Friday, April 20, 2012

How To: Caulk a Tub

I’ve caulked every tub in every home I think I’ve lived in post-college. It is a simple process but does wonders for your bathroom. Seriously – a nice, clean line of caulk makes an old tub look 100x better. What will you need?


  • Needle nose pliers
  • Paper towel
  • Bathroom/Kitchen caulk
  • Painters tape
  • Optional: Caulk smoothing tool (I don’t use this but you can if you’d like)

Take a look at the before:  Gross old caulk that has some black spots that never get clean no matter how much you scrub.

caulk_before_athomewithh The process to replace this is quite easy.  Here we go!

Step 1. Remove old caulk. I like to use a pair of needle nose pliers to grab the caulk so that I can eventually get ahold of it to pull it away from the tub/shower tiles.

caulk_removeold_athomewithh Step 2. Clean tub/shower tiles to remove any old caulk residue.

Step 3. Once dry, apply painters tape to the tiles to mark the line where your caulk will end. You could also apply tape on the tub but I find that I only need it along the top since removing any extra caulk from the tub is much easier to do than from the tiles.

caulk_applytape_athomewithhStep 4. Apply a thin line of caulk between the tile and the tub.

Step 5. Slightly wet your index finger (or use the caulk smoothing tool) and then lightly drag your index finger along the line of caulk to smooth it out. Wipe the extra caulk off on the paper towel as you go – you don’t want to drag a ton of caulk along the line since it will cause a mess along the non-taped edge.

caulk_flatten_athomewithh Step 6. Let set for a little while (I let it set for about ten minutes) and then pull up the tape to expose your nice, sharp line of caulk.


That’s it! Let your caulk sit for the amount of time listed on the back of the tube before you use your tub/shower so that it fully cures.



Notice anything in the picture above? That darn cold water knob keeps coming off. I’ve replaced the parts inside the knob twice to no avail so I think I need to get a pro in here to take a look. I have other plans for the tub this year. Want a hint?

tub_reglaze_before2_athomewithh tub_reglaze_before_athomewithh Exciting stuff!


  1. Very helpful, thanks so much! I am actually going to try to re-caulk my moms tub next weekend. Thanks again. :)

  2. Glad you found it helpful! Happy caulking!


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