How to seal a bath



How to seal a Bath

There are gaps in the kitchen and bathroom that have to be sealed, to prevent water from getting into areas in which it can cause damage over time. Silicons have been developed to seal these gaps and in this video we look at some of the indoor and outdoor silicons that are available. Some really good tips are coupled with solid advice in this movie.

The average home has a number of areas that need to be sealed to prevent water penetration and damage. In the kitchen the joint between a counter top and the wall is a great example.

If the gap is left open, water will get into the cupboards below the counter top and the result will be rotting wood, mould and a musty smell when you open the cupboards.

It’s important to seal a bath and the areas around taps or at the bottom of a toilet.

Silicones are traditionally used to fill these gaps and to create a waterproof seal to seal a bath or basin.

There are 2 types of silicones used for home applications, UNIVERSAL (general purpose) silicone for use in dry areas such as around windows and doors and SANITARY silicone containing a fungicide, which has a resistance to mould and fungus and this is the one that should be used in bathrooms and kitchens.

As with any home improvement project a clean dry surface is vital. Remove old silicone with a scraper, being careful not to scratch the work surface. Wipe off dust and ensure that your surface is completely dry. Don’t apply silicone over an area of damp wood as the moisture will be trapped inside the wood and it will rot.

Silicone is available in tubes for very small jobs and in cartridges for larger jobs. When using a tube, pierce the seal, screw the nozzle onto the tube and cut at a desired angle. Now squeeze the silicone into the gap in one smooth flowing movement and then run your finger along the line of silicone to push the silicone into the gap to create an attractive rounded finish.

Anyone who has used silicone will know that it sticks to everything that touches it and is difficult to work with, so here’s a great tip. Dip your finger into a little dish washing liquid and then smooth down the silicone. It won’t stick to the dish washing liquid or to your finger and you can get a professional looking finish quite easily.

You can also put a little dish washing liquid in a spray bottle and fill with water. Spray onto the silicon. Shape your edge with an ice cream stick.

For larger projects a cartridge may be more efficient and cost effective. Buy a cartridge of silicone and cut off the seal at the nozzle end. Fit the nozzle and cut it at a 45 degree angle. The more of the nozzle you remove the larger the opening will be, resulting in a larger bead of silicon being applied.

In most cases you will need a small to medium flow, so cut it appropriately.

Fit the cartridge into the gun and slide the piston forward until it comes up against the cartridge. Gently squeeze the trigger until the product reaches the end of the nozzle.

Using a caulking gun is the easiest way to apply silicone in a smooth, consistent bead along your work area and it gives you a fair amount of control. Caulk guns can be bought at hardware shops and are not expensive. Once again use dish washing liquid and shape the bead of silicone.

As I mentioned earlier, when working in wet areas such as the kitchen or the bathroom use a silicone that contains a fungicide, such as this Sanitary silicone. The fungicide within the silicone protects it from being attacked by fungus and mould which love to attack silicone in moist areas.

When dealing with gaps in dry areas, use UNIVERSAL silicone, which is available in white, black, grey and transparent (clear) finishes, with typical applications being to seal the trim around doors, windows and outdoor fixtures such as garden lamps.

Application is the same as before, with a small tube being suitable for small jobs and the cartridge being more practical for larger projects. The finger dipped in dish washing liquid technique works just as well with universal silicone to create a good finish.

Once silicone is exposed to air it begins to cure. The curing process takes a full day, about 24 hours, at which stage it will be rubbery and flexible and able to handle the expansions and contractions of your home’s surfaces that occur in hot and cold weather conditions.

It’s important to know that you can’t paint over silicone.

Choose the colour to match your surfaces and don’t use the repaired area until the silicone has cured completely.