How to Caulk a Bathtub (Beautiful Results) — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Caulk a Bathtub (Beautiful Results) — by Home Repair Tutor


Hey, there! Do you need to know how to caulk
a bathtub or maybe how to caulk a shower? Maybe the sealant between your tub and the
surround has got moldy or it’s peeling off or it’s just looking nasty. If that’s
the case, you might want to watch this video because I really think it could help you out.
It’s got a lot of great tips in it, especially if you don’t want to come back in a few short
weeks and have to redo your job. So let’s dive into the details. Again, I think this
could really, really help you out. Yikes! This caulk, it looks terrible. So it’s
bubbling, it’s peeling off. It needs to be removed. It’s separating from the tub
and the tub surround. And the first tool that I like to use is a straight razor like this
one. I look to groove out the bottom of the caulk and the top of the caulk and then peel
it off the tub surround. One big tip here: You cannot caulk over existing caulk, so you
have to remove any of the old material. Another tool that you can use is a 5-in-1
painter’s tool, and I love this tool, especially if you’ve got caulk that’s deep down in
between the tub surround and the bathtub. And again, you want to groove out the bottom
portion that buts up against the tub, and then groove out the top portion that buts
up against the tub surround. That way you’ll be able to pry the old caulk off and pull
it with your hands. So you need to remove all the old material. It’s an absolute must.
Otherwise, your new caulk will not stick to the tub and tub surround. So again, you want
to groove the bottom out. Groove the top out. And then when you do that, you’ll be able
to remove most of the old material. Now here’s another big tip: Make sure you
remove all of the old caulk from the bathtub. So it’s going to fall into the bathtub.
And then use a grouting sponge to abrade the tub surround and the tub itself. I like grouting
sponges for this reason because they’re just mildly abrasive. Then take a rag and
wipe off the surface the best that you can, and make sure that it’s dry.
Now if you notice any old caulk, you have to remove it, and you have to be very diligent
about this. The surface has to be clean and dry for the new caulk to be adhered.
Here’s a huge tip: Fill up the tub with water. First, plug it up. So plug it up at
the overflow tube, and allow the water to fill the tub such that the water level is
right below the overflow pipe. The reason why you want to do this is so that you widen
the gap between the tub and the tub surround. It’s absolutely critical that you fill up
your tub with water before you apply the new caulk because what that is going to do is
weigh down the bathtub so that there’s a bigger gap between the tub and the surround
or the tile. And that way, you’ll be able to put that bead of caulk in that larger gap.
And when you release the water, it will squeeze the material in between the tub and the surround
and create a really, really good seal. And the type of caulk that I like to use is
Dap 3.0 because it’s specifically for bathroom plumbing. It’s 100% waterproof. It’s water-resistant
in 30 minutes. It’s mold and mildew resistant. And it has Microban in it. So Microban will
help prevent mold and mildew growth on a new caulk.
Now, how do you figure out how to cut the end of the caulking tube? This is a question
that I get a lot. So what I like to do is place the end of the caulking tube in between
the larger gap that you just created between the tub and the tub surround. And then mark
the end of the caulking tube with a pencil—this pencil mark is really hard to see here—but
what I like to do is cut just a little bit beyond that pencil mark either with a caulking
gun or a pair of scissors. But no matter what you do, make sure you cut the end of the caulking
tube at a 45° angle because you’re going to use the end of the tube to mold the caulk
around the tub. So what I like to do is start at the edge
of the tub and the surround and work my way inward. And then, for awkward-shaped tub/tub
surrounds, I like to dip my finger in the water that’s in the tub and then smooth
out the caulk until you get to another point whereby it’s a longer run. So as you can
see here, I’m slowly pressing down on my caulking gun. And because there’s water
in the tub, it makes it a little bit awkward. But what I like to do is stop in the middle
of the tub surround and then go at the next corner and then work my way back inward using
the caulk gun. Again, smooth out the caulk by dipping your finger in the water and then
moving in one direction. So left to right or right to left.
But admittedly, it can be a little bit tricky trying to use your caulking gun around a tub
full of water. So just be careful. Moving in one direction ensures that the caulk
I being pressed into the gap and you’re not removing it by moving in the other direction.
But if you notice that there are little tiny holes or air bubbles, you can go back and
use the caulking gun to add more caulk. Now what I like to do is, once I’m done with
the caulking process and I smooth it out with my finger, I go back over the surface with
a wet towel, like I’m doing here. And this just works for me. It allows me to mold the
caulk and really get a nice, smooth and even look without it being messy. So that’s what
you see here. It’s a nice, smooth, even look. And you’ll be left with a really awesome
job. So by filling up the tub and then releasing
the water from it, what you’re going to do now is compress the caulk up against the
tub and tub surround and make a super tight water seal.
Well there you go. That’s how you caulk a bathtub or re-caulk a bathtub or shower.
I think the tips are really timeless and could help you out with your own tub job or your
own shower job. And if you think this video could help somebody else out, go ahead and
click on the thumbs up button. That way they’ll be able to see it over on YouTube. And if
you haven’t already done so, maybe you should also click on the subscribe button while you’re
at it because you won’t miss one of my videos. They come out every single Friday. And if
you’re a subscriber, you’ll definitely be able to see it on Friday, all right?
So thanks for joining me today. I really appreciate your time. Again, I love DIY. So maybe these
videos will help you out. And if you’ve got a suggestion or a comment, leave it in
the comments section. All right, take care. I’ll see you in the next video.

