Whether you're replacing old caulk or have installed a new shower stall, you need to caulk the seams. Done correctly, the caulk gives the shower a completed look while providing a watertight seal along the seams. If you caulk a shower stall incorrectly, the seam may look lumpy and may allow water to leak into the walls behind the shower. With the right set of instructions, any do-it-yourself fan can complete the project like a professional.
Things You'll Need
- Razor blade or needle-nose pliers
- Alcohol-based product
- Mildew-resistant cleaner
- Interior bathroom caulk
- Caulk gun
- Container of water
- Paper towels
Remove any old caulk surrounding the shower stall. Depending on the type of caulk, you may need to use a razor blade or a pair of needle-nose pliers. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the walls as you remove any old caulk -- the new caulk may not cover the damage.
Wipe the area where you plan to caulk with detergent and rinse the area clean. It can also help to use an alcohol-based product to remove any residual caulk. If you want to prevent mildew from growing along the seam, clean the area with a mildew-resistant cleaner or one that destroys mildew.
Dry the area completely. It is important to have the area free of any debris and moisture in order to get the best seal possible. Silicon-based caulk will not stick to old caulk and will allow moisture to get through the seal if you fail to remove all the old sealant.
Insert the caulk you plan to use into a caulk gun. Stores sell a variety of caulks, so make sure you have a caulk designed for interior bathrooms. Using the wrong caulk can prevent the shower sealant from working correctly.
Prepare to caulk the tub by getting a container of water and paper towels. To make the best seam, cut the caulk tube at a 45-degree angle, keeping the hole small enough to create a one-fourth-inch seam. Once you cut the hole, use a nail to pop the inner seal of the caulk tube, taking care not to enlarge the opening.
Determine the order in which you should caulk the shower stall. Start with the internal and vertical seams before you move onto the horizontal and external ones. When you caulk a vertical seam, move from top to bottom.
Place the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle to the surface and run a bead along the length of the seam. To make the best bead, apply a steady pressure to the trigger of the caulk gun, move at a consistent rate and keep the hole of the caulk tube flush to the wall. Once you finish a seam, dip your finger in the container of water and run your finger along the caulk bead to force the caulk into the seam. Use a moist paper towel to clean up any areas where you applied too much caulk.
Tips & Warnings
- Your finger needs to be wet in order to run smoothly over the caulk.
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