How to Caulk a Bathtub

What You'll Need
Caulk removing solvent
Stanley Knife
Anti-fungal caulk
Masking tape
Scouring sponge
Rubbing alcohol
Scrubbing brush

Knowing how to caulk a bathtub or bathroom is a useful skill to have and not only allows you to prevent the damage that can come from unsightly mold, but also ensures that your bathroom remains looking fresh. By following a few simple steps, you will find it a quick and easy task that you can undertake as part of your bathroom maintenance routine.  

Step 1 – Examine Existing Caulk

Due to the caulk continually being in contact with water, it has the potential to develop mildew as well as lift from the surface because of water ingress. Check the entire length of the bath’s edges to determine the extent of the damage and pinpoint exactly where it is. You may find that some of it does not have to be removed, such as at the end of the bath that does not have faucets and will not come into contact with water as much as the end with faucets and a shower head.

Step 2 – Gather Tools

Once you are aware of the full extent of the damage, you will know what tools are required to do the complete job. If much of the old caulk is coming away from the surface, you may be able to reduce it without the need for a caulk removal solvent or a Stanley knife. However, if the caulk remains stuck fast, these items will be required before you start the job.       

Step 3 – Remove Old Caulk

Before knowing how to caulk a bathtub, you need to know how to remove the old stuff. Start by smoothly pulling up any loose caulk. That which remains attached to the wall and bathtub should be scored along the edge. Take care not to press the blade too deeply. Use a scrubbing brush to remove any remnants and clean the entire surface with rubbing alcohol before rinsing and drying. If this process proves unsuccessful, use a caulk removing solvent.

Step 4 – Apply New Caulk

Lay masking tape to the wall and bathtub about ¼ inch from the join to use as a guide. As you are doing this, run the tap to fill the tub with water to act as a weight. After cutting off the tip from the container at a 45 degree angle, begin at a corner and apply the caulk by smoothly running it along the length of the edge. Wet your finger and use a gentle pressure to run it along the length of the caulk that you have just applied to make sure that it is smooth and even.

Step 5 – Finish Up

Allow the caulk to dry for 10 minutes before carefully removing the masking tape to ensure that you do not cause smears. By understanding how to caulk the bathtub properly, you should also be aware that you should leave the water in the tub for the 24 hours that it will take for the caulk to dry. This will add weight to the tub and any areas where the caulk has not sealed should be visible after this time. The same steps can be applied to rectify any unsealed areas.