How do I caulk a bathtub?

How to Caulk a Tub

Follow these simple steps to waterproofing your bathtub and becoming "caulk-of-the-walk."

1. Trim an appropriate-sized notch in the corner of the bead cleanup tool, using the graduated markings.
2. Snip the tip of the caulk tube with your utility knife. Cut the tip at an angle so that it can fit flush in the seam between wall and tub. (If you plan to use the bead head, it doesn't matter how you clip the tip.)
3. Attach the bead head, if you're using one by screwing it onto the tube tip. It will create its own threads.
4. Pop the tube into the caulking gun and pump the trigger until the caulk oozes out. Clean off any excess.
5. Start in a corner where two walls and the tub meet. Place the tip of the caulk tube into the corner. Applying a steady pressure and lay the bead in the seam until you get to the opposite wall or some other stopping point. Go slow and try to do an entire wall at once.
6. Use the bead cleanup tool to remove the excess caulk from the bead. Do this by placing the notched edge of the tool in a corner and then following the seam with the tool until the seam ends. Hold the tool so that one side touches the wall, the other the porcelain; the notched corner should be flush with the bead. The excess caulk will accumulate in the L-bend.
7. Get rid of the excess caulk, then use the damp rag to remove any caulk on the porcelain or tile surfaces. The caulk should be moist enough to wipe up easily.
8. Repeat this process for all the other interior seams. Then, if necessary, caulk the exterior seams between the floor and the top of the tub.
9. Before it dries, you can drag a wet finger across the caulk to smooth it out if it looks a little uneven.
10. Allow the caulk to cure for at least a day (preferably longer) before using the bathtub.

Congratulations, you've done it. Your bathtub is neatly caulked, and you don't have any excess caulk to fight with later on.

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