Caulk is a necessary component of most showers. Effective caulking of tiled or pre-fabricated showers keeps water inside the bathing area and prevents underlying wall systems from becoming soaked.
For showers with existing caulk, removing the caulk is a necessary precursor to applying new caulk. Once the caulk has been removed, caulking the shower is an easy, straightforward project that takes just an hour or so and can vastly improve the condition of your shower.
Where to Apply Caulk in a Shower
- Vertical seams that run from the top of the surround to the shower pan
- Horizontal seams between shower surrounds and shower pans
- Horizontal seams between shower surrounds and shower ceilings (only for surrounds that reach the ceiling)
- Seams at the junction of the tile and shower door tracks
When to Caulk a Shower
For new showers, caulk the shower right after the shower has been installed using a silicone caulk. Do not use the shower before caulking it. For tiled showers, wait until the grout is fully cured and sealed. Thoroughly clean all grout haze first.
Most types of caulk must be applied when the temperature is between 40 and 80°F. Wait until the bathroom reaches those temperatures.
Codes and Permitting
Permits are not required to caulk a shower. If caulking is done in conjunction with a new shower installation or even a major shower remodel, you may need to obtain a permit from your local licensing authority.
Wear eye and hearing protection when removing old caulk with the electric multi-tool. When working with denatured alcohol or mineral spirits, ventilate the bathroom with open windows and fans.
Source: The Spruce