tub calking

I need to recaulk around my bath tub. In some of the areas the gap is quite large (1/2-5/8" gap) and this makes it difficult. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?
Also are there any tricks in general to make the project go nice and smoothe with good results?
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THAT is a nasty gap. Wonder why it happened? Something sunk, so I might be curious about the underlying support of the tub. If you are going to try to caulk it, first clean out the area very well. You need the caulk to stick. Make sure there is no grease, moisture, etc. Rubbing alcohol works well here. Use a good grade of silicon caulk. White, in your case. Fill the cavity well, and smooth it out with a tool, or your finger. If things move,then there is some chance of this caulk holding. Check in a few weeks and see if it holds. I have a shower base that settled about 3/16", and had a bit of a caulking issue with it. It seems to have held up, but I check it now and then. New construction.
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professorpaul wrote:

large for caulk alone. Comes in different sizes, and it is right next to the caulk at my fav. store. It is a foamy, plastic round length of stuff that you put into the space so you don't have to load the entire space with caulk - caulk won't work when it is piled in too thickly. Do use silicone caulk, and have the tub and wall immaculately clean - after you get every speck of soap scum and lime off, wipe with full-strength bleach. I am wondering, too, why such a large space - is there movement of the tub? For the less talented of us, painter's tape is nice for getting a nice straight line - smoothe it out with wet finger and remove the tape as soon as you get the caulk on right.
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I'd be wondering why the gap happened? If it's an old house and this is a slow prgression (IE: Now it's that big but very slow developing over several years) you may have normal settling. Is it a downstairs bathroom on slab construction or something like that? If it's upstairs or over a basement, I'd say try to access (if possible) where the base of the tub s to be sure you dont have water damage. Such things are normally pretty easy if it's over a basement.
Most likely it's just settling but a simple check to be sure is warrented if you can access it.

Sure. If the gap isnt deep, just use a good silicone and fill it then there are several tools to smoothe it. I see some say finger (works with a little experience to get it even). I have a few spots that need caulking about our house and we found the back of a small spoon wored well. You recall the old McDonalds itty bitty plastic spoons? We have a few things shaped like that. You may want a tad bigger. Then, use an old tshirt to wipe up any overage before it dries.
If the gap is deep, I see another mentions a filling rope sort of thing to bring the level up.
Where is the gap? At the base? Or along the top and into the wall? A vertical oriented gap is a little different from a horizontal one but not all that much so. xxcarol
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The home is old maybe 55 years old. so this is long term settling. The gap I'm trying to fill is horizontal along the top of the tub and bottom of the tile.
Why will the rope filler make it look bad?
Thanks for the help
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Ok, sounds like settling to me too then. Not too deep in? Caulk will work.

I dont know. Unless the person was worried it would get wet and bulge out or something? Me? I'd just use layers of caulk unless it was really deep. If it was really deep, I'd look at the local hardware store for something 'plasticy' that they use with setting windows in to sort of make a 'shim' that fit in there then caulk over that. From your description, it doesnt sound like it would be deep enough to need that. xxcarol
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In conjunction with the silicone, rope filler, etc., this may help neaten up the job if it will work for your situation.
http://www.magicamerican.com/images/myro_images/M38_big.jpg
http://www.magicamerican.com/products_myro.aspx
I've seen it at the box stores as well as Ace Hardware.
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Interesting product. Anyone here tried it?
Also, any tips for removing the old (silicone) sealer? I have a tub with silicone sealent that's turned a dirty grey and is breaking up in one or two spots. The challenge of removing the old silicone has deterred me from tackling this project thus far. Also, I don't want my attempts to cover any remaining bits of old caulk to result in a new strip that is 2 inches wide ;-)
--
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snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote in

I use a single edge razor blade tool. Make sure the blade is sharp. does not work quite as well once the blade gets even a little dull.
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That's what I was afraid you'd say :-(
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On Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:48:48 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

I would suggest applying the caulk in two applications. First one deep into the cavity, the second as a finish - ready for clean up.

Follow common sense advice given here already.
-- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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USe masking tape to outline where you want the caulk to go. Apply caulk, smooth with finger or back of spoon. Remove tape, smooth one more time
Fill tub with water before caulking. (puts caulk under compression instead of tension)
USe a good grade silicon caulk. Mildew loves to grow thruAcylic caulk
Fill big holes in 2 trys.
Remove old silicon caulk with a razor blade. Clean with paint thinner.
IF you have to, use a hairdryer to make sure the surface is dry before applying caulk.
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Never seen it this wide, house or tub installation not right. I have not seen a gap that runs horizontally just above the tub vary more than 1/8 inch - typically the gap doesn't move or just a hairling seperation. Superfixall, bondo?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Always fill the tub with water to settle it into place brfore caulking. Or a box of bricks if you can't stand getting your feet wet. Remove old caulk if not silicone. Silicones stick to themselves extremely well so the razor blade removal works OK, but you don't have to be a fanatic about it. Multiple layers are OK with silicone to build up thickness, just allow plenty of time for cure. The older (vinegar smelling) silicones are strongest, avoid the new Type ll or whatever. For removal of other sealants, acetone and lacquer thinner leave the cleanest surface for a good bond. Keep trying, you too can be an expert.
Joe
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