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arubatan 01-30-2008 11:35 AM

Best caulk to use in tub?
Is "Dap PHENOSEAL® Does It All Vinyl Adhesive Caulk" the best caulk to use in my tub (where the tile meets the tub)? Seems I have to re-do it every few years because it cracks.

wooddocinc 01-30-2008 11:48 AM

Dap is a pretty good caulk. You might be doing it every few years for a couple of different reasons. Prep is everything. Make sure you remove every last piece of old caulk (caulk won't stick to caulk). After you've cleaned the joint well, let it dry thoroughly. I like to use denatured alcohol after it has dried to help displace any moisture that might be trapped. The second reason you might be doing it often, is your substrate or substructure....depending on how old the building is, and what type of wall substrate was used, each building will always move somewhat with changes in climate and humidity. Over time, this will cause the caulk to breech in places, and then moisture gets behind it, and guessed it....recaulk time. Hope that helped.

arubatan 01-30-2008 11:50 AM

That did help - thank you!!!

EZ Rider 01-30-2008 05:43 PM

I was told (after I did mine) to fill the tub with water BEFORE caulking. That way in case the floor flexes slightly with weight in the tub, it won't pull away from the caulk.

arubatan 01-31-2008 09:12 AM

Paint Thinner instead of denatured alcohol
Can I use paint thinner instead of denatured alcohol to wipe down the tub after I remove all of the caulk?

End Grain 01-31-2008 10:18 AM

Caulk that regularly cracks may be an indication that too large a gap was bridged in one bead - OR - that it was applied onto dirty (scaled) tile or tub. A good flexible seal can be achieved on thoroughly scraped and bleach-cleaned tile and tub in one bead IF the gap is 1/4" or less. More than that and two or three thin "tack" layers should be applied first so that the caulk actually bonds to the surfaces rather than cure into a thick bead that's just resting there. I use my fingers and a wet cloth to push the caulk in and to smooth it out to where it's neat and even. EZ Rider's suggestion about filling the tub with water is a good one for a homeowner but I simply stand in the tub to add weight and flex it a bit. Not as much deflection as a volume of water would produce but I'm on my customer's clock.

Suggestion: Avoid using silicone if possible. It's tougher to work with and it skins over quickly. Any attempt to redo and you end up dragging the skin along the smooth bead ruining its appearance. Also, silicone is tough stuff to remove down the road if the time comes when you want to recaulk.

I prefer to use either a siliconized acrylic caulk OR an adhesive latex caulk. Both are hi-tack yet designed for water clean-up and you can touch up goofs and misses without a whole lot of grief. Plus, it removes more easily and completely years later.

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