The secret to keeping your shower surround looking fresh and new year after years lies in caulking it the right way. The best caulk for shower acts as excellent mildew and moisture repellent—helping prevent mold growth on your shower walls. It also gives your shower walls a beautiful finish.
That said, there are different types of caulks. And knowing which type to use for caulking or re-caulking your shower is crucial in helping you achieve great looking and long-lasting results.
In this post, we’ll look at the different types of caulks, their properties, and advise you on which one to use for your specific shower setting. What’s more, we’ll give you a list of the 10 most popular caulks that other homeowners are already using to keep their shower surrounds a beautiful and protective finish.
BUT FIRST…we discuss the basics:
How To Caulk A Shower?
Caulking a shower is something any homeowner can do, even without any prior experience.
You just need the right type of caulk and a few other basic tools to get the job done in the 4 easy steps as outlined below.
Things you’ll need:
Steps for caulking your shower:
1. Remove the old caulk
The very first step in your caulking job is to completely remove the old caulk. For those who don’t know, this step is crucial in ensuring your new caulk is applied correctly and lasts for long.
With the help of a utility knife, slice through the existing caulk (oscillating tool can help too) and scrape off as much caulk as you can. You can then apply caulk remover to help remove any caulk that couldn’t get scraped using the knife.
After removing all the existing caulk, next on remove all the loose grout in your shower surrounds. Treat any mold present in the grout with the help of a mold killer product.
Thoroughly dry the area using paper towels, dry rag, or even a hair dryer and move to the next step…
2. Mask with tape
In this step, you’ll need to mask the gap where you intend to apply the caulk. This will help you achieve much better results, especially if you’re a beginner. Pros who have done this job before might not need to use the masking tape.
So, how do you apply the tape?
It’s simple. Find the largest gap between your shower and the walls (this gap dictates how far apart you should space the two rows of the tape) and then apply the tape.
3. Apply the caulk
Applying the nozzle is as simple as pointing your caulk tube nozzle tip toward the joint. Ensure you cut the nozzle tip in such a way that it matches the gap width created by the tape. Trim it 45-degree angle
Hold you caulk gun at 90-degree angle to the tapes gap and then push a bead of the caulk slightly ahead of the nozzle. At the same time, push your gun forward and continue applying pressure to squeeze out more caulk.
Apply just enough amount of caulk to fill the gap.
TIP: for the best results, make sure you move your caulk gun at a steady speed along the gap.
4. Smoothen things out
Once you’ve filled all the seams with caulk and you’re satisfied with your job, it’s time to smoothen out and shape your caulk film and leave it to cure.
Assuming you used the taping film, this step isn’t hard, and you can simply use your index finger to tool the caulk.
When done, remove the taping mask when the caulk is still wet (be careful not to let it touch the freshly applied caulk).
Allow the caulk to cure for the recommended time (most of them cure for around 24 hours) before you can start using your shower again.
Watch this quick video on how to caulk a shower:
IMPORTANT: The biggest mistake you can make when caulking your shower is using the wrong caulk. The caulking won’t last long, and mildew and moisture will easily find its way into your shower. Next, we parade the 10 best shower caulks you should use for the best results.
10 Best Bathtub Caulk Reviews:
1. Loctite 1515861 Polyseamseal Tub and Tile Adhesive Caulk
Loctite 1515861 Polyseamseal is a high-quality water-based latex shower sealant that does a great job of waterproofing your shower walls. This helps keep off mildew and mold growth.
The white caulk comes packed in a 5.5-ounce tube, meaning it’s enough to re-caulk your shower and remain with enough caulk for your tub, faucets, and even the base where it meets the tile work. This caulk is characterized by strong adhesive properties. This enables it to securely stick to various surfaces such as ceramic, porcelain, fiberglass, glass, enamel, composite, aluminum, wood, stainless steel, plastics, and wallboard.
It also comes with mildewcide—which means that properly cured caulk will offer excellent resistance to mold and mildew. The curing process, according to the instructions, should last for approx. 24 hours.
Being a latex based caulk, it’s much easier to use, and we recommend it to homeowners who are caulking for the first time. When properly applied and allowed to cure, this caulk remains flexible and will give your shower surrounds a professional-looking and durable finish that lasts for years.
2. Flex Shot Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk
Flex Shot Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk is also a multi-purpose product that you can use on your shower surrounds as well as tubs, sinks, kitchens, roofs and gutters, PVC pipes, windows, skylights, ductworks, RVs and campers, to name but a few.
The white caulk comes in 8oz tube, which makes it enough for re-caulking your shower, tubs, and other places. Like the previous product, it boasts of strong bonding properties to ensure it stays in place for a long time. It also delivers excellent mildew resistant properties which help ensure that your shower doesn’t get infested by mildew and molds.
