Caulking is the process of keeping the water from escaping through very tiny cracks or loss joints of pipes or seams of different types of structures. The term also refers to closing up gaps in seams of buildings and similar structures to keep out insects, water, dust and air. There are other meanings of the word but the most commonly referred and understood is caulking bathtub.
There are several types of caulking materials available on the market, these include latex, silicone and urethanes. Acrylic/Latex is water based and is adhesive on PVC, glass, concrete, metal and wood. This type of caulk material is affordable, comes in different colors and can be painted to match the surroundings of the area being caulk. The only consideration of this type of caulk is that once exposed to UV light it easily deteriorates and shrink so it is not advisable to use this type of material outdoors.
Urethanes is an all purpose caulk and have an excellent adhesive capability on substrates like metal, stone, masonry and glass. This type of material can be utilized without the need of a primer and is color flexible because of its off-white base. Though it has a good movement capability exposure to UV light will eventually deteriorate the material.
The silicone material does not have the disadvantage of being affected by UV light and can also withstand other contaminants. This material is also utilized in food industry such as restaurant kitchens, processing plants and salad bars. Companies who make silicone sealants usually have a 20 year warranty on the product and the only disadvantage it seems with this type of sealant is that it is expensive and very limited color flexibility.
Kitchen and bath caulk is a caulking a material that is recommended to be used in areas where it is constantly subjected to getting wet. This type of material has the ability to withstand the development of molds and mildew.
There are things to consider for the type of material to be used in caulking bathtub. These will include the joint design, the substrate, the need to match the color, service life and other considerations. A more detailed discussion on this subject can be found on www.caulkingmaterials.com.
Steps in Caulking a Bathtub
The materials needed in caulking a bathtub will include a caulking gun, a tube of caulk, sharp knife, bead head, bead clean up tool and a damp rag that can be thrown away after use. With all these materials at hand the following steps can be followed to understand how to caulk a bathtub.
- With a graduated marking the bead clean up tool must be trimmed to an appropriate size notch.
- Cut off the caulk tube with sharp utility knife at an angle that will be able to fit between the gaps of the bathtub and the wall.
- The bead head can now be attached into the tube tip; by turning it around it will make its own thread making the attachment more secure.
- Put the tube inside the caulking gun and squeeze the trigger until the caulking material comes out then wipe off any unnecessary excess.
- Start from one corner and point the tip of the caulking gun between the gap of the wall and the bathtub with a steady pressure allow the caulking material to ooze out to fill the gap. As much as possible try to finish one corner in one steady motion in order to fill the gaps uniformly.
- At this point bead clean up tool can be utilized to remove any excess caulking material. A caulking bathtub tape can also be used to prevent the spread on areas where the material is not needed.
- With the rag that is damp remove caulks that has attached on the walls, porcelains and tile surfaces. Do not allow for the caulk to dry up on the areas where it is not needed for it will become harder to remove it once dried.
- Do the process again on all other interior seams and also on the exterior seams which is the floor and the top of the bathtub.
- When the caulking bathtub surround looks to be uneven with the use of a wet finger run it on uneven areas and this will smooth the caulking material.
- Before using the caulking shower and bathtub allow the material to dry for at least 24 hours.
These caulking bathtub tips are recommended by www.essortment.com to be used on newly constructed bathrooms.
In how to re-caulk a bathtub the same materials maybe utilized with the addition of caulk softener and a putty knife in removing the old caulk. In removing caulking bathtub soak it with the caulk softener for at least two hours and with the use of the putty knife remove the old caulk. Use cleanser and bleaching material to prevent the development of mildew. Once all the old caulks have been removed allow the area to dry up. Before applying the new caulk the tub must be filled with water to attain the strongest seal possible. Whether the old material that is to be removed is in the form of grout bathtub the same steps maybe employed in removing it.
In reapplying the new caulk the caulking gun must run in the opposite direction of where it is pointed. A steady pressure on the trigger will ensure a uniform output of the caulking material. The whole corner must be finished before the caulking gun is lifted to make sure that the caulking material is uniformly applied. To prevent the pooling of the caulking material on the corners once this area is reached release the pressure on the trigger of the caulking gun. To smooth out the caulking material a bead clean up tool may be used or even just a wet finger will do. More information in how to remove caulking from a bathtub and putting on new caulk is found at www.diynetwork.com.
Caulking a bathtub does not have to be a difficult process. With the right tools and the right how to techniques you can have a new bathroom in just minutes.