What you need to know about bathroom caulking

  • Posted on: December 4, 2015
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Service time: 1-2 hours.

bathroom caulking

Most of the time spent on a bathroom caulking job is in the preparation. If the area is clean with no mold, then cleaning and caulking could take about 60-90 minutes in total.

Here’s what you need to check before ordering bathroom caulking:

1-    Are there any loose tiles or missing grout?
Bathroom caulking is the ‘finish’ work. Loose tiles and missing grout could mean water penetration behind the tile, and a rotting wall. If this is the case, you need to call a tiling contractor and have the tile or grout redone. The wall behind the tile may also have to be replaced. Don’t be surprised to discover that what you thought was a little problem turns out to be major. If you already see water stains on the ceiling downstairs, it’s not minor.

2-    Is there any mold on the tiles or in the grout?
If the tiles and grout are solid, but you have mold, you need to do a thorough cleaning to remove all the mold first. Cleaning after caulking will wash mold onto the caulk, and this is a poor order of operation. With respect to mold guarantees – even if your caulk is guaranteed for 10 years, you can get mold in a few months. The homeowner must clean showers and tubs with a good mold cleaner regularily to prevent mold. Guarantees don’t stop mold from creeping on to your new caulk from other areas.

Other Considerations:

So, your shower is sound, and the old caulking is just loose or messy. Now the cost factor is the time involved in removal of the old caulk and cleaning. This can vary from the time mentioned above, to many hours (3-6) for a shower stall that requires all horizontal and vertical corners re-done. Smaller tiles also take much longer to prepare.

Metal tubs are faster than fiberglass or acrylic because they don’t have as many contours to worry about. Harder surfaces don’t require as much care to avoid scratching.

Standard silicone caulks come in white, almond and clear, and not much more. If you need a better color match, visit the tiling aisle of the big box store, and look for “non-sanded” caulk, which comes in a variety of colors. Here’s a link. The caveat here is that these colored caulks are a ‘siliconized’ latex blend, and not pure silicone.

How much do you need? A standard 310ml. tube when applied at the maximum 1/4 (6mm.) bead should cover about 24 linear feet. One tube should be enough for an average shower/tub, but if you need every surface covered, and your gaps are larger than 1/4 inch, one tube may not be enough.

If you schedule a service call, make sure not to use the shower / tub for 24 hours before ( more = better) and 24 hours after.

Fixitgary.com offers quality Bathroom Caulking in Markham, North York, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Stouffville, Uxbridge, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby.