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?
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.
There is stuff called "backer rod", I believe, for filling space too
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.
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.
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
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.
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
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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
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
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.
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.
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