If you have your bathroom tiled by a London tiler like Handy Squad, they’ll also give your bath and sink a water-tight silicone seal to prevent leaking. This is a skilled job, and the safest way to ensure it’s done properly is to leave it to a professional, but if you’re an expert DIYer you may prefer to try it for yourself. Here are a few things to bear in mind.
You can’t do a good job without the right materials, in this case the silicone and the skeleton gun. Different brands of silicone vary enormously in quality, while a cheap gun won’t give you ideal results. The best thing is to discuss your options with staff at a good hardware shop.
Make sure the surfaces are clean and dry so the silicone will adhere well. You can get a more even application if you put tape around the silicone tube to prevent expansion, which can make it expel more than you want. The nozzle should be cut cleanly, with a sharp knife, at an angle of around 30-45%.
If you’re siliconing the bath, fill it with water. This means the seal will be at its biggest before you seal it, and both joint and seal will be compressed when you empty it, reducing the stress on it when you use the bath or shower.
Applying the Silicone
Position yourself so you can do a full run from a stationary position, since moving while applying the silicone could affect the consistency. Put just enough pressure on the trigger so it expels a small bead, and keep the pressure the same to ensure the same amount all along the run. Remember that the silicone will spread as you smooth it down, so you only need a little.
Have a cup of soapy water beside you and wet your finger to smooth down the silicone immediately after application. It isn’t advisable to use spit to wet your fingers, as it contains bacteria that may lead to mould developing. Make sure you also have cloths or kitchen roll to clean your fingers and the nozzle of the gun.
Vital to Get It Right
Siliconing is a job that can produce disastrous results if you get it wrong, since an incomplete seal will mean water seeping down behind your bath, perhaps doing permanent damage. Only try it if you’re an experienced DIYer — and, above all, if you have a very steady hand.
If you’re not completely confident of this, you might be better hiring a professional tiler in London, or wherever you’re based. Handy Squad will always be happy to help with this.