How to do Bathroom Caulking – ProMaster Home Repair

Hi, Don Kennedy with ProMaster Home Repair
and Handyman of Cincinnati again, and in today’s video, I’m going to teach you how to take
care of your own bathroom caulking. Reason why we’ve had several of our viewers
request we do a video on this topic, so by the end of the video, even if you decide this
isn’t a do-it-yourself project, you’ll be better informed on the appropriate materials
and techniques used for bathroom caulking. Now this is important. One of the most common home repair errors
we’ve witnessed is incorrect bathroom caulking, both in the types of caulk used and the techniques
for its application. First, let’s discuss the type of caulk to
be used in showers, sinks, bathtubs, and other wet areas in the bathroom. While there are exceptions to every rule,
in general, you should always use a silicone-base caulk. Silicone-based caulk is far more flexible,
mold resistant, and durable in wet environments than your traditional vinyl or latex-based
caulks. I can’t tell you the number of water related
problem in bathrooms and showers caused by folks using the wring type of caulk. In a few moments, I’ll show you a few examples
of this. While there are many great brand of caulk
out there to use, in this video I’m going to use this product made by GE. It dries in three hours, protects against
mold growth for five years, and comes in many colors to match your decor. A word of warning though, newer bathroom caulks
out there are promising faster dry time in as little as one hour. You may be drawn to use such products because
of their fast dry time, especially if you only have one shower in the house, don’t use
them unless you’re a professional. My craftsmen tend to stay away from these
types of caulk because they dry so fast they become extremely hard to use. And finally, if you don’t have a caulk gun
you’ll need to pick one up. Don’t worry; they’re really inexpensive. I don’t have any particular recommendations. Just test them out in the store and find one
that you are comfortable using. In the video, you’ll also see me use some
masking tape, screwdriver, a putty knife, and some rubbing alcohol. You probably already have some of these items
lying around the house. If not, pick them up as they are going to
come in handy for a proper bathroom caulk job. So without further adieu, let’s get to work. Yet another example of where the backsplash
where it meets the counter top was improperly caulked. Looks like it may be a vinyl or latex caulk. You can see this comes right off; it doesn’t
adhere well. You can see a big gap as it shrank over time
between that backsplash, so again, we’re going to remove all of this and reapply it with
silicone. Now here’s a quick tip: if you’re trying to
dig the caulk out of a surface you’re concerned about scratching and you don’t want to use
a screwdriver where the metal may scratch, I like to use a plastic putty knife that looks
just like this. It’s strong, lightweight, yet it won’t scratch
the surface, so you can get in there and use that to break up the caulk and dig it out
that way. Now you can see I’ve used my putty knife and
I’ve cleaned out all the caulk from that joint, and made sure that there are no remnants there
and I’ve cleaned it all out so there’s no loose particles, but we’re not done yet. Although it looks clean, we need to go over
it with iso propyl alcohol to make sure all of that residue is off and we have a nice,
clean surface for that new bead of silicone for that caulk to bond to. Now just be careful because rubbing alcohol
does have a pretty strong smell. Many of you know I used to be an Air Force
pilot, so I love the smell of alcohol because we used to clean out our masks out with this
after every flight, so I love that smell. It reminds me of getting ready to go flying. If it does bother you , go ahead and make
sure you crack a window so that you don’t inhale all those fumes. Alright, if you’re a beginner I recommend
you tape off any area that you’re going to caulk for two reasons. Number one, It’s going to keep you from getting
caulk on adjacent surfaces that you’re just going to have to clean up later. And B) you’re going to have a nice, sharp
line that’s going to make that caulk bead look quite professional. Now, how big you make the bead of caulk is
really up to you. It’s just preference, but I like mine nice
and tight. I don’t like to see big caulk joints. You know, when you see a big caulk joint it
wastes a lot of material, it looks sloppy, and tacky, kind of like something you’d see
in a really cheap hotel, so don’t do that. I would suggest make them nice and tight. Alright, hang with me a little bit longer. We’re just about getting to the fun part where
we actually caulk this joint. You know, as we discussed at the beginning
of this video, it is critical that you pick the correct caulk for the right application. It is probably the biggest mistake that I
see with bathroom caulking is that people use the inappropriate material. So here are two examples of what would be
appropriate in the bathroom. First is, both of these products are made by
