5 Easy steps to seal a tub


Everywhere different materials meet in the home, cracking may occur because of the different expansion and contracting properties of each material.  Often, in a bath, there is tile with thinset/grout flush to a cast iron tub with porcelain finish or a molded tub shower unit.  Over time, cracks will develop and require maintenance.
First, determine if there is a bigger problem.
  1. Is water getting into cracks and causing additional damage or mold?  
  2. Determine the extent of the damage, leak, and source of the water.
  3. Correct the water leak first
5 Easy Step to Seal a Tub:
  1. Remove all old caulk, thinset, and build-up leaving only stables material in place.
  2. Blow out loose debris
  3. Allow the area to dry.  Hair drier or fans will speed the process. (What if the crack is deep? Consider using a foam backer rod to fill the depth, leaving 1/4 to 1/2” depth for caulking)
  4. For smaller cracks and gaps, say 3/8” or less, select a mold-resistant caulk or sealant designed for wet bath areas.  I use a hybrid product GE Paintable Silicone Supreme for kitchens and baths. (There are numerous products on the market that I will discuss in other posts.  We do not receive sponsor fees.)
  5. Apply and smooth the caulk.

Tips from Ted the Handyman and Fine Carpenter.

Hybrid Caulk/Sealants offer many benefits including waterproofing, flexibility,  and mold resistances but are not as easy to “work” as latex products.  You may want to play with a section first to get the feel for the product. 
Since they are harder to clean up, run a strip of blue painter’s tape along the tile leaving a small edge of the surface of the tile exposed and a second strip of tape along the tub.  Cut the tube to an appropriate size for the crack & apply an appropriate amount level with the floor and then smooth with a caulking tool, wet rag, or sponge.  

Do not overdo the caulk.  You can always go back and add more.  I like to use my finger and press hard against the floor and the tub, which pushes excess forward and thus leaving a nice curve between the tub and the floor.  With pressure from my finger, I leave a thinner film where I want less product. For a good seal, you do not need caulk all over the face of the tub and tiles.  Remember, the seal is occurring below the floor in the crack also.  Just avoid a trough in the cracked that will collect water and dirt.  Peel back the tape and you should have a nice clean line.

Call Ampa Creative Home for your bathroom renovation and repair needs.  Ampa Creative Home offers finish carpentry, interior design, and handyman services in the Richmond, Virginia Metro area. We started our business as stage set and prop designers and fabricators for the event industry.  With our fine carpentry and artistic skills, we are very good with wainscoting wall panels, finish carpentry, painting and artistic projects. In general, we are problem solvers and get the job done.

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