Flavorful Experiences

Dedicated to experimenting and experiencing new ways of cooking, eating, working out, and home decor.

How to Fix a Tub Surround Gap

I’m still not finished, but here’s the reason why I haven’t posted in a few weeks now:

Isn’t she purdy?

The vanity was a final result in a bathroom remodel that took place, courtesy of Pinterest. I blame it for getting my creative juices flowing.

After all, the only thing I really needed to do was this:

Seam? What seam? I call it the Grand Canyon.

I know, gross, right? Our tub had needed a caulk job since the day we moved in… a year ago (yeah, I’d been putting it off). The house-flipper did NOT do a great job with the bathroom. Some of that may have to do with the fact that our tub isn’t level with respect to the walls, so the surround near the faucet was MUCH higher than near the back end of the tub.

Surprisingly enough, the space behind the tub did NOT have any mold. Thank goodness.

Having caulked a tub before, I knew that just throwing some new caulk down wasn’t going to solve our problems. The space was just too large. My parents are (they keep promising “were,” but they’re currently on house #4…) house flippers. I KNEW home remodeling stores MUST sell fiberglass pieces that would be like joiners (or whatever the word is- those things that cover up seams) but no luck at Menards and no time to traipse around town to Lowes or Home Depot. So, upon the advice of a helpful staffer, we got these:

I remembered to snap a pic after I’d cut them, so let’s just pretend they’re still in one piece. It’ll be our little secret. 😉

They’re rubber baseboard seals, like they put in commercial buildings as a mop board. Cool! That should work great!

I took them home, measured how tall I needed them to be (no more than 2 inches high), drew a line across them, and took an exacto knife to cut them to size.

The cut piece was measured with my sewing ruler, and I drew the line on the back side of them with a pencil. Easy peasy.

Then, the not-so-fun part: taking off the old caulk. I used a Purdy mud tool (yes it is pretty, but that’s the brand) to scrape away all the old stuff. I highly recommend this as opposed to the method I used on my first caulking experience: a plastic mud tool followed by a butter knife. It leaves fewer scratches and is much faster.

Purdy putty knife. I’m ready to do this thing.

Really? Shims to fill the gap?? If there was mold, here’s where it’s going to be.

You can’t see the gross mildew here, but trust me- it was bad.

This should give you a better idea of the mildew “issue.”

After a thorough cleaning, the baseboards were ready to place. Using a generous amount of silicone caulk I placed the baseboard around the tub, joining up at seams as tightly as possible. They didn’t like corners very much, but I made it work (it likely would’ve worked better if I’d notched the bottoms of the corners or even cut halfway through, but I didn’t want to risk more seams). I let all that dry for about two hours as I went to work. It may have worked better if I had let it dry even longer, but I think the real key missing was that silicone caulk just doesn’t work as a glue. (That’s code for: yes, it kept coming off the wall.) I haven’t tried it yet, but Loctite may be the way to go.

As it was, I sealed the baseboards with clear caulk all the way around, top and bottom. Then let it dry overnight. The next morning, I gave it a look and knew the baseboards weren’t going to cut it in their current state. The gray along the top was just way too noticeable. So, I went back over it again with white caulk. Much better.

It looks great! Now just to fill the tub and re-caulk.

However, after using it for a few weeks now, I have noticed something: the caulk does break away. Grr. One tip I would have loved to know (and of course, discovered it after the fact) is that you should fill the tub completely with water and leave it filled until the caulk is cured, to prevent the break-away effect that can occur when you step into a freshly-caulked tubs (you know, your weight being different from zero weight and all). Right. So now I get to re-caulk about a 1/4 of it. 😛

The Full Effect!

Stay tuned for the next step in the bathroom remodel: the paint job. And what an experience that was!

Your Experiences

Have you done a bathroom remodel? How’d it go for you?


2 comments on “How to Fix a Tub Surround Gap

  1. Pingback: Painting the Wall- With a Foam Brush « Flavorful Experiences

  2. Pingback: Cheap Bathroom Vanity Makeover « Flavorful Experiences

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This entry was posted on September 13, 2012 by in Crafty Experiences.
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