Replacing bath and shower silicone

Updated: Jan 21


Silicone seal around sink
Silicone seal sink

Replacing mastic or silicone around your bath or shower needs to be done when you discover a leak or if you might not be happy with how it currently looks. You may even want to apply silicone around a new installation of a bath or shower tray.


Note that you should not regard this as a quick job especially when replacing the old silicone.


You will need a utility knife, window scraper with additional blades, plastic scraper, vinegar or rubbing alcohol, protection gloves, waste bag, quality silicone of the correct colour to match the tray, bath and tiles.


The process for replacement is:

  1. Remove the existing silicone

  2. Remove the excess

  3. Use a silicone remover to remove the residue

  4. Cleanup

  5. Preparing the surfaces

  6. Applying the silicone

  7. Using tooling

  8. Smoothing

  9. Waste disposal

  10. Drying / Setting


Remove the existing silicone

The best way is to remove the old silicone by utilising the scraper blade to remove the long bead,


Removing the excess

Use a utility knife to get into the corners of the wall and plastic scraper to remove the excess silicone. After removing this excess you will still need to remove the residue by using the vinegar or a purpose made silicone remover formula. After applying the formula you will need to wait for the formula to take action. Usually 20 minutes to 1 hour before you scrape the residue up.


Cleanup

Use the plastic scraper to pic up the waste silicone and remaining silicone formula and dispose into a small paper bag or kitchen paper towel.


Preparing the surfaces

Use vinegar or mineral spirits to clean the surfaces and dry completely. Vinegar helps to break down mould and limescale as you don't want to have any of this present while applying the new sealant.


Applying the silicone

Use a quality sealant, usually not the cheaper product. Choose a sealant with mould resistance and usually labelled for use around showers and baths.

Cut the tube at an angle and apply a uniform sized bead at least 1.5 times the width of the actual gap. The silicone needs to fill the gap and not just laid over it, so if not applied correctly will just leak in a few weeks. If the gap is too large then this has to be reduced by inserting a filler piece first.

Squeezing silicone from a tube is never perfect, even pros don't get it perfect so don't worry, as long as you are filling the gap and there are no gaps remaining you have done it right.


Using tooling and smoothing

The tooling needs to be used to shape the correct width of silicone. Silicone doesn't stick to water so using a spray bottle spray the silicone with water then use the correct size to push the silicone into the gap and at the same time it will scrape excess away creating a perfect width.


Waste disposal

Unfortunately there are currently no recycling companies taking old silicone so try dispose of this responsibly. Dispose of old metal blades at your local recycling site and don't leave them in waste bins.


Drying / Setting

The new silicone needs to set. Give it 24 hours to cure before cleaning the bath or shower. Don't attempt to clean the tray beforehand.


Check the quality of the sealants in your home regularly. Badly applied seals or old seals account for a large amount of water damage incidents. Finding a problem early can save you thousands of pounds.


Get the work done for you by contacting us here





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