Concerned about damp and mould? Talk to us

How to reseal a bath or shower

Resealing A Bath

Resealing a bath or shower might seem like a pretty straightforward job. However, you’d be surprised how quickly it can go wrong. From harmful mould to pesky leaks that could lead to your ceiling falling through, many things can go awry. However, we’re here to help you avoid these mistakes with our guide to reseal a bath or shower. 

Please keep in mind, if you rent your home through Places for People, ask for permission before starting any of these steps. Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable carrying out the work yourself, book a Places for People expert to conduct the task.

Jump to: 
How to reseal a bath
How to reseal a mouldy bath 
Alternative way to reseal a bath
How to reseal a shower
How to reseal a mouldy shower

How to reseal a bath 

If you’re reading this section, then congratulations - you’ve decided to take on the challenge of resealing your bath yourself! This task is a fantastic way to refresh your bathroom, and when done correctly, it also protects you from mould, leaks, and other risks. 

Tools you’ll need 

Before you begin your resealing task, getting your tools ready is a great idea. You will need:  

  • Silicon sealant 
  • Applicator 
  • Gloves 
  • Protective glasses 
  • Masking tape 
  • Caulking gun  
  • Sealant removal tools

The method

Now that you’ve got your tools all lined up and ready to go, it’s time to get started. Note that this method works for straight, corner, and curved bath units.

Step 1: Protect the edges with masking tape
Start by using masking tape along the edges to protect your bath's enamel. Much like when using tape when painting, marking where you squeeze the silicone with masking tape will give you a clean line and smoother finish. 

Top tip: fill the bath at least halfway with water before sealing the bath to ensure that the sealant won’t crack at a later point.

Step 2: Prepare and apply the sealant 
Make a precise 45-degree angle cut on the silicone top of your sealant with your sealant removal tools. This cut will allow you to achieve more control over the application, resulting in a more precise finish. Once cut, attach the heat or nozzle to the sealant before placing it in the caulking gun. 

Top tip: Before starting the application process, ensure the bathroom is well ventilated by opening a window.

Next, you'll need to press down on the gun trigger to ease the silicone out. Get as close to the tub as possible and start at the farthest corner, working your way along the edge in a slow and steady way. 

Top tip: Work from the farthest corner of your bath and leave at least 3mm from the wall; this will allow you to avoid disturbing any freshly laid sealant, ensuring a neat finish. 

Step 3: Smooth and shape the sealant
Once the silicone has been applied, you’ll notice some ripples and bumps within the sealant. Now’s the time to dampen your sealant applicator and use it to smooth and shape the silicone into a smoother finish. Try to smooth the sealant at a 45-degree angle so the silicone dries in a way that allows maximum water runoff. 

Now, all that’s left to do is to leave it for 24 hours before testing your handy work!

Plumber Resealing Bath

How to reseal a mouldy bath

When resealing a mouldy bath, the same steps should be followed as for fungus-free counterparts. However, before you begin the resealing process, we recommend removing the mouldy sealant. 

To do this, follow these simple steps:  

1. Use sealant removal tools to cut away any mouldy sealant carefully. 
2. Use a flathead screwdriver to scrape off as much old silicone as possible. 
3. Remove the remaining strands by using white spirit and an old cloth. 
4. Reseal your tub using the same steps as mentioned in the section above. 

Cleaning Bathroom Tiles

Alternative way to reseal a bath

If the above method isn’t for you, an alternative to using a caulking gun and silicone sealant is to use caulking strips instead. Essentially, they are strips of self-adhesive sealant that you can cut to size and fit in the gaps between your wall and the bath. 

How to reseal a shower

Just like a bath, old or inefficient shower sealant can cause a range of issues in your home. From mould in your shower area to potential water damage to the ceiling directly under your shower tray – it's always a bright idea to reseal your shower area if you notice these tell-tale elements. 

Tools you’ll need

Before you begin your resealing task, getting your tools ready is a great idea. You will need: 

  • Silicone sealant 
  • Caulking gun 
  • Sealant applicator 
  • Paper towels 
  • Gloves 
  • Protective glasses 
  • Sealant removal tools

The method

Now you’ve got the correct tools to hand, it’s time to get started resealing your shower tray! 

Step 1: Make sure your tray is dry
Before starting the process, ensure your shower tray and walls are completely dry and free from dirt and dust. This will provide a smoother and more effective finish. 

Step 2: Select the right size applicator for your shower
If you’re using an applicator to smooth the sealant, select the correct size so the finished bead completely covers the gap between the tiles and tray. 

Step 3: Cut the sealant nozzle
Use your sealant removal tools to carefully cut the sealant nozzle at a 45-degree angle. Some brands feature a marking system on the nozzle to help you trip to the correct angle. A 5mm hole is typically the standard size for most applicators, but it can be widened if a larger spread is needed. 

Once cut, place the sealant in the caulking gun ready for application.

Step 4: Apply an even coverage of sealant
Starting from the inner corner of the shower tray, gently apply pressure to the trigger of the caulking gun and work continuously towards the front of the tray. 

Plumber Seals Shower Cubicle

Step 5: Ensure there are no gaps
Your stream of sealant should be thick enough to cover the gap between the shower tray and the wall. Make sure there are no visible gaps between these two elements. If there are any, carefully add a little more sealant to fill the area. 

Step 6: Wipe the excess away
Once you're happy with the coverage, release the pressure from the caulking gun to prevent it from flowing from the nozzle. Use a paper towel to wipe away the access and replace the cap.

Step 7: Smooth out the lumps and bumps
After applying sealant, you may have noticed some bumps or inconsistencies; that’s completely normal. Use your sealant applicator to smooth out the imperfections by applying gentle yet consistent pressure while pulling the tool along the length of the tray to remove any access sealant, leaving an even finish. 

Once you’re happy with this finish, leave the tray for at least 24 hours before using your shower.

How to reseal a mouldy shower 

When resealing a mouldy shower tray, follow the same steps as above. However, before you dive in head-first, we recommend removing the mouldy sealant first. 

Rest assured, the process is straightforward. To start, follow these simple steps:  

1. Wearing thick safety gloves, carefully remove the old silicone with a sharp knife, chisel, or Stanley knife. Gently slice away the sealant as much as you can. Take care to avoid scratching or damaging the surface. 
2. Use your finger or thumb to rub off any small strands of silicone left. Alternatively, use white spirit and a cloth to rub off the remaining sealant. 
3. Reseal your shower tray using the steps stated above. 

Cutting Away Old Bath Sealant