This caulk is incredibly easy to use. You don’t need any caulking gun to successfully apply it in your shower walls, thanks to its uniquely shaped nozzle.
Long after application, this caulk remains flexible (contacts and expands) for durability and long-lasting results. And oh! It gives your shower a beautiful, professional finish that doesn’t go away after a few showers.
3. General Electric GE360 Kitchen and Bath Silicone I Caulk
If you’re looking for the best silicone caulk for shower, this is it. The GE360 Kitchen and Bath Silicone I Caulk is a great choice if you don’t wanna alter the aesthetic and appearance of your shower surrounds. This is because it’s clear, so when you apply it you’ll hardly notice it.
Made in the USA, this 100% silicone caulk is ideal for kitchen and shower use. You can also apply it on tubs, sinks, countertops, and fixtures. It delivers super-strong adhesion to a variety of surfaces—including ceramic tiles porcelain, laminate, glass, plastic, metal, granite, and even wood.
We like that this caulk is exceptionally flexible, and remains so after it has been applied (i.e., it’s permanently flexible). This means that it’ll not easily crank or shrink with time, translating to long-lasting results. The fact that it’s also waterproof means you’ll not encounter any water leaks in your bathroom that can trigger the growth of molds and mildew.
Overall, this silicone caulk is ideal for both the professional and DIYers. It has great quality and performance. Its permanent elasticity, waterproof, and super-adhesive properties enable it to deliver long lasting results.
4. Dap 00680 Bathtub Silicone Rubber Caulk
For all your bathtub caulking needs, Dap 00680 Bathtub Silicone Rubber Caulk is the best bathtub caulk to use. Dap caulks are loved by many homeowners for their long-lasting and great mildew protection properties. And this particular Dap is no exception!
This caulk is also 100% silicone and provides a watertight seal around the non-porous surface in your bathroom, or the ceramic tiles and plumbing fixtures. This makes it impossible for mold to grow in your bathroom, for the ultimate hygiene.
It’s also flexible, which enables it contract and expand without cracking or shrinking. In simpler words, the caulk will maintain its waterproof properties for a long period of time, as long you apply it correctly.
The easy to use bathtub and kitchen caulk is also resistant to stains to ensure your bathroom’s current aesthetics don’t get altered once you caulk it. The only problem with this caulk is that it comes packed in a small tube (2.8oz), meaning it’s ideal for one caulking job.
5. Loctite Polyseamseal White All-Purpose Sealant
Loctite Polyseamseal White Sealant is an all-purpose caulk that comes formulated for sealing most projects in and around your house. You can count on it as the perfect caulk for your shower surrounds.
White in color, this sealant is extremely easy to apply and tool. And when fully cured, the product has exceptional weather, mildew, and mold resistance and can be painted in 40 minutes after application. The products boasts of superior bonding and sealing technology. This enables it to easily bond with nearly any surface including wood, glass, concrete, metal, ceramic, drywall, tiles, plaster, and so on.
Since this sealant is permanently flexible and durable, it’ll not easily crack, peel or shrink after application. This way, you can rest assured that your shower surround will have that long-lasting, professional looking finish you’ve always been dreaming about.
The fact that it’s a water-based adhesive makes it t best choice for DIYers or homeowners who have less experience with caulking. It’s non-flammable and has low odor. The uncured sealant cleans up pretty easily with just soap and some water
6. GE GE5070 Silicone 2+ Kitchen & Bath Caulk
How about a caulk for shower that allows you to use your shower or tub in the shortest time possible? Well, that caulk is none other than the GE GE5070 Silicone 2+ Kitchen & Bath Caulk as it lets you start using you shower/tub in as little as 30 minutes after application.
Like most of the products featured on this list, this caulk is also ideal for multiple uses like sealing sinks tubs (it’s one of the best tub caulk), showers, countertops, fixtures, backsplashes, plumbing projects, and so on.
The almond colored caulk provides a unique appearance and adheres perfectly well to most surfaces. It’s 100% waterproof and offers maximum protection of your bathroom against mildew and mold growth. The manufacturer state that it offers you mold protection for 10 straight years! Keep in mind that it also remains permanently flexible forever (up to 50 years) to ensure your bathroom maintains a durable and professional finish.
It’s also worth noting that this silicone-based shower sealant doesn’t discolor or damage the surface you’re applying it to. It has minimal odor, which is almost impossible to detect, making it safer to use. It’s nonpaintable and bonds strongly with all the common bathroom surfaces.
7. GE Supreme 100% Silicone 30 Min. Water-Ready caulk
Like the previous product, this GE Supreme 100% Silicone also allows you to start using your shower after only 30 minutes of application. The simple fact that itas a water-ready caulk means it’s capable of withstanding extreme elements and conditions without shrinking, cracking, or breaking.
