How to Caulk a Bathtub?

If you’re installing a new bathtub, there are a few things you should do to prepare the surface for caulking. This can help prevent water leaks and ensure that the seal is properly set. There are two types of tub sealants to choose from: silicone and acrylic latex. The best choice depends on the type of tub, the materials it’s made of, and the conditions it’s exposed to. 

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The first thing you should do is remove all of the old caulking. You can do this using a sharp utility knife or a razor blade. Make sure you don’t scratch the surface underneath. Once the caulk is removed, you can clean the surface thoroughly. 

Next, use a lint-free rag to clean the surface. If you want to paint the area, you can do this a few hours after you apply the sealant. However, you can’t paint the acrylic latex caulk once it’s dry. To prevent water from seeping through, you should let the sealant dry for at least 48 hours. After this, you can paint the tub. 

Next, clean the area around the tub. This will allow you to remove any leftover dirt, grime, or grossness. Use a rag or paper towel to wipe down the area. Using a vacuum is also helpful, if you have one. Using a sponge can help to smooth the surface and remove debris. 

Depending on the material your tub is made of, you may need to scrape off the old caulk. For acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs, you can use a plastic scraper. Alternatively, you can scrape the surface with a scouring pad. When you’re finished, you can rinse the area with warm water and a mild degreaser to speed up the drying process. 

Caulk is typically applied over grout lines or around the edges of the tub. Using a straight edge, you can flatten the caulk over the surface. In this way, the new caulk will be more even and will stay on the surface longer. 

After the tub is ready for new caulking, you can begin the actual application of the caulk. Start at one end of the tub and work your way to the other. It’s important to do this in 12 inch sections, so that the entire bathtub is covered. If your tub is enclosed, start at one corner and reverse the bead at the other two corners. 

Apply the caulk, making sure to use even pressure on the tub. Try to make the bead of the caulk a quarter-inch wide on horizontal surfaces, and three-eighths of an inch wide on vertical surfaces. If you have to apply caulk over a groove, you should be careful to remove it before you start applying the caulk. 

If you’ve got a stubborn piece of caulk to remove, you can soak it in rubbing alcohol. Let it sit overnight, then wipe away with a rag or sponge. Denatured alcohol is also useful for removing any remaining residue.