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Bath & Faucets

Changing caulking around the shower stall

The caulking between the shower stall and the tiles in my bathroom are dirty and I wish to replace them. What are the supplies I need to get this done? I appreciate any guidance - thank you!
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Posted 2016-10-16T00:56:46+0000  by VRT VRT
 
Re-caulking a shower stall isn't so much difficult as it is tedious.  The key to a good caulk job is making sure all the old caulk is removed and the surface clean.  I usually use a razor blade scraper like this one:


Depending on the access to a particular area I might just (carefully) use the blade alone or even a small woodworking chisel sharpened to a razor edge.  Work slowly and be very careful not to damage the shower, especially if it is acrylic/fiberglass.  Once the caulk is removed or at least the vast majority of it, I'll go back with one of the kitchen "scrubby" type sponge and clean the surface of any remaining traces of caulk and dirt using whatever product you normally use to clean the shower.  Once the surface is clean and fully dry, it's time to caulk.

I should also point out that there are products designed to loosen or remove caulk but I've never used on so I can't comment on their effectiveness.



For the caulk itself I use GE Silicone II for kitchens and baths.



I've found that I get better control with a no- drip caulk gun rather than the squeeze tube that looks like toothpaste.  Cut the end of the tip at a 45 degree angle so that you get about a 1/8" opening.  A smaller hole allows for more control and it's easier to put on a little more caulk than it is to remove a bunch of excess.  Cut the seal on tube as well.  Squeeze out some of the caulk onto a rag or scrap of paper and you're ready to caulk.  Apply a thin bead along the gap between the shower and tile in a smooth and continuous motion as possible.  Once you have a few feet done you can go back smooth the caulk.

While they sell tools for smoothing caulk, I've found the best tool is the tip of a finger.  Latex caulk is cleans up with water and a lot of guys will just use a little saliva to moisten their finger tip.  That doesn't work with silicone which needs mineral spirits for clean up.  Instead in a shallow bowl mix up a couple of ounces of ordinary rubbing alcohol, a splash of water, and a tiny drop of dish soap (whatever you have in the kitchen is fine).  Dip you finger into the mixture before you smooth the caulk.  As you go, wipe off your finger with a towel and re-dip into the alcohol.  Let the caulk dry for at least a full 24 hours before using the shower (even if the package directions say a less time).

There are probably a whole bunch of videos out there at show this process as well.

Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.

Posted 2016-10-16T10:09:12+0000  by Adam444
 
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