Sealing compounds in the bathroom are used to fill joints, fix leaks, and install plumbing. When we seal a bathtub or shower enclosure, the main goal is to create a strong gap through which water cannot seep. Also in the bathroom there is a need to seal the flooring, walls, pipes. In a room with high humidity, water should not seep in, as this is the main reason for the spread of bacteria and the formation of mold.
In any case, to solve the above problems, you will need a special sealant for the bathroom. It must be moisture repellent to prevent unwanted germs and fungus. On the market, you can find dozens of domestic and foreign manufacturers who are ready to offer you a solution to the problems of sealing bathtubs. Such consistencies are available in different volumes and containers:
- small tubes, to open which it is enough to cut off the spout. Tubes with sealants are produced with a volume of no more than 100 grams, so they are suitable for domestic use, finishing small cracks or waterproofing gaps between the bathroom and the wall;
- tubes for a construction gun for sealant. Such materials are already produced with an increased volume – up to 600 ml. Since a construction gun is used to extrude them, you can control the flow rate of the sealant. Try to apply the stripes evenly so that the quality of the work does not suffer, and the seam turns out to be single-layer and smoothed;
- aluminum drums of increased volumes – industrial sealants for sealing large areas.
For the use of sealant at home, tubes for a gun of the required volume are most suitable.
Best Acrylic Bathroom Sealants: Which Sealant to Choose
These are budget sealing compounds without the addition of chemical components, so they are used indoors without fear for health and negative impact on the environment. Acrylic sealants are suitable for application to concrete, wood, glass, metal and other popular building materials. With them, acrylic has excellent adhesion if you carefully prepare the work surface for further sealing.
Acrylic sealants have a wide application range from -30 to +50 degrees. Some manufacturers produce options with limited temperature limits. Acrylic sealants are not suitable for filling in moving areas. Already at a stretch of more than 10%, the bond begins to break down, and cracks appear on the sealant itself. After polymerization, the connection is sufficiently strong and inflexible.
Unlike silicone sealants, acrylic dries in just a few hours. After hardening, you can paint the surface in the desired color and shade. Acrylic sealant is recommended for use in the bathroom, but there should not be constant contact with water.
Acrylic sealants are attracted by their relatively low price and harmless composition. The disadvantages of the material include its shrinkage, and when exposed to water, the seam will crack. For better adhesion, you can pre-primed the area.
If you are looking for a sealant for installing a bathtub or shower door, acrylic will not work because of the rigidity of the resulting composition after polymerization. It is better to use it in places without mechanical impact and contact with water. Acrylic bathroom sealant is often used to fill the gap between the sink and the wall.
To prevent fungi and bacteria from multiplying under acrylic, surface treatment with an antifungal compound will be required. Manufacturers will solve this problem, but still do not recommend sealing places with constant exposure to water. Otherwise, after a short period of time, you will begin to notice black spots on the sealant – this is mold.
Acrylic quickly discolors, so you should not count on the shine of white. As an option, you can tint the sealant to mask the defects in the coating. When choosing an acrylic consistency, pay attention to the composition and properties of a particular brand. There are waterproof and not, which is important when sealing the bathroom.
Good bath sealants are produced by brands such as Boxer, Bosny, Penosil, KIM TEC and others. Among domestic manufacturers, it is worth highlighting “Moment”. A large number of products on the market with improved formulas and improved properties. For example, you may be offered quick-drying acrylic sealants with additional protection against fungus and mold, with improved adhesion to certain building materials. In this regard, the features of the use of acrylic sealant, and the polymerization time and other subtleties of work are changing.
Folk remedies for mold
In the fight against mold, all means are good. To save money, many do not buy expensive fungicides in the store, but use proven folk recipes. Here are the most popular:
- Purchase a solution of borax (sodium tetraborate). Dilute a glass of the product with 2.5 liters of water, use a toothbrush to treat the surfaces affected by the fungus in the bathroom well. Washing the composition is not required, it forms a protective film.
- Mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil in a glass of water. Apply the solution to moldy areas, leave for 2 hours, then rinse them.
- Sprinkle all places with mold with table vinegar (9%), and it is not necessary to dilute it with water. Wash off the vinegar after 1 hour with a rag.
- Moisten the foam sponge with water, dip in soda, clean the seams, joints, walls affected by the fungus. You can also rub baking soda into the bases with a stiff brush. After an hour, the product must be washed off.