Made using 100% silicone, this caulk is suitable for shower surrounds as well as bathtubs. It comes in a 10.1oz cartridge, so you’ll have enough caulk for shower and other areas.
The mold-free sealant is loved by homeowners for its great waterproof properties. Provided you apply and tool it correctly, it’ll do a good job of preventing the growth of mold and mildew from growing in your bathroom.
Something ese worth noting is that this white caulk can also be used in a wide range of areas like the tub countertops showers, sinks, to name but 4. It’s also paintable, allowing you to apply it on any surface you plan to paint.
Like all the other products from GE, this caulk is also extremely durable. And the manufacturer guarantees you that it’ll protect your shower from molds in a span of 10 years. since it’s made of 10% silicone, it’s flexible and will not easily crack or break.
8. Sashco 10016 10.5oz 10016 Big Stretch Caulk
Sashco 10016 is an acrylic based shower caulk ideal for folks who are looking for easiest to use caulk. You’ll have an easy time with this caulk, right from the application, to tooling to cleaning up the excess caulk.
Other than ease of use, this caulk presents you with a number of unique properties to help meet your shower surrounds protection needs. It has unparalleled flexibility, with the ability to stretch up to 500% of its original application. This is key to ensuring that your caulk work remains durable and lasts for years and years.
Another noteworthy thing about this caulk is its excellent adhesion which enables it to firmly stick to the most popular shower surfaces when fully cured. Since the sealant is paintable after 4 hours of application, you can easily apply the paint of your choice to help conceal the joints you have created.
Once you’re done applying the caulk in your bathroom, you can use water and sap to clean up the residue. This sealant works well for both interior and exterior applications. However, we advise you against using in areas with prolonged water flows as it might not serve its purpose well.
9. Red Devil 0816KB Silicone Shield
We’re moving closer to the end of our list of top shower sealant reviews. In this spot, we have Red Devil 0816KB Silicone Shield—a premium quality sealant formulated for bath and kitchen applications.
Made from silicone, this sealant might also be an ideal choice if you’re looking for a caulk that’s ready for use in a short period of time. It cures in an hour (or 60 minutes), after which you can start using your shower without fear of the caulk coming out.
This caulk is permanently flexible, which mean it’ll not shrink crack or peel. It also boasts of excellent adhesion properties and will firmly stick to a variety of surfaces including glass, porcelain, ceramic, most painted surfaces, and most metals.
Like all the other sealants discussed on this list, this caulk comes with mold and mildew resistant properties that can last for up to 10 years (according to the manufacturer).
You can use the sealant on sinks, showers, tubs, backsplashes, loose tiles, countertops, fixtures, and vanities. Unfortunately, Red Devil 0816KB Silicone Shield isn’t paintable.
10. Sashco 11062 Sashco Sealants 6-Ounce White Mildew Free Sealant
Last in our list of the best bathroom caulk reviews, we have another product from Sashco Sealants by the name Sashco 11062 6-Ounce White Mildew Free Sealant. This is a latex-based formula which makes it incredibly easy to apply, tool, and clean up.
One of the unique properties of this caulk is its ability to resist damages from abrasive cleaners.
This sealant is ideal for bathroom and kitchen applications. The sealant is 100% mildew resistant, which means it’ll form watertight seal in your bathroom or shower surrounds for the ultimate protection against mold growth.
Sashco has soo much confidence in this product that they promise a whopping 7-year replacement warranty if you experience mildew and mold growth on the cured caulk within 7years from the time of purchase.
And yes, like all the other 9 products discussed above, this is also a highly durable sealant made in the USA, and will last for years to come.
Perfect Caulk For Shower - Buying Guide
The best bathroom caulk should be 100% water-resistant to help prevent the buildup of molds and mildew. Shower caulks usually bear the label “kitchen and bath” or “tub and tile” caulk.
Here are the key factors to consider when looking for the perfect caulk for shower:
Surface to be applied
When buying a shower calk, you should bear in mind that different caulks are designed for different surfaces.
In the case of shower surrounds, you should look for a caulk that’s waterproof to withstand water resistance and potential rusting. It should also be able to hold up to continued exposure to warm water or steam.
If you make the mistake of buying a caulk that’s not waterproof and moisture resistant, it’ll not hold up well to your shower or bathroom.
Mildew and mold resistant
This one is closely related to the factor we’ve just discussed above.
The perfect caulk for the shower should come with mildew and mold resistance properties. This is crucial keeping in mind that your shower surrounds are prone to moisture.
Getting a caulk with mold resistance properties helps inhibit the growth of molds which can affect the health of your family.
Another important feature to consider when looking for the right caulk for shower is the elasticity.
You want to buy a product that’s permanently flexible. This will ensure it contracts and expands easily to prevent the possibility of breaking, cracking, or shrinking. Such caulk would ensure a durable finish that lasts for years and years.
