Bathroom, DIY, Educational, Home Maintenance, renovation, Tips & Tricks

Tips for Caulking Your Shower Surround

Caulking your shower surround doesn’t have to be a hassle if you follow some of the easy tips below. Before you know it, you will be on your way to a beautiful, blended shower surround joint.

-Don’t use 100% industrial grade silicone caulk. It typically gives off a strong odor and requires a lot of focus and cleanup to prevent it from sticking to everything. If you must, have masking tape to frame your bead and paper towels for cleanup on hand, or use a hybrid caulk like siliconized acrylic.

-Wash the joint and surrounding surfaces with water-diluted bleach and let dry for a couple of hours before applying any caulk. This will remove and residual mildew/mold and prevent future growth.

-Use a blowdryer to heat up the old caulk before attempting to scrape it out. This will soften the caulk and make it easier to remove, which prevents scratching up the surface or joint.

-After you remove old caulk, sand the joint and surrounding surface to remove any lingering residue or texture issues. This also diminishes the need for vigorous scraping, which further preserves the surface and joint.

-After sanding, wipe down the relevant surfaces and joint one more time to remove the last of the surface level debris.

-Start from the top of the surround and work your way to the bottom when applying. This seems counterintuitive for this context, but the application angle will work better this way.

-Once you hit the mid-point of the surround, reverse starting points and start up from the bottom. The two sections of caulk should meet in the middle. This two-step application process prevents any awkward angles that could mess up your bead.


DIY, Educational, Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks: Outside Corner Spackling

Spackling is all fun and games to apply and smooth out until you have to cover the outside corners. The awkward angle, variable dry time, and extra smoothing or blending required calls for a bit more finesse and planning. However, Red Devil has got you covered with the application and prep tips below!

-First off, be prepared to make time for at least 3 layers of spackle for this area. You don’t want any show through on outside corners and the sharp angle doesn’t allow you to distribute spackle as thickly.

-Following from this, the first layer should be the heaviest as you want to cover the initial wall flaws or texture effectively before adding the blending layers. Cover all the space you need to between the corner joint and the wall using your putty knife.

-Since the the second layer and third layer is intended to deepen coverage and smooth out the spackle into the wall surface, use a larger putty knife of 10″ to apply. The wider putty knife plate will give a more widespread, polished coverage.

-After you have applied the third layer, you may switch to a 12″ or larger putty knife to smooth out any edges or mistakes.

-The position of the putty knife you use to apply the spackle should be so that one corner of the knife is aimed alongside the corner bead and the other corner is facing the drywall surface.





DIY, Educational, Home Maintenance, Tips & Tricks

Bubbled Caulk: What It Means & How to Prevent It

Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 11.22.10 AM


The Cause

Caulk bubbles can originate from trapped air in the cartridge, caused by manufacturing or air leaking in through an uncovered cartridge tip, or from trapped water underneath the caulk that is vaporizing under the surface of the film of the caulk.





Prevention Tips

– Be sure to keep the tip of the caulk cartridge covered at all times that it is not in use to prevent air seeping in.

-With any caulk application, make sure the area to be caulked is clean and free of moisture by wiping it down with a dry cloth. This prevents water from getting trapped underneath.

-Make sure you smooth the caulk into a consistent, seamless beading before letting it cure. You don’t want to leave any voids for air or moisture to get in.



smoothing caulk


Repair Options

If  it has been an hour or less since you caulked the area that has bubbles, you may still be able to smooth or tool it out a bit. Any later than that and you will have to remove the bubbled caulk and start over.

Bathroom, DIY, Educational, Home Maintenance, Tips & Tricks

FYI: Preventing “Split” Caulk

split caulk


Why is splitting caulk a concern?

Other than being aesthetically unsightly, split caulk leaves gaps for water and air to get in, which may lead to higher energy bills, mold, or water damage.


What causes split caulk?

