Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents


4 min read

How to repair caulking around your bath


4 min read

How to repair caulking around your bath

BathroomHow to repair caulking around your bath

Ageing caulk is unsightly, it turns brown and brittle, cracking around the edges. Once cracking of caulk happens, there is the potential for water to seep in, causing wallboard and surrounding framing to turn mushy, and further leading colonies of mildew to grow as well as mould. If you’ve noticed the signs of deteriorating caulking, then it is important to repair the material around your tub as soon as possible.

Repairing the caulk around your tub is an easy DIY job that even the most novice of homeowners can take on. Caulk is cheap and the application process is straightforward. Homeowners will need a few hours and tools and materials that can be found at the local hardware store. Follow our steps and your bathtub will be ready to use in no time!

How to caulk around a bathtub!

Know your caulk

Source: Pixabay, ErikaWittlieb

Firstly, it’s important to choose the right caulk for your bathroom. Caulk that should be used around the tub will be labelled for “Kitchen and Bath,” as this type of caulk contains latex or silicone compounds that have been chemically engineered to resist mildew while sticking on to nonporous surfaces. However, the two main types of bathroom caulking, silicone and acrylic latex, work differently and it is important for homeowners to know their differences.

Silicone caulk is very strong while also being waterproof and flexible. However, this caulk is quite particular regarding surface conditions, and can also be difficult to smooth. Further, it requires mineral spirits to clean and emits a terrible odour until it has been cured. Silicone caulk is limited in colour to white, beige and clear.

Acrylic latex caulk is much more forgiving about the surface to which it is applied. It is easy to apply, as smoothing it out is simple and it does not emit a smell. Unfortunately, acrylic caulk is not as resilient as silicone and will need to be replaced sooner than the former. This type of caulking comes in an assortment of colours and is, therefore, more accommodating in modern homes.

Remove Existing Caulk around the bathtub

Slice away the old caulking with quick and sharp strokes; this can be completed using a painter’s tool and a razor scraper, or a utility knife. Bear in mind that working with metal blades can damage your tub if it is made of plastic. If this happens to be the case, use a plastic blade instead. Caulk removers also harm plastic, so make sure to be aware if using them around your surfaces.

Next, you’ll want to scrub the surface to prepare for the application of the new caulk, ridding of any trace of existing caulk residue. Use a non-abrasive pad or soft to remove traces of caulk residue. Following this, use a wet cloth to remove the dust that would have collected during the removal of the caulk. Next, dry the area using a dry cloth or hair dryer. 

Tape and Caulk

source: Flickr, Carlisle Hvac

Start the re-caulking process by laying two parallel strips of blue painter’s tape. The purpose of this is to keep the caulk away from and off surfaces it shouldn’t touch, as well as keeping the job straight and uniform. Point the hole of the nozzle towards the joint, keeping it 45 degrees out on either side. Next, apply steady pressure to the trigger as you move the gun along the length of the seam. 

Make sure the caulking gun is moving at a steady pace, watching how the caulk is flowing from the nozzle. If you are moving too fast you will notice that the bead will be too thin, along with bubbles or breaks in the seal. If you are moving too slow, you will waste caulk and spend more time cleaning up then you will in the application process. 

Smooth Surfaces

Once you have finished filling the seams, take a damp cloth and press it into the joint with a finger. Pull your finger along the joint in a continuous motion, as this will work to shape the fresh caulk into a concave space. Next, remove the strips of tape, making sure to avoid touching the freshly laid caulk. Once the tape is removed, smooth out the surface again to eliminate any tiny ridges that have been left by the tape. Wait at least 24 hours for the caulk to cure before your tub or shower. 

Get 3 renovation quotes for your bathtub caulking project can help you get quotes for your bathtub caulking project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals. 

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Last modified 2023-11-07

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?

Table of contents

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.

Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

6 min read • 07 Nov 2023

Guide to Choosing a Toilet

There’s no beating around the bush, toilets are the thrones of the home. These fixtures are an important aspect of the overall comfort, and thus choosing the right one makes a huge difference.

7 min read

Amanda Harvey • 18 Jun 2024

The 10 most common plumbing issues | Renovation Quotes

Plumbing problems quickly shake up our day-to-day habits. Since we're used to having access to clean water, as soon as a situation complicates this process, many of our daily tasks are affected.

4 min read • 07 Nov 2023

What Should You Know About Industrial Paint?

Among the many renovation projects out there, painting projects are most accessible to apprentices in the industry. Indeed, painting is part of our daily lives and few are those who can ever say they've never been called to lend a hand to change the appearance of one or more rooms inside a home.

2 min read • 07 Nov 2023

3 tips to improve the insulation of an exterior door

It’s difficult to deny that as soon as the chilly weather arrives, rushing to the thermostat to crank up the heat seems like the only way to keep the inside of the home warm and comfortable. What you may not realize is that even if your heaters are on full blast, the indoor temperature will only stay cosy if your home is insulated correctly.

4 min read

N/A • 07 Nov 2023

How much does it cost to work with an architect?

Whether building a new home or taking on a large renovation project, the novice might have no idea where to begin. Most know that when taking on any home renovation, the potential for problems and things going awry is high; your expectations might not match the outcome.

Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!