Are you searching for a simple rule to caulk your bathtub by yourself? Here you go. This post will teach you how to caulk a bathtub without difficulty. Provided that you follow the proper techniques, caulking a bathtub is far easier than you might believe.
The caulking around your bathtub fulfills two purposes: it makes the tub look nicer and protects it from leaks. If the caulk is cracked or otherwise damaged, it’s time to replace it. Applying caulk is a relatively easy task that most people can do themselves with just a few tools.
Read on to learn how to caulk your bathtub and get ready for an exciting project. So, let’s get started.
Step-By-Step Guide for Caulking a Bathtub
If you live in an older home or are planning to live in the same house 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.
- Utility knife.
- Caulk gun.
- Putty knife.
- Razor scraper.
- Oscillating tool.
- Paper towels.
- Mineral spirits.
- Caulk remover.
- Masking tape.
- Caulk contains mildew and mold prevention additives.
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 help 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.
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.
3. Get Rid of Any Loose Grout (if left)
When the old caulk gets removed from the bathtub; there is a high chance 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.
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.
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.
5. Cut the Nozzle Tip & Apply Some Pressure
At this step; you need to be careful in cutting the nozzle tip to match 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: The tip 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.
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.
7. 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 for 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.
What is the best caulk to be used around a bathtub?
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.
How frequently a bathtub needs to be caulked?
Though there is no hard and fast rule by which we can determine 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.
What is the best way to remove the old caulk around a bathtub?
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.
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.
You can still have a bath in the bathtub but use a different bathroom. So, isn’t it a wise idea?