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How to Close the Gap Between Tub and Floor Tile?

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Gaps can happen due to many reasons. It can be because the flange of the tub is not exactly straight or even if it is, there’s a chance that it might have come off its position or that the floor is not straight.

There are two ways to close the gap between tub and floor tiles. The best way is to use caulk or sealant that will create a watertight barrier. For larger gaps, you should use a backer rod as a filler before covering it with caulk afterward.

How do you Close the gap between tub and floor properly?

How do you Close the gap between tub and floor tile?

Water and other dirt love small gaps and begin to cause issues. Those gaps you didn’t notice at first or thought you could just leave them alone could become breeding grounds for mold, which can lead to an unhealthy home.

We will explain three methods to close the gap between tub and floor so you can choose the best one for you.

Using Caulk to Close the gap between tub and floor

Using caulk is by far the best, most common, and most practical way to close the gap between tub and floor. It is easy to use, effective, and doesn’t require a lot of work.

Tools needed

  • Caulk gun,
  • Caulk
  • utility knife
  • soapy water

1. Clean dirt around the tube

Before you begin, make sure to remove the excess dirt and grime around the tub. This will ensure that your seal is strong and keep out any unwanted elements like bugs or fungus.

Remove the caulk in between the two surfaces using a utility knife or small chisel then clean both sides with soap and water to get rid of all dirt or other particles that can reduce the adhesion of your caulk.

This will allow the area to dry out and you’ll be ready for your new sealant.

2. Choosing the right caulk

There are many caulks out there. Silicone caulk is the most popular and the best for this job because it’s 100% waterproof, easy to apply, and has excellent adhesion. It won’t shrink, yellow, or crack in the future.

When selecting a color, stick with white or translucent because it will conceal itself against the tub best.

3. Assemble your caulk gun

For caulking your tub gaps you need caulk gun. There are several different types available but I prefer trigger-style gun, where you won’t have to deal with leftover caulk in the tube when you’re done.

Newborn 930-GTD Drip-Free Smooth Hex Rod Cradle Caulking Gun with Gator Trigger Comfort Grip, 1/10 Gallon Cartridge, 10:1 Thrust Ratio

Its preparation is straightforward.

  • First, pull the trigger halfway to release any pressure in the tube.
  • Cut off the tip of the nozzle at an angle using a sharp knife or scissors.
  • Puncture the seal on the tube by pushing the pointed end of the nozzle into it until some caulk comes out. Hold onto the tube while you do this so it doesn’t go flying across the room!
  • Finally, gently squeeze the trigger to start dispensing caulk.

4. Apply the caulk to the gap between the tub and floor

It’s time to finally seal that gap and protect your bathroom from water damage.

  1. Place the tip of your nozzle at an angle to the gap, with the opening facing inward.
  2. Press down on the trigger a little bit to dispense a thin line of caulk. When you feel some resistance, slide along the gap using gentle pressure until you go all around it. This will ensure that there are no bubbles trapped in the caulk and that you filled the entire space.
  3. If you want to pause, release the trigger and leave it like that until you’re ready to resume. Dispose of any extra caulk that came out of the tube before you start

5. Smooth out your caulk with fingers dipped in soapy water

After your caulking is done it’s time to smooth it out. The best is to dip your finger into soapy water so the caulk won’t stick to your fingers.

Start in a corner and work your way to the other side until every last bit is flattened against the surface. This will give it a polished and professional look

NOTE: Don't worry about mistakes because you can always go back to remove the caulk and start over without damaging your tub or floor!

6. Leave your caulk to dry

When you’re done smoothing out your caulk it’s time to leave the area and let the sealant dry. Replace any fixtures or fittings that were removed and leave it to dry for a few hours.

NOTE: You may have to wait overnight before you can use your tub again!

7. Clean up excess caulk

Use a damp paper towel to remove any excess caulking from the surrounding surfaces. Make sure to get any caulk from between tile joints, on the tub itself, or in corners where it would build up.

How do you fix larger gaps between the tub and floor tile?

When we have a large-sized gap I suggest using the backer rod as a filler. It’s around foam tube with a consistent diameter and it adapts well to irregular surfaces so no matter what kind of gap you have it won’t be a problem!

M-D Building Products 71480 1/2-Inch by 20-Feet Backer Rod, Gray

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Insert the backer rod into the gap using a screwdriver to push it in. You can also use needle nose pliers or any blunt tool for that matter.
  2. Don’t put it all the way down because you don’t want your caulk sealant to touch it later on when you apply it over your caulking.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use it on the floor because it will never go bad or dissolve.
  4. Prepare your caulk gun, mix a little bit of dish soap into a bucket of water, and get ready with your finger dipped in water to smooth everything out later on – just like I explained before!
  5. Next, squeeze caulk sealant all around the backer rod while making sure there are no gaps.
  6. Don’t be shy when it comes to using caulk! You have to make sure that every bit of the surface is filled with caulking so you get maximum protection against water damage.
  7. Let your caulk dry and remove any excess with a damp paper towel.

How many tubes of tub caulk do I need for my project?

On average, two tubes of tub and tile caulk sealant will do the job. If you have a larger gap between the tiles, you may need to buy more caulk sealant.

Do you need to grout between tub and tiles?

No, you don’t have to grout between the tiles. Caulk is a better option because it’s more durable and flexible. Grout can crack if it gets damaged and water seeps in, causing more problems than what you originally had.

How do I remove caulk from my tub?

You can use a sharp blade to remove excess caulk from your tub. Just be careful not to cut yourself because you could get injured if it slips.

How Do you close the gap between the wall and floor tiles?

It is the same process as mentioned above. If you have a larger space between your floor and wall tiles you can use the backer rod filler. If not, caulk is enough.