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Bathrooms are often moist places that struggle with ventilation and drying out. If you have a shower, you may wonder how to caulk around the base and interior and whether it is necessary. We researched how to caulk around the shower, the best sealants for the job, and controlling moisture in a wet space.
You won't want to skip out on caulking the base and interior of your shower unless you don't feel confident completing a DIY project. If you need assistance, hire an experienced professional to finish your shower. A shower or tub and surrounding walls need to be caulked to prevent excess moisture from creating damage. A caulked shower should be watertight, display limited mildew, mold, and prevent water damage when done correctly.
Make sure to get familiar with different types of caulk and how to appropriately apply it to your shower to seal out moisture. Keep reading to learn helpful tips and information regarding choosing a caulk, application, and improving the longevity and attractiveness of your shower.
Importance Of Caulking Your Shower
You won't want to skip out on adding caulk where necessary to your shower. Without caulk, water can gradually seep into unwanted spaces in your bathroom surrounding your shower and cause structural damage. Caulk is a waterproof material that can expand with temperature fluctuations and doesn't crack like mortar.
Common types of caulk include the following:
- Acrylic latex caulk
- Pure silicone
- Siliconized acrylic sealant
- Acrylic tile sealant
- Adhesive caulk
Depending on your shower's needs, you will want to choose the best caulk for your project. It is best to enlist a caulk gun to help apply the waterproof medium, but there are alternatives if needed.
Most caulk will last a minimum of five years before it needs to be replaced. Silicone caulk is the ideal choice for a shower, tub, or bathroom because it is 100% water-resistant.
Importance Of Caulk For A Shower
When you need a premium caulk to seal your shower or shower/tub combo, you'll want to reach for a silicone-based or siliconized latex or acrylic product. If you avoid caulking your shower, you may later discover peeling, cracked, or shrinking in nearby tiles, walls, windows, ceilings, and flooring.
Caulk is necessary to help prevent a buildup of excess moisture. Even with a shower that has an enclosure, mortar and ties may not be enough to stop water from penetrating surfaces.
Using caulk helps keep water from passing through seams, handles, joints, corners, and edges, reducing mildew, mold, and water damage. Make sure to ventilate your bathroom, work carefully, and only apply as much caulk as needed for a polished, waterproof seal. Give your caulk enough time to fully dry before resuming use of your shower.
How Do You Caulk A Shower Base?
Clean the shower base before you get started and remove any old caulk, grime, dirt, and debris. Make sure the shower is completely dry before getting to work.
It is helpful to lay down strips of painter's tape for a clean caulk application. Apply your choice of caulk in a line along the shower base, working carefully.
Smooth out the caulk and wipe away any excess with a damp finger or tool before it dries. Remove the painter's tape and allow the caulk to cure for a full 24 hours. The best choice of caulk for a shower base is a siliconized latex or siliconized acrylic product.
Read more: "Can You Caulk Over Grout In The Bathroom?"
How Do You Caulk A Shower Enclosure?
Even in the most sophisticated showers with glass doors, smart designs, or a lengthy shower curtain with a magnetic bottom, water likes to escape.
It is essential to caulk a shower enclosure to help reduce mildew and mold buildup and prevent excess moisture damage. Although an enclosure may have connections to the shower, adding a layer of caulk in vulnerable areas helps to reduce the amount of water that may pass through seams.
Choose a siliconized sealant or caulk to make lines around a shower enclosure at connection points. Doing so makes the shower look more chic. Only apply caulk to the outside of a shower door track, so water can still drain from the bottom of the rail.
Clean up any areas where you will apply caulk. Follow the manufacturer's directions and clean up before the caulk is allowed to cure. If you are applying caulk to existing lines, make sure the old caulk is clean and grime-free, and that the new caulk fully covers previous work.
Do You Caulk Inside Of A Shower Enclosure?
Use your discretion when applying caulk to the inside of a shower enclosure. Keep in mind newer designs may install enclosures or doors outside of the shower. However, caulking would be beneficial wherever there are connections to walls, the edge of a shower, or other areas where water can escape through seams.
Make sure to apply caulk to handles, the track or rails, and at the edges touching walls. Use only as much caulk is necessary for the inside and outside where moisture may collect.
You may want to avoid placing down caulk at the base of an enclosure on the inside to allow water to drain off. If there are no leaks present, you can pass on caulking the inside of a shower enclosure, depending on the design.
What Is The Best Caulk To Use For A Shower?
Before you think about adding some caulk to your shower, know whether you are going to paint it later. Some caulks, like pure silicone, are optimal for waterproof sealing but cannot be painted over.
Pick up a caulk that is latex for the next best thing or a siliconized latex sealant for your shower. Another option is a siliconized acrylic caulk. Work carefully and only use as much product as needed to keep moisture out and create a finished look.
Ideally, the best choice of caulk is a neutral white color. You can use painter's tape and a wet finger to make sure your caulk application is clean. Give your caulk at least 24 hours to cure for an attractive shower.
How Long Should A Shower Dry Before Caulking?
Give your shower at least 24 hours to fully dry before caulking to maximize adhesion to surfaces. If you need to speed along the process, open up windows, put a fan in the bathroom, and dry off the shower with a towel to remove moisture.
After caulking your shower, it takes a minimum of 24 hours for it to cure and dry before you can use your shower. Avoid exposing the shower or caulk to moisture until it is completely dry.
In some cases, you can wait a minimum of 12 hours after putting down caulk, but it is not recommended. Give the interior of your shower, base, and enclosure plenty of time to dry after caulking.
Make sure to remove any old caulk, grime, debris, or damaged elements before working with caulk. Older caulk lines can be caulked over as long as they are clean and dry.
We hope after reading, you feel more confident about how to approach caulking a shower and the best type of product for the job. It is essential to caulk areas like a shower or tub where any moisture could damage walls, flooring, and other nearby areas. When possible, opt for caulk that is a siliconized acrylic or latex caulk to keep moisture out.
Take your time and make sure that your shower interior and base are completely clean, dry, and prepped before adding a new layer of caulk. Give your caulk application time to dry at least 24 hours before resuming use of your shower. Even if you use a caulk that is resistant to mold and mildew, vent your bathroom and dry out your shower after every use for maintenance.
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