If you’ve just installed a shower, then you should know how to properly apply the shower tile sealant to prevent damage to your walls, floors and tiles. You should never seal your showers with grout alone; you should also apply a shower tile sealant that is waterproof and flexible. This will protect your walls and floors from getting damaged. It will also help to prevent mold from growing on your tiles, helping to keep them looking like new.
There are a few things you should do before applying the shower tile sealant. First you should make sure that your grout is dry. Once you have grouted your tiles, allow at least 48 hours for the grout to dry thoroughly. You should also apply masking tape along the upper and lower edges where you will be applying your sealant to prevent the sealant from getting on your tiles, shower and bathtub.
If you are sealing the tile around the edges of a bathtub, you should fill the tub with water to approximate the weight of the tub like it would be when bathing. This will prevent the tub from sinking after the sealant dries which would cause stretching and thus damage the seal. Once full, you should make sure that the edges around the tiles are dry before applying the sealant.
Preparing The Sealant For Application
Hold your tube applicator against a board, and using a utility knife, cut the tip at a 45-degree angle. When cutting the tip, be careful to keep your fingertips away from the blade. The tip of the applicator is small and the blade could slip as you are cutting the tip. This could cause a bad cut, or even slice your fingertip off if your fingers get in the path of the blade. Cut the tip no more than 1/4 inch from the edge or this could cause the shower tile sealant to be applied too thickly.
You should also have a flat head screwdriver or other flat tool to ensure that the shower tile sealant is smooth without any ripples. You can also use a curved edge of a teaspoon to ensure a smooth finish.
Applying The Sealant
Apply the shower tile sealant by pressing the applicator’s tip on top of the joint that you wish to seal. You will want to apply enough sealant to fill the joint without overfilling it with too much excess. When applying the sealant, use a twisting motion to ensure that the joint is filled adequately with the sealant.
Apply the shower tile sealant along one edge of your shower or tub. Before applying the sealant along the other edges, you will want to run the flat edge of your screwdriver (or the curved edge of a spoon) along the sealant that you have already applied. This will smooth the top of the sealant, and remove any ripples caused by the application.
Once you’ve smoothed the edge with your screwdriver or spoon, you can then apply the shower tile sealant along the remaining edges of your tub or shower.
Caring For Your Shower Tile Sealant
Once you’ve applied and smoothed the shower tile sealant along the edges of your shower or tub, you should allow it to dry for a minimum of 48 hours. Once it’s dry, you can then resume the use of your tub or shower.
You will need to replace the shower tile sealant about every 2 years. If the sealant starts to peel or crack off, then it’s time for replacement. To take better care of the sealant, never used ammonia-based cleansers when cleaning around the seal, as this can cause the seal to deteriorate faster.
Tile photo by Scott Robinson