- Take hydrogen peroxide, treat areas with mold. In this way, you can even bleach old silicone seams that have darkened with fungus over time.
Bathroom Silicone Sealants
Silicone sealants are more popular for plumbing and bathroom sealing because they form a flexible, flexible joint. It is able to withstand vibration, movement, mechanical stress. Manufacturers produce water-repellent silicone sealants, which are even used to fix leaks in cheap cabins. Silicone acid sealant is not recommended for sealing steel and cast iron due to the risk of corrosion. Neutral sealant does not enter into a chemical reaction, so it is used to work with various types of surfaces. Neutral silicone sealants are more expensive.
For work in rooms with high humidity, only waterproof formulas are suitable. Sealants are single-component and two-component. The best silicone bath sealant is a neutral one-component.
Properties and features of silicone sealants:
- have adhesive properties, therefore silicone sealants are suitable for joining two parts of materials of different origin;
- used for bonding glass, applied to materials with a non-porous smooth texture;
- suitable for repairing and fixing drainpipe leaks;
- do not deform under temperature extremes, withstand high temperatures.
After complete hardening, which lasts about a day, the seam is elastic. Silicone sealants are also susceptible to fungal growth and mold. To prevent the spread of germs in your bath, manufacturers offer improved formulations. These include silicone bath sealant. It has an antifungal effect throughout the entire period of operation.
The leading manufacturers of silicone sealants for the bathroom are imported brands Ravak, Ottoseal and Lugato. During testing, they have proven themselves as materials that are not subject to the spread of fungus. Manufacturers have released a variety of colors and shades so that you can choose the right suitable option for your room.
The best budget manufacturers are Ceresit, Tytan, Soudal. They produce acidic and neutral sealants, which are mainly suitable for filling joints in the bath.
Features of use
Before applying the sealant, take into account the following features of use:
- Room humidity. When applying a sealant, it is important to take into account the conditions for its use, which are specified by the manufacturer. A significant role is played by the concentration of humidity in the room, if it exceeds the permissible threshold, then the sealant may loosely seal the required area, which will lead to condensation, the appearance of fungus and, in the worst case, to leakage and the need to redo the work.
- ventilation methods. The better the room is ventilated, the less likely it is that condensation, microbes and fungi will form.
- Application technique. It is important to follow all instructions for surface preparation for sealing, application methods and further operation.
- Application area. Before buying this or that sealant, you should pay attention to the materials of the joined surfaces.
What are polyurethane bath sealants
This type of sealant is suitable for outdoor and bathroom applications. Their main advantage is considered to be inertness at temperature extremes and high humidity. Even if your bathroom is poorly ventilated, these connections will handle condensation and humidity conditions. In addition to the bathroom, polyurethane is used in the kitchen and toilet. Since the compound is an excellent glue for parts, it is often used as an adhesive. The downside of this bathroom sealant is poor adhesion to plastic, so avoid sealing plastic surfaces with polyurethane.
Polyurethanes are actively used for outdoor work, as they retain their properties at sub-zero temperatures. After drying and polymerization, the sealant becomes flexible, therefore it is acceptable to apply it in moving places subject to loads. After drying, there is practically no shrinkage, which prevents the appearance of cracks and deformation of the sealed seam. Despite poor adhesion, polyurethane adheres well to concrete, wood, metal and even glass. Depending on the brand, some bathtub sealants can be stained.
The disadvantages of polyurethanes include:
- plastic incompatibility. Due to poor adhesion, the composition begins to peel off, the seam is fragile or cracked;
- When applying the sealant, the surface must be dry. Even minimal humidity leads to poor adhesion;
- Not recommended for use at high temperatures. When heated, a tight joint leads to low seam strength;
- for better adhesion, it is advised to prime the surface;
- it is better not to use when installing an acrylic bath due to the risk of water leakage. For steel, cast iron, glass – an excellent choice.
Polyurethanes are most often sold in tubes of about 300 ml. The surface drying time is up to 45 minutes, but for complete polymerization it is necessary to withstand several hours. Read the instructions for the sealant for the correct use of the material.
Release forms of insulating compounds
Waterproof bath sealant is available in several variations:
- In an ordinary tube with a cap and a conical spout. The mass of such a product is approximately 60-100 grams. It is used when you need to seal a small area. It is difficult to squeeze out a thin and uniform strip from the tube. You will have to overwrite the gap, level the layer and wipe the remains of the composition.