The low-quality products or the wrong type of caulk for bathroom usually don’t come with this unique property, which is the reason why they don’t last for long.
TIP: If you’re unsure about the elasticity properties of the caulk you wish to buy, go through the previous user reviews to get firsthand info. Also, look for manufacturer’s who offer placement warranty if their products break/crack/shrink before the stated period (in terms of years).
Some caulks come at higher prices than the others. The more expensive caulks usually feature superior strength than the rest.
However, you don’t have to invest in the highest priced product on the market to get great results.
Just look for products within your budget and make sure they have all the basics features and do their intended job perfectly well.
PRO TIP: How much caulk do you need?
As you’ve witnessed from our top 10 products above, different manufacturers package their caulks in tubes of varying sizes.
Which package to buy should depend on how much caulk job you have at hand. for instance, if you plan to caulk your shower and a few more areas (yes, these caulks can be multi-purpose!), you might consider getting a bigger tube.
However, keep in mind that more caulk might mean higher cost.
PRO TIP 2: Which type of caulk should you buy?
As you’re already aware, there are different types of caulks available for shower use. In our next section, we’ll get into deeper details about the 2 most popular caulks for the shower you’ll get on the market today.
What Type Of Caulk To Use In Shower - All Types
The two most popular caulks for shower include latex and silicone. Each has its upsides and downsides and explained below.
This is the most popular type of shower caulk used by majority of homeowners. The reason behind its popularity is the multiple benefits it comes with. It’s waterproof, mildew and mold resistant, highly flexible, and can withstand different temperature variations (hot or cold).
What’s more, the silicone caulk forms a superior bond with all the common shower and bathroom surfaces.
Majority of the silicone caulks, however, don’t hold paint. This might be a disappointment for people who wish to paint the surfaces they’ve caulked.
All in all, silicone caulking will stay in place for an exceptionally long period of time (talk of years!) as long as you apply it correctly.
Latex has also become a popular choice for many users, especially DIYers. It’s characterized by high flexibility and a long lifespan of up to 20 years.
This caulk is also paintable, enabling you to paint it to match your shower surrounds.
Probably the main reason why DIYers go for latex caulk is that it’s incredibly easy to apply and the excess caulk can be cleaned up using just soap and water. This is unlike the silicone-based caulk.
Unfortunately, latex might not hold up well to temperature changes.
So, which of these two caulks should you use?
If it’s your first time doing caulking job, we suggest that you use the latex caulks as it’s easier to apply and tool. This is unlike silicone which might give you a hard time applying and cleaning it up requires you to use of mineral spirits.
BUT…bear in mind that silicone lasts longer than latex and remains flexible throughout its lifespan.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of caulk should you use in a shower?
The ideal caulk for use in a shower is one that features strong adhesive properties for the specific type of surface in your shower. Besides, it should be mold and mildew resistant, waterproof, and able to hold up to the varying temperature conditions in your shower.
The caulk should also come in sufficient amount to enable you to complete the caulking job.
Go through our list of the most popular caulks for shower (above) to find the perfect caulk you can use to caulk your shower today.
2. how long should I allow my shower to dry before caulking?
The caulk curing duration usually depends on the type of caulk you’re using. Most of the models will require you to give them up to 24 hours dry and get ready for water exposure.
However, come manufacturers are now coming up with caulks that cure in a pretty short time—30 minutes to 1 hr.—after which you can start using your shower again.
If you’re unsure about the curing duration of your caulk, be sure to check/consult your manufacturer. Doing guesswork might lead to a sloppy job that doesn’t last long.
3. Is there any difference between a sealant and caulk?
Yes…caulk is the term used to describe the general products intended for filling in gaps and have low expansion/contraction qualities. They have moderate adhesion and are best suited for interior use.
On the other hand, sealants feature stronger adhesion properties and will adhere to nearly any surface. They’re also able to withstand most weather conditions and elements, making them suitable for both interior and exterior use.
4. how long should a shower sealant last?
If you use the right type of caulk shower and you apply it correctly, it should last for around 5 to 10 years.
Again, this duration is subject to the type of caulk you use and what the manufacturer states about its longevity.
Whether you plan to re-caulk or caulk your shower surrounds for the first time, you should be careful what type of caulk you use. If you make the mistake of using the wrong type of caulk, it’ll not be effective in preventing molds and moisture in your shower walls.
Still on it, you must learn how to apply the caulk properly, else it won’t last long. Keep in mind that a sloppy job can even end up damaging the already good tile work.
This post takes you through all the crucial steps involved in proper shower caulking—from removing the old caulking to preparing the wall for re-caulking to applying the new caulk.
To help you easily get the best shower caulk, we’ve also outlined the 10 most suitable caulks for shower that contains mildew and moisture inhibitors. We can 100% assure you that these products will get the job done.