Is it time to seal your bathroom? Don’t worry, help has arrived. Here we will review how to use bathroom caulk for a fresh new seal. Unless you’ve done it before, chances are, you don’t know where to start. We have you covered with the following bathroom caulk guide.
We’ll go over bathroom bacteria, grouting, and the best bathroom caulk to prevent mold from building up in your bathtub or shower. It may sound daunting, but it’s much easier than you think.
Bacteria In The Bathroom
Bacteria can strike in your bathroom when you least expect it. The most common type is Serratia marcescens, otherwise known as pink mold. As a bathroom bacteria, the slimy substance attacks showers.
As harmless as it is, pink mold loves damp, soapy environments. If neglected, it can damage your lungs, immune system and cause urinary tract problems. When laying tile, make sure it is clean. Remove all traces of discoloration or slime before you begin.
Check out this homemade recipe if you want a chemical-free way to remove mold from shower caulk.
Grout Before Caulk
If you know how to lay tile, then you’re ahead of the game. You’ve just saved money in labor costs. If you’re inexperienced, hire someone who can teach you. The most important thing is to apply the mortar or mastic evenly.
If you can do that, you’ll only need to add spacers every four to six inches. You’ll want two on every side. The larger the spacer, the more grout you’ll need. With bigger tiles, don’t put them close together.
Tiling your bathroom can be difficult, adding grout isn’t. You can use epoxy grout for optimum results. The hardest part is keeping it clean while piping it and afterward. The most common way to pipe grout isn’t with piping. A trowel will also do the trick.
Fill every hole and gap. Also, clean every square foot to prevent the grout from saturating. You want to prevent the tile from drying on the grout. Another thing, you don’t want the grout coming out of shower tiles.
If you want to find a tile design that suits your personality, check out the designs at gorgeous tile designs.
What Is Caulk?
The grout surrounding tile edges is not the same that’s used between them. Caulk is outer grout. It can refer to various things, but here we’re talking about bathroom tile caulk.
Caulk is used to seal, insulate, and keep surfaces gap-free. It can also fill tiny gaps throughout your home. Use spray foam for gaps larger than half an inch.
Your first color choice might be white caulk. You should know that white caulk is difficult to keep clean, especially in bathrooms. This is why most people prefer to use gray or off-white colors.
If you’re still not sure which color of caulk you want, check out these common caulk colors:
Pure White: White is tough to keep clean, but after bleaching it, the result will look amazing.
Silver: Silver is usually a light gray color with a shimmer. It is great for those who want a bright neutral color like white without the upkeep.
Stone: Stone is a natural gray color and usually darker than silver. A brown hue known as slate, pewter, and dark gray.
Ivory: Ivory is an off-white color with a reddish tint. It brings warmth to stark white bathrooms.
Beige: Beige is a popular soft brown hue. It merges well with other colors and makes a pretty grout or caulk.
Terra Cotta: Terra cotta is a pretty red clay color. It works well with red or brown tile and rustic or Hispanic homes.
Coffee: Coffee is a darker brown hue and almost black. It’s a warm yet darker color.
Colored: Any bright color is risky. Most aren’t difficult to clean, but when used, they will be the highlight of your bathroom.
Now that you’ve laid the tile, added grout, and chosen a caulk, it’s time to caulk. Be careful. There is plenty of room for mistakes. If you’ve ever used a piping bag for decorating a cake, you’ve got this licked.
If you haven’t, don’t worry, you can practice on a paper plate or cardboard to get the hang of piping. After that, you can try it for real. Messes are common; just make sure you clean them up immediately so they won’t dry on and become more permanent.
After piping the caulk, use your finger to eliminate the excess grout along the edges. You can also use a thin, non-textured cloth or round tool. They make tools for this purpose, but most workers forgo them.
Wearing gloves isn’t a bad idea. You should remove them before the grout dries.
If you notice the stream is too large, then you’ve cut the hole too big. If the stream is bubbling, you’ve probably cut it too small. Mistakes like these are why you should always have an extra caulk tube on hand.
If you buy three or four extra cans, it’s better than not having enough. You can always return what you haven’t used.
Matching grout and caulk isn’t easy. Your best bet is to use the same brand for both. You could use the same color code to find this match. If this isn’t possible, bring the grout label with you.
Most home improvement stores have one person who can help people match colors. If you’re lucky, you’ll be in and out in fifteen minutes.