Changing weather conditions that create inconsistent humidity can affect the flexibility of caulk but the most common cause of split caulk is using the wrong caulk formula. Acrylic caulk is more prone to crack or split over time, so it is best to use a flexible, 100% silicone caulk for areas that are prone to splitting such as the bathroom or kitchen. If paintability is an issue, use a siliconized acrylic caulk to get the best of both worlds.



The Red Devil DuraGuard™ Kitchen & Bath Siliconized Acrylic Caulk is a great choice.







FYI: Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile -Is There Really a Difference?

Image: Wikihow

The short answer- yes. There is something close to a world of difference going by the stats listed by . Porcelain is a term that is used loosely to describe varying qualities of tile to scale up the price, but the formal definition is light-colored tile made from clay with meager iron content.

However, color alone is not a solid indicator of true porcelain as colored glazes can tint most tiles a lighter color effectively. True, quality porcelain has a consistent color throughout unglazed, and a thicker density. Ceramic tile density can come close to the density of porcelain through vitrification, the process by which ceramic tile is heated at high temperatures for a long period of time, with increases durability. A test of certified porcelain then comes down to a water penetration test where tile is soaked in water and then analyzed for the amount of absorption into the tile. A water penetration of 5% or less is considered porcelain quality.

Ceramic tile and porcelain tile can be further compared by hardness factor on the Mohs scale and durability PEI rating. Mohs is generally tested by how easily the surface minerals can be scratched or violated and PEI covers general durability variables. Lastly, there is the Coefficient of Friction, which measures how much slip a tile surface has when wet- the higher the number, the less slip texture there is.


Industry News: Best & Worst Home Improvement Projects to Invest In


According to the Cost vs. Value Report of 2014 done by the Lowry Team, an award winning real estate team based in Cincinnati, there are a number of home improvement projects that may regain all, if not more, of the value back on cost investment in materials, labor, etc. when selling a home. Below, the projects are ranked from best to worst under mid-range and upscale project categories (Lowry, 2014). Keep in mind that these stats are subject to vary based on location, local trends, and local cost of investment (Lowry, 2014).

Mid-Range Projects

Best (redeem 100% or more value back on investment)(Lowry, 2014):

-Adding an attic bedroom (Lowry, 2014)

-Having a back up power generator (Lowry, 2014)

-Wood deck additions (Lowry, 2014)


-Home office remodel (only redeem about 50% or less back on investment!) (Lowry, 2014)

Big-Scale Projects

Best (redeemed 70% or more value back on investment) (Lowry, 2014):

-Garage door replacement (Lowry, 2014)

-Composite deck addition (Lowry, 2014)

-Vinyl window and siding replacements (Lowry, 2014)

-Bath remodel (Lowry, 2014)


-Master suite addition (Lowry, 2014)

-Roof replacement (Lowry, 2014)

Works Cited

Lowry, Eric. “Lowry Team Real Estate.” The Lowry Team Keller Williams Realty Shares Home Improvements That Are Worth the Investment. Keller Williams Realty, n.d. Web. 05 June 2014. <;.

Educational, Tips & Tricks

Product 101: Create-A-Color™ Caulk Coloring System Kit: Getting Optimal Results

Devil’s Create-A-Color Caulk is a quality formulation that has excellent adhesion, mildew resistant, interior and exterior performance, low odor and water clean-up. The advantageous formulation aside, there are methods and tips for ensuring an ideal finish. Get the most out of your Create-A-Color Caulk Coloring System Kit by following the suggestions below!

-This may seem obvious, but it is crucial that the surface you are caulking be clean and free of contaminants.

-Apply enough caulk for the job & do not remove too much material when tooling.

-For a neat, straight bead edge, mask both sides of joint with masking tape and remove the tape before skin forms.

-Do not apply when rain or freezing temperatures are expected! This will mess up the characteristics of the formulation such as adhesion, color, texture, etc.

-Final mixer stroke should be very slow & w/o rotation, in order to remove large air pops from color-matched caulk.