Saturday, February 20, 2010

The No Cry Caulk Solution

When we finished remodeling our bathroom two years ago, I must say that we did a pretty darn good job. With some great designing and a little help from from the Swedes (Ikea), we were able to squeeze the maximum amount of useful space from the single bathroom we have in our tiny 1920's bungalow. We removed a clunky vanity and squeezed two sinks onto one wall. We popped out the back wall of the shower to create a bench and added a tall narrow cabinet into what used to be an ill-thought-out shelving area crammed behind the toilet. We also added some great opalescent blue glass tile that brought our tub and shower out of the early 80's and into the new millennium.

However, there was one black spot in our otherwise gleaming remodel. A bad caulk job stood out like a fresh scar. I've learned that caulking can make or break a project, and in this case something was definitely broken. The wavy texture of the glass tiles made the gap between the wall and the tub difficult to fill. I had the bright idea to use some caulking tape that would fill the gaps but I ended up having to finish things up by hand because of the textures. With as much patience as I could muster, I finished the job as best I could. As you can see below the results were less than stellar and all the little gaps were prime spots for water to stand and dirt and mold to build.
Fast forward, it's now two years later. An idea pops into my head while Im making my twice weekly trip to the hardware store and notice some long right-angles strips of aluminum. Why don't I trim out the sides of my tub in metal and use clear caulk.

The aluminum did a great job of framing in the tub and filling in the inconsistently spaced gaps. It did take a little work as I first had to dry fit the aluminum, then lay down a bead of caulk to set the frame into. The next step was to fill in the gaps created behind the aluminum due to the wavy tiles. I may have gotten better at caulking in the last two years, but the clear caulking is much more forgiving of mistakes than the white.

If you want to try this on your own tub, you can find the aluminum strips at your local home depot in the hardware section right next to all the nuts and bolts. It is relatively easy to cut down with a hacksaw, and using a miter box to make perfect angles. I also recommend rounding the edges on the outside of the tub with a little sand paper. I won't say that it was necessarily easy but the results where well worth the effort.


Ravenhill said...

What a gorgeous blue!!! I am so impressed!

Kristin said...

I so love a good renovation, a colorful bathroom, an innovative solution, and a blog post about it all! I so want to talk to you guys.

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