Silicone Vs. Caulk
Those without experience renovating bathrooms or using bathroom caulk probably don’t know the difference between silicone and caulk. You regret using the wrong one. Either way, make sure that you select mold resistant caulk.
Caulk and silicone are sealants. Most caulks are silicone-based, but they’re not the same as pure silicone. One cosmetic difference is how you can’t paint over silicone caulk. Use latex caulk on porous and nonporous surfaces.
However, the biggest utility advantage is that caulk doesn’t expand with the materials it surrounds. Silicone is the best caulk to use in tile showers if your floors or walls are prone to movement, cracking or swelling.
If you’re using the sealant in the bathroom, caulk is great. If you’re moving outside or to unpredictable areas, use silicone. When filling gaps, use caulk. And for binding projects, silicone is best.
Where To Use Bathroom Caulk
One of the first places you’ll want to caulk is the ceiling. You can match the ceiling or grout. Most people prefer to match the ceiling. If you have two different caulk colors, use the lighter for the ceiling to create a better transition. You’ll also want to use flexible caulk for ceiling cracks.
You can expect one line where the tile meets the walls, but there are usually two. Seal this area so water doesn’t escape the shower or trickle behind the tile where mildew can accumulate. You can use mildew resistant caulk for shower and bathroom tiles.
Another key area to caulk is by the window. If there isn’t tile in this area, you can still add caulk to the gaps. This will help heat and cool your bathroom and provide an added layer protection from the weather.
Use silicone caulk as it seals the outside from the inside. Silicone is more weatherproof and can withstand different temperatures.
Add this to your caulk checklist. Even if this area doesn’t look like it needs it, add caulk along the baseboard’s edge. If there is a gap on the floor, add caulk there, too. As an added precaution, this would prevent critters from sneaking into your home.
For larger gaps, spray foam is the best. After using it once, it will harden, and the nozzle easily clogs.
The Finished Project
When you have finished caulking, clean the tile, ground, and caulk. Do this once before the caulk dries and then again after it dries. Afterward, use soapy water to make sure everything is clean.
Check the caulk instructions, so you wait long enough. If it says to wait 48 hours before using, wait for 54 to be safe. After all, you don’t want your hard work to be wasted.
Congratulate yourself because you just caulked your bathroom like a pro. There’s a reason construction jobs are fulfilling. Imagine feeling like this every day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How do you prevent mold on bathroom caulking?
To prevent mold on bathroom caulk, use 100 percent silicone caulking in a tub or shower. For dry projects, use acrylic caulk. Make sure the caulk you use for your bathroom contains biocide, which prevents mold. Latex caulk is also good for bathroom projects.
What kind of caulk should I use around my bathtub?
Before you begin caulking your bathroom, make sure you use caulk that says, “for bathroom use only.” Make sure the caulk is waterproof and can safeguard against mildew, mold, and bacteria. When buying a caulk gun, make sure you choose one that is high quality. You do not want to cut corners on this detail. The better the caulk gun, the easier it will be to manage the flow of the caulk. While you can use a tube of caulk without a caulk gun. And don’t worry, caulk guns aren’t expensive.
How can I reseal a half-used caulk tube?
You probably don’t use caulk that much, and when you do, always have some leftover. To seal your half-used caulk tube, you’ll need a plastic milk container and a lighter or candle. Cut a circular piece from a plastic container that’s 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter. Clean the nozzle of the caulk tube. Position your heat source at the center of the plastic piece and move it in a circular motion until it becomes transparent. Apply the plastic over the tip of the caulk tube. The melted plastic will secure itself and harden. Add a piece of tape at the bottom of the plastic top. And the next time you need it, you won’t have to buy a new tube of caulk.
How do you remove black mold from shower caulking?
If you need to remove black mold from shower caulking, all you need is hydrogen peroxide, a sponge, or a scrub brush. Pour some hydrogen peroxide on your sponge and scrub the black mold off the caulk. Vinegar is also effective when removing black mold. White vinegar contains a mild acid that kills fungus in your shower. Spray white vinegar on your black mold and let it sit for one hour.
Bathroom Caulk Conclusion
Bathroom caulk can save your bathroom. When you need to caulk your shower or bathtub, you want to do it the right way. Bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungus can destroy a bathroom. If you don’t use the right caulk or do a poor job, it could cost you thousands of dollars to make repairs. Do it right the first time, and you’ll never have to look back.