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How to Re-caulk a Sink or Tub

Caulking compound, used to seal tile around sink bowls, bathtubs, and countertops, can be a problem, too. Though new tub-and-tile caulk is flexible, older caulk may become brittle, discolor with stains, or peel away from the surface. Renew caulking annually.

Fortunately, anybody who can spread toothpaste on a toothbrush can caulk.

1Using a utility knife, cut the seal and pull away all the old caulk from the joint around the sink, bathtub, or countertop. Clean out the crevice thoroughly to ensure good adhesion of the new caulking compound.

2Apply a smooth, even bead of high-quality silicone tub-and-tile caulk to the crevice. Holding the caulking tube at an angle, draw it along the crack, applying a single bead about the size of a pencil (avoid doubling back over the bead). Be sure to completely fill the crack.

3Smooth out the bead with your finger, and then carefully wipe off the excess with a damp rag. Allow the caulk to dry before getting the area wet.

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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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