34 thoughts on “How to Caulk a Bathtub (Beautiful Results) — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. nice explanation. My preference is to use metho instead of water for wiping. I just fill a small cup with metho and dip my finger in it. You get a great glide

  2. Thank you for the great video. I have a tub/shower where I am not able to fill the tub with water. Weird, right? Anyway, do you have another suggestion for weighing down the tub? I was thinking that I can just sit in the tub while I work on it. Please let me know if you have a better idea. 

  3. BS on using water wet finger to smooth out that Dap 3.0. Having recently subjected myself to the hairpulling punishment of Dap 3.0 sealant, be warned that it is NOTHING like the silicone caulk you're used to. If you don't have a can of mineral spirits or paint thinner on hand, you will kick yourself the whole way through re-removing and re-re-caulking all that time, effort and $8 tubes of Dap 3.0 you wasted…

  4. Caulking is such a pain and so messy that watching this helps to ease the headaches. I just finished up with a remodel and it is caulking time.

  5. This video REALLY HELP ME. I decided to do my whole tile show,er, so now I am going to finish what I started. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  6. I need a man like you in my life!!! Are you single!! I need to recaulk my tub/shower VERY soon!! Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend. Already bought the caulk at Home Depot. I walked up to a male employee and said: "Where's your caulk"? hee hee hee

  7. how do you know when the caulk is completely dry? I have waited 24 hours and when i touch it, nothing comes off on my hands.

  8. How long should I wait between removal of the old caulk/cleaning and application of the new caulk? Also, do you think I can get good results using a squeeze tube of GE 100% silicone ii KB caulk? I'm afraid to use the gun!!! Ha. Thank you so much! Your video is giving me the courage to finally tackle this job! I have a surround that wasn't installed properly and flexes like crazy!

  9. Awesome video Jeff! Another tip I picked up is to re-tape after you pull off the dirty tape, then after you run your finger over the new caulk you can pull off the tape and have a nice clean line every time, no need to go back over the tub with a wet rag because the tape will give you a super crisp line!

  10. I am shocked that this channel doesn’t have more subscribers. I’ve seen channels with two or three times more subscribers, but this channel offers detail DIY video instructions and tutorials on ‘how to’ projects. This channel should be a top 10 DIY channel with thousands of more viewers. So underrated, this channel is my top three favorite practical DIY channels! Awesome job

  11. I feel like you should mention that the underlying problem is the tub being installed incorrectly. A properly installed bathtub will not cause that stretching issue. There should be NO need to fill the bathtub up with water while caulking. That said, it's easier to re-caulk all the time than tear out and reinstall the bathtub.

  12. Using a wet finger to smooth out the caulk is a good idea. However, you are still likely to get uneven applications around the tub. Take painter's tape and place it along the tub where you want the caulk to stop, both top and bottom.Then apply the caulk, wait a few minutes, and then smooth the caulk with a wet finger. Peel the tape away and you will have a PERFECT caulk line. GUARANTEED! Got the idea from Tommy Silva on This old House. Works every time.

  13. THANK YOU for this terrific tutorial. I am not a DIYer, so this was a really ambitious project for me, but your video gave me the courage and confidence to try. I am pretty pleased with the results. If it helps anyone, I made a shopping list based on items mentioned in the video. In all, the whole list cost me $55 at Home Depot. The painters tape was a pro tip – thank you to the person who mentioned that. The only thing I needed in addition was a little brush to help me brush away the crumbs as I pulled away the old caulk. And I kind if wished I'd worn gloves because I am definitely not as skilled as you with caulk gun operations, lol. But overall fantastic – thank you for the help!
    – 5 in 1 painters tool
    – Grouting sponge
    – Straight razor
    – Dap 3.0 caulk
    – Caulking gun
    – Painters tape

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