GE but Dapp makes good stuff, in your area there may be something different, but they’re
100% silicone caulk that are designed for kitchen and bath, and you can see on there, they’re
designed for wet areas, and this one advertises 5 years mold free. This one dries in an hour and offers 10 year
mold-free protection, so much better choice than using a non-silicone product. All you need to do when they’re new like that
is you see the tip? You take your utility knife, and you just cut off the top. Next you grab your caulk gun. Noe, when I was a kid, I could never understand
what the funny thing on the side of the caulk gun was. I didn’t know what it was for. I felt pretty stupid later when I learned
that that was just a helpful tool to help you break the seal inside on a new tube of
caulk. I was always finding a nail or something and
breaking it that way. A nail always works too. So you still have your rag with some alcohol
left over on it. Just wipe off that so you can use it next
time and keep it clean. Then you just simply insert the tube of caulk
into the gun and then away we go! Now a lot of people might think that the correct
way to caulk is to start away from your body and come back, and certainly there is a time
and a place for that, but when you have such a big gap like this, I’ll show you a little
tip here. It’s actually better to kind of go backwards
and what will happen is that as you’re squeezing your caulk out, you’ll actually shove or push
that bead of caulk further into that seam. So we need to kind of get that flow of caulk
started. You can see, you have to be careful there
to not squeeze too hard, otherwise it’ll start squirting out, so always keep your rag handy. Take any of that excess off. Start at the back and work our way up. Now all we need to do is take our finger,
run it right down that line and pull back all of that excess. We’ll give it a nice, smooth, even bead of
caulk. Now here’s the fun part. As soon as you’re done with that, don’t wait
for the caulk to dry. Go ahead and peel the tape off, and if you’ll
notice, I’m pulling the tape flat and at a 45 degree angle. That’s going to give you a nice, sharp line. So there you go. We’ve got a nice, sharp, tight bead of caulk. This procedure would apply to a shower, a
sink, just about anything you could think of in the bathroom that you’ll need to caulk. Now here’s an excellent, albeit extreme, example
of why it is so important to keep the union between the tub of the shower pan and the
tile wall well caulked and sealed. Here you can see that if the tub fills up
with water or somebody steps into it, you can hear it creak as I press down to simulate
weight being applied. It forms a gap between that grout line and
the tub. That’s going to A) break up that grout line
over time and you can see little pieces of grout falling out, and B) that’s going to allow water to get behind
it and rot it out. You’re going ot invite mildew and all other
sorts of damage problems. Now what I’ve found here is interesting as
well. We’re now on the edge of where you would be
seated when you got out of the tub. It appears again as if it was caulked with
the incorrect material. A latex caulk would have been more appropriate
for windows or trim or something like that. You can see again that if that tub were to
fill up with water, with the slightest amount of pressure even with my thumb you can watch
it pull away. And then if I just barely touch it with a
screwdriver you can see it cracks and it pulls right away from that grout line. You can see this allows in all sorts of water
to get inside where you certainly don’t want water. So we’re going to have to pull all this out
and properly caulk that so it’s flexible and it creates a seal between the tub and the
top. Now we’re going to seal the tub using the
same techniques I’ve already showed you. You see I have all the seams cleaned out,
alcohol cleaned off, tapes, and ready to go. Now, if you remember at the out set of the
video earlier, we talked about how a lot the the time the grout and the caulk fails because
of the pressure and the weight of the water and people that are in the tub or the shower
basin. To simulate that weight before you caulk any
of the seams, either put some weight in it, or if you’ve got a tub, the easiest way to
get weight is to fill it up with water. I hope you enjoyed today’s video on how to
do bathroom caulking. One word of caution though, when I showed
you the technique of filling the bathtub up with water to eight it down before caulking,
please be extremely mindful of small children in the area. Don’t leave a full tub unattended if you use
this method to weigh down the tub. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, but not
inclined to perform your own bathroom caulking, give us a call at (513) 724-0539 to invite
one of our craftsmen to your home. For additional home repair and improvement
information, don’t forget to read our blog at, and as always, we’d love
to be your friend on Facebook keyword: ProMaster craftsmen. Happy Remodeling.

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