Step 3: Tape and Caulk

tape a caulk the joint between the tub and the surround
Photograph: David Carmack
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Lay parallel strips of blue painter’s tape, about 3⁄8 inch apart, to keep the bead straight, uniform, and off surfaces where it shouldn’t be.

Point the nozzle hole toward the joint; hold the gun equidistant from the surfaces on either side of the joint and about 45 degrees out from it. Then apply steady pressure to the trigger as you move the gun smoothly along the entire length of the seam. Whether you push or pull the gun is a matter of personal preference. Either way, keep the caulk gun moving at a steady speed matched to the rate that caulk is flowing out of the nozzle. Too fast, and the bead will be too thin, with bubbles or breaks in the seal; too slow, and you’ll waste material and spend more time cleaning up.

Tip: Trim the nozzle at a 45-degree angle near the tip. The hole in the nozzle should be just big enough to fill the joint, roughly 3⁄16 inch.
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    Tools List

    • five-in-one tool
      5-in-1 Tool or
      Utility Knife
    • caulk gun
      Caulking Gun

    Shopping List

    1. Non-abrasive Pad

    2. Cotton Rag

    3. Painter's Tape

    4. Caulk