Alternatives To Caulking Around The Bathtub

Alternatives To Caulking Around The Bathtub

Anthony Barnes

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When filling the space around a bathtub, most people use caulk to fill the gap. But there’s alternatives that can be much better than caulk that might suit your situation better.

Read on to find out more about different alternatives to caulking around your bathtub.

Alternatives To Caulking Around The Bathtub

Reasons why you might consider other alternatives to caulk

So why might you prefer to use any of the options on this list instead of simple caulk.

Well first off, caulk can be toxic. If you have any pets or children around, you may consider using a different material just because it can cause serious problems if ingested.

As well as this, getting some on your hands can cause irritation to the skin, and can potentially burn, so it’s always best to thoroughly wash your hands and the areas you’ve worked in after you’ve used it. 

Caulk is also not as heat resistant as some of the other options on this list, whilst it’s incredibly waterproof, it can’t hold up to intense temperature changes that go on around it, which is exactly what happens in bathrooms.

Once the caulk has been damaged by these fluctuating temperatures it’ll start to peel, and you’ll have to recaulk the whole bathtub all over again, unless you’d prefer to use a different material.

Which ties into our last consideration when using caulk, it’s really not as durable, and lacks the longevity of some other materials that are better suited to this job.

You might find yourself having to re-caulk your bathtub many times a year, and for that reason you might be better off using a material you can have the peace of mind of not peeling off after a few months.

Sealant Tape

Sealant tape is excellent for those of us that don’t want to get messy. It’s as simple as using strips of the tape to cover around the tub, and really isn’t hard to do.

As well as that, it offers the most versatility in terms of decor, as you can get sealant tape in many different colors to match whatever theme you’d like. 

Instead of caulking with silicone, sealant tape is made from silicone, and there’s no need to use a gun.

Silicone is highly regarded as being an extremely effective waterproof material, so you can be rest assured that it’ll be durable, and won’t perish for a long time, maybe longer than if you used caulk instead.

Pros

  • Many different colors available to suit your needs
  • Easy to do, so you can use high quality material like silicon without needing to use a gun.

Cons

  • Isn’t the greatest at sticking to certain surfaces, so check if you can use sealant tape around your bathtub before you buy any

Mortar/Grout

Grout and Mortar can be used as an effective tool to fill gaps between your bathtub and your wall, but make sure you understand what you’’re doing first, as these materials are extremely different from your standard caulk,

Using either mortar or grout is a great option if you prefer function over form, as both of these materials are going to last longer than caulk, and provide some much needed protection to any tiles they’re adjoined with because of the way it sticks to them.

It doesn’t offer the same flexibility as caulk does, but it does make up for it with its far superior durability. 

Mortar and grout are made from sand, cement and water, and don’t look great though, because after a while grout and mortar can start to look a bit dirty alongside your bathtub.

But if you’re retiling your floor whilst also filling the gaps around your bathtub then it’s not a bad idea to use any mortar or grout you’re already using to save some cash. 

Pros

  • Probably the most durable material on this list
  • Multipurpose, can also use it to lay tiles
  • Can help protect tiles from being damaged.

Cons

  • If you’re wanting to move objects around it, it’s quite easily broken due to it’s lack of flexibility 
  • The longer it’s kept there it can start to look a little dry and unappealing. 
Alternatives To Caulking Around The Bathtub (1)

Spray Foam

Spray foam is a really versatile bit of kit that you’d usually find to be used with insulation, however it’s use is perfectly acceptable here.

Expanding spray foam is great for jobs like this because it’s actually more waterproof than caulk, and it’s perfect for getting in tight spots without any bother. 

It’s important to consider how much space you’re working with though, as if you’ve only got a tight gap to fill you may be better using one of the other options from this list, as the foam can be strong enough to crack your bathtub, or at least move it from it’s fixed position. 

Pros

  • Really easy to use!
  • Exceptionally waterproof, and can get in hard to caulk areas. 

Cons

  • When misused it can cause massive damage to your bathroom, make sure you’ve worked out your distances between your bathtub and your wall.

Peel and stick trim

Really similar to sealant tape, peel and stick trim is more robust and heavy duty,it’s more likely to be used as molding for walls.

But that doesn’t mean it’s application isn’t great here. Simply peel and stick the trim along the seam that you want covering, and it’ll hold it in place with a good degree of protection and flexibility if needed. 

There’s also a bunch of different designs and patterns that you can get for the trim, which is great if you’ve already got a theme going on inside of your bathroom.

Pros

  • Can be applied without any tools
  • Comes in loads of colors and patterns
  • Can be stuck on both walls and floors

Cons

  • If you’re not precise with your placement, the trim won’t do much, and certainly won’t be waterproof. It’s important to measure out exactly how much trim you’ll need and where you’ll need it.

Epoxy sealer 

Basically a caulk but for smaller projects, and projects that you’d prefer to look glossier, epoxy sealer is a great tool to have because of its versatility.

Unlike caulk it’s not toxic, and looks great after it’s been applied.

It’s typically used to hold tiles together, but like other entries on this list, it can be used in many different applications, and filling in spaces around your bathtub is a job that epoxy sealer will perform great at.

Note though that caulk will be much easier and less time consuming instead of using epoxy sealer, just due to how little sealer you can apply at once. 

Pros

  • Great as a multipurpose tool, it’ll stick to anything so sealing anything around your house is possible
  • Is glossy
  • Gives a great waterproof seal with any material

Cons

  • Shininess and glossiness can sometimes not be what you want
  • Can take a long time to fill in the space around a bathtub

Final Thoughts

Overall, there’s many different alternatives to caulk that’ll work just as well if not better, so hopefully you can choose any from this list and fill in around your bathtub in a pinch. Just remember to do your measurements!

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age