- Tubes for a construction pistol. They are characterized by a large volume – 280-320 ml or 500-600 ml. It is easier to work with such products, since the thickness of the strip can be controlled by the degree of effort. You will also have to correct, but much less.
- Aluminum tube (sausage), buckets of various sizes and barrels. It is not used in private housing construction, these are professional volumes.
The most practical home option for bathroom seams is the use of a substance in tubes for a construction gun. This is the optimal form of release for sealing joints with your own hands.
MS polymers – the new technology of the best universal sealants
This type of sealant appeared on the market relatively recently, but experts and buyers were able to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. The formula of the sealant is a combination of silicone and polyurethane. Manufacturers have endowed sealants based on MS polymers with excellent properties. They are used for waterproofing, and due to their elastic structure after polymerization, they are used to seal moving elements, parts with loads and vibrations.
It is for acrylic baths and rooms with high humidity that these polymers are best suited. Due to their adhesive ability inherent in polyurethanes, they cope with gluing parts. The following advantages of the compositions are distinguished:
- high adhesion with almost all types of popular building materials. The best option is excellent adhesion even without pre-priming the surface;
- since there are no aggressive chemical components in the composition, unpleasant odors are not emitted when working with materials and there are no harmful fumes. It is a type of safe sealant for residential use;
- polymerization is possible even at sub-zero temperatures. The only thing is that hardening is slower;
- resistant to ultraviolet exposure and do not fade in the sun;
- the waterproof formula allows sealants to be used even in salt water, so you won’t have problems sealing the tub;
- they can be applied to vertical and horizontal surfaces.
The disadvantages include the high cost of materials. If you want a quality, strong, durable joint without the risk of water leakage, plan to use the sealant in low temperatures or in harsh climatic conditions, then this is a justified purchase.
Also, the disadvantages include the fact that after polymerization you will not be able to dissolve the compound using special tools. To cope with the task is only a mechanical way. Sometimes, when exposed to external factors, the surface of the sealant may turn yellow.
Speaking of safety, when using sealants, the following rules must be observed:
- Before use, carefully read the recommendations of the manufacturer, even if you use sealants of the same type, depending on the manufacturer, there may be slight differences.
- Use special clothing and gloves to protect your skin from contact with the product.
- Hermetic products are not suitable for ingestion. It is strictly forbidden to taste them.
- Avoid contact with eyes. In case of contact, seek medical attention immediately.
- Do not leave products near flammable and heating objects.
- Don’t give to children.
- After application, the room should be well ventilated.
Bathtub sealing: 3 easy steps
To create an even and high-quality seam that will prevent water leakage and high humidity, use the instructions for working with the sealant:
- Make sure the sealing area is clean and free of dust, old sealant residues. If necessary, clean the surface, degrease it, wipe it dry with a simple cloth.
- Select a sealant suitable for the environment. If you’re looking for a bathroom sealant, this should be a water-repellent formula. Some manufacturers offer sealants with additional protection against mold and mildew. Since a humid environment is conducive to the spread of germs, this option will help you get rid of unwanted unsanitary conditions. The easiest way to apply sealant is with a construction gun. Adjust the flow of foam with the lever to make an even seam in one layer. Remove excess from the surface. If the gap between the bathtub and the wall is wide, use a roller for convenience.
- Smooth out the grout to avoid unevenness. Prepare a 1:1 solution of detergent and water at home. Dip your finger into the resulting liquid and smooth the seam. As a result, you should get a perfectly flat strip.
Instructions for use
Surface preparation and sealant application are best done on the same day. When applying the composition in several stages with a short break, there is a high probability of uneven drying, from which the start-up of the operation of the bathroom may be delayed.
Carrying out preparatory work
Sealants for domestic purposes are available in the form of tubes with elongated spouts. Some masters, in order to create more accurate seams during application, additionally purchase special nozzles for tubes.
In addition to the sealant itself, before carrying out work, it is necessary to prepare a set of materials and tools in advance:
- masking tape 20-30 mm wide;
- white spirit, acetone or any other fat-soluble liquid;
- spatula, the width of which is selected depending on the thickness of the seam;
- cotton napkins or clean rags to eliminate flaws in the work.
When working with sealants, which contain aggressive components, you should additionally take care of purchasing personal protective equipment: a respirator, goggles and gloves.
