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.

 

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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.

 

Recommendations

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

 

 

 

 

 

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