How to (Not) Caulk a Shower

posted by Momo Fali on May 29, 2012

Just over 14 years ago, we purchased a house that needed some TLC. Or, we can call it what it really was; a complete tear-down and rebuild. Same difference. We replaced water lines, plumbing, wiring, windows, walls, the roof (twice), put in a new patio, put up a fence and refinished floors. At the end of the process we had a brand new kitchen, three new bathrooms and a mountain of debt.

Then I had a 2 lb. 9 oz. baby and quit my job. Our timing? It’s impeccable.

We didn’t use top-of-the line products as we went through our renovation, so things are starting to fall apart around here. As time, dogs and children have torn things down, we’ve had to put them back up as best we can. Buying new is out of the question and if any work has to be done, it must be done by us.

Therein lies the problem. I don’t have the time and my husband doesn’t have the desire. May I remind you of his microwave repair?

I recently attempted the tear-out and replacement of the caulk in my shower. I thought I did a pretty good job, but a few weeks later, it started to peel away. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon tearing it out again.

And, I feel that in the interest of self-disclosure I should show you that my husband isn’t the only one who takes short-cuts.

Because until I have the time to do this job right, it’s duct tape and trash bags for us.

Who knows, it may catch on?



  • Amie

    I think the quality of caulk has declined in the past few years. Used to be, you could caulk something and it would stay caulked. Nowadays, that stuff doesn’t stick to anything. It pulls away like string cheese.

  • Patty

    I remember seeing some form of that shower cover up in my mom’s house when I was a kid. She eventually got to it as well 🙂 Good luck!

  • Misty

    Well, it obviously works better than the last caulk. I like it. It’s like caulking and painting, all in one. Besides, Maguyver endorses this.

  • Zak

    Caulking is the worst. We did a shit caulk job in our very first house and the water leaked into our guest bedroom and we had to tear out the hardwood floor. LESSON LEARNED.

    I’ve found that if you remove the caulk, wipe everything down with alcohol (like the inside of your mouth, heh), and fill the tub up with water before you apply the new caulk, it will hold up.

    Caulk is the devil.

  • Melisa

    Duct tape fixes EVERYTHING. Good for you, MacGyver!

  • Alexandra

    Oh my gaaa!

    No wonder I seek the safety of the internet’s arms.

    This is our shower RIGHT NOW.

    Thank God for the internet, where no one is ever left feeling alone. In anything.


  • Missy

    That looks about right. If it catches on, maybe tinfoil will come out with fancy colors?

  • Tom

    The floor of our master bedroom shower stall recently cracked through, letting a cascade of water flood the laundry room downstairs.

    Rather than shell out $900 for a fix or roughly three times that for a replacement, I plugged the hole with Mighty Putty and used canned rubber spray to seal it up. Our shower looks like it’s sporting a cat-skin rug now, but at least it doesn’t leak.

    I’m all for low budget DIY, so kudos to you.

  • Anne Weber-Falk

    the caulk in our shower is so nasty. the husband has tried many, many times to re-caulk but the stuff keeps coming away from the wall and there is always mold and mildew. UGH! we now have a beautiful “caulk” of white duct tape surrounding our horrible tub surround. and now you can see the mold and mildew stains from underneath the stuff. maybe i should try the shiny stuff you’re using.

  • notsosuperscottishmummy

    my folks bought a run down house to do up, ok they got it at a knock down price but at times they wished they knocked down the house. We bought them a DVD of ‘The Money Pit’ after our first visit.
    They have been there 6 years now and its one thing after another BUT its my mums dream home and thats all that matters x

  • alaina

    Our bathroom needs new chaulk. I think I’ll just move.

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