Before applying the sealant, the surface must be prepared: cleaned of dirt, eliminated all irregularities. At this stage, you need to carefully inspect the walls for mold. If one is found, it is necessary to eliminate the problem by treating the area with a disinfectant.
The prepared surface can only be degreased by wiping with a cloth moistened with acetone or alcohol, and dried by blotting clean with a piece of cloth. Using a solvent, degrease metal parts.
To protect the processing site from sloppy blots, which can happen even with an experienced craftsman, a masking tape is glued along the intended seam.
Features of applying the composition
Before applying the composition, cut off the tip of the spout from the tube. To improve the ease of application, the cut is made at an angle of 45 °. The bottle is installed in a mounting gun. In order to protect the mass from premature drying, the cap included in the package is temporarily put on the nozzle.
The raw material is evenly applied throughout the seam, trying not to make interruptions so that gaps are not created, in the cavities of which dirt and moisture will get during operation.
Important point! When working with a sealant, it is important to avoid direct contact of the material with the skin and mucous membranes. If the substance still accidentally gets on the mucous membrane, immediately rinse the area with a plentiful portion of cold water.
Particular care should be taken when working with an acid composition. To protect the respiratory organs from acid fumes released during the vulcanization process, work should be carried out by wearing goggles and a protective mask, and the room itself should be regularly ventilated.
Ways to eliminate minor flaws
There is nothing difficult in adjusting the finished seam. To do this, the material is pressed with a narrow spatula, drawing along the applied line. Such manipulations will allow you to better press the sealant to the surface and make the joint smoother.
To remove sealant residues that “knock out” beyond the seam, the surface only needs to be wiped with a cloth moistened with water. If this does not help, you can use white spirit, an organic solvent “Antisilicon” or specially designed washer “Foam-840”.
After completion of work, the masking tape is peeled off. If work was performed without gloves, hands should be thoroughly washed with soapy water.
After making sure that the applied composition is distributed evenly and accurately, it remains only to wait for it to dry completely. This will take at least a day. But it will be covered with a thin film and the composition will cease to be sticky in half an hour. If the acid version is used, then the room must be thoroughly ventilated before using the bath.
Which bathroom sealant is better to choose?
To choose the best bath sealants, you need to determine the goals and objectives that you assign to it. The specific composition is selected according to climatic conditions, temperature, ventilation of the room. To fill the gaps between the bathroom, shower and walls, it is better to choose sealants based on MS polymers. These are advanced formulations of compounds that will perfectly show their properties in conditions of high humidity. Choose antifungal brands.
If you need to glue a mirror, then consider neutral origin silicone sealants. They are odorless and have excellent adhesive properties. Polyurethane is suitable for mounting tiles.
If you notice black spots on the sealant that have developed over time, it could be mold. Try to clean it and treat the surface with a protective layer. If mold reappears after this, sealing from scratch will be required. To do this, remove the old sealant and, in compliance with all the rules, apply a new one. If you have already encountered such a problem, an improved sealant composition will be required. On sale if special materials for aquariums. They have high adhesion and are practically not subject to mold.
When choosing the most suitable sealant, evaluate the following material properties:
- water-repellent property, protection against fungus and mold;
- the color of the material and the possibility of staining (almost all silicone sealants are not stained. Only white and transparent colors are on sale);
- purpose: for bathrooms, aquariums, places with high humidity;
- the surface to which the sealant will be applied. The instructions for the sealant should indicate that it is suitable for working with your coating. Due to poor adhesion, you should not count on a high-quality and durable connection;
- composition and impurities. Due to various additives, the material may lose its properties. This trend is especially well observed in silicone formulations. Above 10% additives, the material becomes less flexible.
Approach the choice of sealant responsibly, since the durability and quality of the resulting seam depend on it.
Sometimes errors occur in the application of sealant. Eliminate minor flaws, irregularities, excesses that go beyond the application area with a small spatula. The canvas is pressed to the surface and carried out along the entire length.
- For easy sliding, the spatula is moistened with water.
- Sealant residues are removed with white spirit, “Antisilicone”, a special wash.
- As you can see, the problem of how to remove the sealant from the bath does not cause difficulties.
The choice of silicone should be taken responsibly so that the sealed seams last a long time. It will be useful to read information on the Internet, use the advice of specialists and recommendations of consultants.