How to Caulk a Bathroom Shower

Answered by Jeffrey ~ February 26, 2010 ~ Comments

The caulking in my bathroom shower is black and starting to come out. What is the best way to re-caulk it, given I live in Seattle's moist climate?

Fred A. ~ Seattle, Washington

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Fred, Re-caulking a shower is a project that needs to be done every couple of years, and if you don't keep up with it, you can have problems with your tile. The first step is to remove all of the old caulk. There should be caulk in all of the vertical corners, and then at the bottom of the shower where the wall tile meets the floor tile, or the shower basin, whichever you have. I have always found the best tool for removing old caulk is an all purpose tool that is available at paint stores, or in the paint section at home improvement stores. It looks like a putty knife, but there is a pointed section on one side of the blade. It is handy for digging out old caulk.

I like using silicone caulk in bathrooms. It is a little more expensive, but it has a little give to it even after it dries. People getting in and out of the shower or tub can put stress on caulk and grout joints. Silicone caulk is available in various colors, and also clear. Of course you will need a caulk gun also. I usually start at the top of the shower and work down. Cut the end of the caulk tube off at a slight angle, and try to caulk with a constant bead as far down as you can. I usually use a damp cloth on my finger to smooth the caulk out over the joint. In Seattle you may have to re-caulk your shower every year.

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