How to reseal a bathtub or shower tray?

A mouldy bathtub is not only unsightly but can also lead to leaks. This week, I had to replace my damaged and mouldy bathtub seal. Resealing your tub can be a costly job. However, you can tackle this yourself and save some pennies. It also makes the bathroom look cleaner. I cannot relax in a bath if the seal is yucky! So, in this post, I am sharing my tips for resealing bathtub or shower tray sealant.

How to reseal a bathtub or shower seal

How To Reseal Your Bathtub

Tools you will need to reseal your bathtub 

Step by step, how to reseal your bathtub.

  1. Remove the old silicone sealant.

    For removing old sealant, you can use a blade, a specialist sealant remover or a knife. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the bath when removing. I like to use a blade, and I cut along the top and bottom of the old sealant and then glide it out. Then I scrape away any remaining silicone sealant.Removing old sealant from a bathtub, image of old sealant and blade.

  2. Clean the area to remove grime.

    Using warm soapy water, clean the area to remove any build-up of grease and grime, as this helps the new sealant to grip. Also, ensure that the bathtub is fully dry before applying new silicone sealant. I like to clean mine the night before and leave it to dry overnight before applying the new sealant.Bathtub with removed silicone sealer

  3. Fill your bath with water.

    It is important to fill the bath tup with water before applying new sealant, as you will need to weight the bathtub down. As this helps stop the sealant from cracking and helps you apply the sealant in the correct position. Also, ensure to wipe away any water splashes from the area you need to seal.

  4. Apply a bead of silicone sealant.

    Using your silicone gun, apply a thick bead of sealant evenly around the edges of your bath. You should apply even pressure and a steady speed when you use the gun. So, don’t worry if you get wobbly or wonky edges as you can fix this.Bathroom tube sealant and gun

  5. Smooth your sealant.

    I use a spray bottle of water and washing up liquid. Using the washing up liquid, I spray my fingers and run my finger along the silicone sealant to smooth the edges. Wipe away any excess sealant.

  6. Cure time.

    It is important to leave the water in the bath, as the bath sealant dries. So, depending on which sealant you choose, it can take 24-48 hours to cure. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct drying time as many factors can contribute to the drying time.How to reseal a bathtub or shower seal

Resealing A Bathtub FAQs

Resealing your bathtub can be a daunting task. So, here are some questions you may have. Also, if you have any other questions, pop them in the comments section, and I will update them in this post. I am not an expert, but I will find the information for you.

Can you put a new bath sealant over old?

No, never apply new silicone sealant over the old silicone sealant. In many cases, the old sealant may have split or had damage meaning that, no matter how much new sealant you apply, the damage underneath will still be there. Also, applying a new sealant over the old will look messy and, it will be harder to get a neat line. It doesn’t take as long as you think to remove old silicone sealant from your tub.

Do you need to fill the bath when sealing?

Yes, adding water to your bathtub before applying your new sealant will help prevent the new sealant from cracking when you take a bath. Allow the newly applied sealant to cure before emptying the bathtub. Also, drying can take 24 – 48 hours.

How often should you reseal your bath?

Depending on how often you use your shower/bathtub, It should be enough to reseal your shower every one to two years. I was able to get 3 years from mine. However, if you notice any damage to your seal, then investigate it as it could cause a leak in your shower.

How long should you leave bath sealant to dry?

Generally speaking, most silicone sealants take about 24-48 hours to cure. Once cured, the seal can be exposed to water and moisture. However, a few factors can influence curing time, and each product is different. Check the details on the back of your silicone sealant for more information.

How do you remove bad caulking?

Using a blade, and I carefully slice the top and bottom of the old sealant. I then gently pull the old silicone sealant away. I carefully use my blade to scrape away any remaining sealant. It is very important to remove the existing caulk so you can apply a thick, even layer of new caulk.

How long do you leave water in the tub after caulking?

The sealant can take 24 hours -48 hours to set. I left the water in mine for roughly 24 hours before emptying, and I had no issues with the sealant cracking.

How do I prevent my bathtub from getting mouldy?

Mould is caused by the high moisture levels in your bathroom. To prevent this, try to ventilate the room as much as you can to try and keep the bathroom dry. Regular cleaning will also keep mould at bay. Also, you can use a bleach spray to remove early signs of mould.

Budget Bathroom Update

Check out this YouTube video below, where I give my small bathroom a budget refresh. Also, It is amazing what a lick of paint, new sealant and a declutter can do.

I hope you found this post useful. To prevent leaks, make sure you take the time to properly prep and apply your new bathtub sealant. Also, I try to avoid “quick fix” products and allow myself the time to tackle the job. Please share this post if you found it useful and comment below if you have any additional questions.
Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine.

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4 Comments

  1. Cathi
    January 30, 2021 / 11:52 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I didn’t know about putting water in the tub but it makes sense. Lucky for me I only have 1 length of the tub to do. I’m going to check in other places now too. You are always an inspiration!

    • daintydressdiaries
      Author
      February 3, 2021 / 5:37 pm

      Good luck tackling your bathroom sealant! I am glad you found this post useful x

      • Joe Wilson
        May 11, 2021 / 11:57 pm

        Filling the bathtub with water. Does this apply to Cast Iron Bath Tubs?

        • daintydressdiaries
          Author
          May 12, 2021 / 7:19 am

          Hi Joe, Yes I would still add water as the water will add additional weight to the tub. Best of luck tackling your project.

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