Knowing how to caulk tiles is both an important life skill and an essential part of home renovation. It is one of those home reno tasks that are great to do yourself. Provided you know how to do it professionally, however. So, what does it take to caulk like an expert?
This article takes you through the basics of what caulk is, why it is important, and how to caulk like a professional. It is relatively simple in a few easy steps. However, you’ll be grateful for learning the proper method, as it can save a lot of money on home reno if you know how to do it yourself well. Let’s get into it.
What Is Caulk?
Caulk is a substance used to seal joints against leakage in various structures and piping. Take a look around your house: you’ll see it between tiles and surfaces, around windows, and in plenty of other places. Seems straightforward, right? It is, however, there are several different types of caulk you must know about.
Different Types Of Caulk
There are a few main types of caulk for caulking tiles in home DIY. The most common is Acrylic Latex. Also known as ‘painters caulk’, it is cheap and widely available. Cover it with paint and it is good to go. It is quick and effective to use and is also water-soluble when cleaning up. Vinyl Latex caulk is also relatively common and much more long-lasting. Use it outside as well as inside, however, it is not very flexible.
There are a number of other caulks made from silicon, rubber, asphalt, or mortar. You can even get fireproof caulk, although this is not as common in domestic settings. Check out this helpful guide to work out what type you need to caulk tiles in your house.
Why Is It Important To Caulk Tiles Properly?
Now you know what is on the market, it is important to understand why you need to caulk tiles in a professional way. Caulk makes things like paint and tiling look significantly neater for a start. Furthermore, it fights mildew and mold. It helps to seal gaps where damp could grow between tiles and keeps everything safe and fresh. Additionally, this can help to prevent insect infestation where pests can get into your home through unsealed gaps.
How To Caulk Tiles
So now you know why it is important and have chosen the right caulk for you, we can get into how to caulk tiles.
What Do You Need To Caulk Tiles?
First, there is a list of tools you need. They are:
- Razor blade or Stanley Knife scraper
- Caulk with smooth action caulk gun
- Rubbing alcohol
- Painter’s tape
- Vacuum cleaner with nozzle attachment
Remove Old Caulk, Clean And Tape
To begin to caulk tiles, you need to remove old caulk and clean the surface. Use your knife or razor blade to scrape off any old caulk. Remove any debris with the nozzle attachment of your vacuum cleaner.
Once all of the debris is gone, use your rag and rubbing alcohol to clean any leftovers off the surfaces. Tiles and other surfaces must be completely clean and dry to apply new caulk. When complete, use your painter’s tape to cover surfaces you do not want the caulk to touch. Keep the tape straight and sealed firmly. This will give a precise guide for where to caulk whilst also stopping caulk bleeding.
Applying Caulk To Tiles
Use your smooth action caulk gun to apply new caulk along the marked areas. Keep the gun at a 45-degree angle whilst working. Draw the caulk tube along the length of the joint as you squeeze the handle. Go slowly and with consistency to get the best finish. This really matters for a professional application when caulking tiles.
Smoothing Joints And Tidying Up
Finally, you can add the finishing touches. Wet your finger with rubbing alcohol or water (this depends on the type of caulk you are using). Smooth your finger along the joint from one end to the other to soften the finish. Wipe any excess caulk off of your finger and continue until the entire section is finished. Re-fill any small gaps that appear. And there you go – you have applied caulk to tiles perfectly!