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Old 12-13-2010, 12:56 PM   #1
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


Hello, I'm caulking my bathtub and is wondering how wide should I spread the silicone caulk? Would a wider application of caulk be more effective or should I get it as narrow as possible?

The gap between the tub and the wall is pretty narrow so I have the option of a very narrow slit of caulk or make it a little wider.

I set the wide using masking tape.

Thanks.


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Old 12-13-2010, 01:58 PM   #2
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


it doesn't need to be any wider than the gap itself. overcaulking is not necessary. the key is to have a smooth transition/curve from the tile to the tub. i'm no expert, but i've tried a bunch of tools and still the best way is to wet your finger and pull it along the line a couple times to get a nice smooth finish.

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Old 12-13-2010, 02:03 PM   #3
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


Silicone is not your best choice in this case.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #4
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Silicone is not your best choice in this case.
good point. silicone is harder to work with and not as easy to smooth out. i still suck at doing smooth silicone beads and i've tried a bunch.

go for a water-based sealant with silicone added like polyseamseal tub and tile ultra. it's easy to use and easy to tool and clean up.

hey, they even have directions: http://www.polyseamseal.com/ttultra.shtml
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


Polyseamseal would be a much better choice in the hands of a novice.

You can fill the gap then use a damp sponge to tool it to a great finish. Swipe at it one time with a damp sponge then rinse the sponge and do it again if necessary. NEVER make two swipes...only one at a time. Don't get too far ahead of yourself and don't wait too long before swiping. Once you have it finished where you want it, don't try to touch it again or you will screw it up beyond repair.

Squeeze it into the gap. Strike it off with your finger collecting the excess. Wipe your finger on a piece of cardboard or toilet paper. Immediately use the sponge to begin tooling. Rinse the sponge after all sides have been used once. Get it right the first time.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:49 PM   #6
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


Sometimes for beginners its easier to run a line of paiters tape slightly past the gap, on bot the tub and tiles. Run the bead of caulk, spread out with you finger and remove the tape.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


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Originally Posted by bigbearbear View Post
The gap between the tub and the wall is pretty narrow so I have the option of a very narrow slit of caulk or make it a little wider.

Thanks.
BigBear.
The gap should be at least 1/8" for the caulk to be effective. Agree with Canadianclub, use a blue painters tape to set the gap. Force the caulk into the gap(I use my finger) and make sure it's all filled before removing the tape.
Cleanup for silicone will be paint thinner.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:26 PM   #8
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


5. Install. Install back-up spacing
material for better filling, especially
if width exceeds 1/2" to maximize
bonding results. Open-cell polyethylene
foam backer rod can be used.
6. Mask. Apply masking tape to
areas adjacent to the joint to
ensure straight bead lines and
easy cleanup. Remove masking
tape immediately after the bead is
completed and before a skin forms.
http://www.crossroadsci.com/LinkClic...t.pdf&tabid=80

The proper depth and width ratio helps prolong the application, pp. 35: http://books.google.com/books?id=XHA...0break&f=false

Gary
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:01 PM   #9
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


Hello, thanks for the replies. I wanted to use the silicone caulk, a very specific one from GE that has a claimed 5 year mold protection due to heavy moisture and mold issue in my bath tub. Previous owner seems to have also used silicone caulk but they turned black quickly. I test the "GE Silicone II Kitchen and Bath" on the area where the soap holder is and it seems to hold up well.

Initially I tried using one of those manual hand powered caulking gun but found it very tiring, plus after letting go the pressure the caulk kept coming out which was messy. So I went and got this cordless powered caulking gun from Ryobi instead:


Sorry about the picture size, it is not mine. Anyway, that worked well and made the caulking MUCH easier.


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Old 12-14-2010, 09:14 PM   #10
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How wide should silicone caulk be?


Quote:
Initially I tried using one of those manual hand powered caulking gun but found it very tiring, plus after letting go the pressure the caulk kept coming out which was messy. So I went and got this cordless powered caulking gun from Ryobi instead:
OK, now your pullin' our legs! Glad to see it finally complete.

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