Re-Caulking a Bathtub

gloved hand applying caulk to bathroom tile

Recaulking the bathtub is easier than you might imagine with new masking tape designed for tubs and tile.

(NAPS) - One way to give your home a fresh new look - without breaking the bank - is to invest a few hours in much-needed home maintenance such as caulking.

Caulk is used by builders and contractors to prevent water from entering a home's seams and causing damage. Recaulking can prevent moisture from getting into walls and/or under tiles and floors where mold and rot can grow.

The cost of a tube or two of caulk and a bit of time may end up saving you the cost of major rot repair.

You can get by with a few basic types of caulks and sealants, such as latex or silicone and a can of spray insulating foam. Water-soluble latex caulk is for interior use along baseboards and around windows.

Silicone caulk is better for use outdoors. If you plan to paint when finished, buy a silicone caulk that can be painted.

You may also need a minitube of double-duty All-Purpose Adhesive Caulk for household repairs, touch-ups and improvements, and a roll of new Tub & Tile Masking Tape by Polyseamseal.

Recaulking the bathtub is a great place to begin and it's easier than you might imagine. First, remove the old caulk by trimming it with a utility knife and then scraping or prying it out.

Once the old caulk is removed, clean and disinfect with one-part liquid chlorine bleach in three parts warm water with a dash of powdered laundry detergent. Wearing gloves and eye protection and with good ventilation, scrub seams with an old toothbrush. Rinse well, dry completely and wipe down with denatured alcohol.

Next, lay down long, neat lines of tape - exactly 1/8" or 1/4" apart, cut to length for each wall to be caulked. Second, peel off the top "protective layer," revealing a strip of yellow tape with a wider backing underneath.

One edge is 1/8" wider while the other side is 1/4". Finally, after deciding which size bead you want, just place that side of the tape (1/8" or 1/4") both above and below the open seam, smooth it down and peel the backing away, leaving two straight, evenly spaced edging guides.

Then, lay in a bead of caulk, smooth it out with a wet finger and peel away the tape before the caulk dries. Special adhesive Quick Corners Masking Tape Corners can also help you keep the job clean.

The Carey Brothers, James and Morris, are nationally renowned experts on home building, remodeling and everyday household maintenance.