which is along the wall.

Then, remove the tape from the wall corners at last.

You need to remove all the tape by making sure that the caulk is still wet.

After you are done with these steps; do not use the bathtub until the caulk gets completely cured. Remember that the caulk does not bond well with a wet surface. So, even if you clean and dry the surface adequately before caulking your bathtub; you need to wait till it gets cured. A good tip in this regard is to wait for at least 24 hours before your caulk finally settles down. Till then you can still have a bath in the bathtub but use a different bathroom. So, isn’t it a wise idea? 

FAQs

Q: What is the best caulk to be used around a bathtub?

A: The best caulk to be used around a bathtub is one that utilizes latex or silicone. The silicone formulas are available on Amazon and they provide a strong seal especially against moisture. Though silicone is mostly used by the masses, latex is much easier to use.

Q:  How frequently a bathtub needs to be caulked?

A: though there is no hard and fast rule by which we can determine after how much time an old caulk needs to be replaced. But generally speaking, it is around every 5 years that a bathtub needs to be caulked. In areas having seepage or leakage issues; a bathtub can be caulked after a year at least. 

Q: What is the best way to remove the old caulk around a bathtub?

A: Follow these simple steps to remove the old caulk efficiently. First, soften the caulk with the help of a commercial caulk remover. Then, strip the caulk with a utility or putty knife. You can also use specialized caulk removing tools to do this process. However, you also need to take precautions to be safe at this prime step. Finally, clean the surface to get rid of any residue material. Brush the area with a dampened cloth to kill mold or mildew. After you apply a new caulk; make sure that the surface is completely dry after the old caulk remover.

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