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Caulking a Tub

A few minutes are well spent maintaining a watertight seal

Caulking a Tub
Illustration by Narda Lebo
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A continuous, watertight seal along the top edge of a bathtub or shower base is crucial. If the caulk is cracked or missing in spots, water will seep in and ruin the wall. Repairing a caulked joint is easy and takes less than 30 minutes. Start by scraping out all the old, dried-out caulk using an awl or narrow-bladed screwdriver. Then dip a cloth in rubbing alcohol and clean the surface of all soap scum and greasy grime. Allow the cleaned surface to dry a few minutes, and apply a thick bead of tub-and-tile caulk along the joint. Smooth the bead with a wet finger.

Caulking a Tub
Illustration by Narda Lebo
Caulking a Tub

A continuous, watertight seal along the top edge of a bathtub or shower base is crucial. If the caulk is cracked or missing in spots, water will seep in and ruin the wall. Repairing a caulked joint is easy and takes less than 30 minutes. Start by scraping out all the old, dried-out caulk using an awl or narrow-bladed screwdriver. Then dip a cloth in rubbing alcohol and clean the surface of all soap scum and greasy grime. Allow the cleaned surface to dry a few minutes, and apply a thick bead of tub-and-tile caulk along the joint. Smooth the bead with a wet finger.

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