How to Re-Caulk a Tub

Like many folks across the country, I'm hanging around the house due to "social distancing", and working on projects to keep busy. After only a few days seclusion it occurred to me that now is the perfect time for re-caulking the tub. This is a project that generally needs to be done every few years as caulk hardens, cracks, and molds. If you don't fix it, the problem leads to water leaks and dangerous mold growth. It's a simple project easily completed by one person.

Steps (pics below):

1. Gather Supplies -

  • You'll need a good sharp putty knife. You may also like a caulk scraper (the little red plastic tool) and/or a razor blade.

  • Caulk. I like to use white silicon grout designed for bathrooms. Be sure you choose something waterproof.

  • Small cup of water

  • Hand broom and dustpan

  • Rag

2. Remove your shower curtain and cover the drain with your rag. You don't want bits of caulk and grout to go down the pipes.

3. Slide the putty knife along the seam at the tub to loosen caulk. Scrape away all grout, caulk, and any loose particles. Make sure the surface of the tub is completely clean of caulk residue as any remaining bits will keep the new caulk from adhering properly.

4. Use the hand broom or a large paintbrush to sweep all the loose dust from the seam and gather the bits and pieces in the tub.

5. Fill a small cup with water and set it on the edge of the tub.

6. Cut a small hole in the tip of the tube of caulk. You can always make the hole bigger if needed.

7. Run a narrow bead of caulk along the seam a few feet at a time.

8. Wet your finger and press against the seam then run along the area caulked. Use the rag to clean your finger and clean up any excess caulk on the tile or tub.

Repeat steps 7 & 8 until the whole tub is caulked.

9. Read how long your caulk requires to cure. It can take 8-48 hours before you are able to shower/bathe again.

10. Wash your shower curtain and hang back up.

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