How to Seal a Shower Tray
This guide provides a straightforward way to properly take off an existing silicone sealant coat as well as how to reseal a shower tray. Changing the sealant around your shower tray is a simple, yet valuable way to give your bathroom a refreshed look.
You’ll need little in the way of previous experience, although you will need certain commonly available tools and products for the best results. This method is also effective on a variety of different shower tray sizes and popular styles such as quadrant shower trays and rectangular shower trays (although make sure to consider your individual shower’s specifications before doing anything).
You’ll need these tools and products:
|Quality silicone sealant - Different sealant products are specialised for different surfaces like acrylic shower trays and stone shower trays, so make sure to buy the right kind. Check that it is developed with an anti-fungal additive and neutral cure properties specifically designed for bathrooms
|Sealant gun - You'll need this tool for applying the sealant in a uniform bead across the shower tray.
|Silicone sealant finishing tool - You'll need this tool to create a smooth finish over your sealant and remove any excess.
|Paper towels/cloth - Useful for wiping away any waste sealant and material throughout the process.
|Protective gloves - Gloves will help to protect your hands from any harmful substances or sharp/heavy objects.
How to remove the old silicone sealant
Using protective gloves, use a sharp blade such as a knife, chisel or Stanley knife to carefully and delicately cut away the old silicone sealant. Be mindful and take caution not to scratch or harm the surface beneath it as any marks or chips with a blade or tool will more than likely be permanent. After the majority of the sealant has been cut away, you’ll find the leftover smaller pieces are harder to remove with a chisel or knife. Instead, dab some white spirit on a rag and rub it on the remaining sealant fibres until they dissolve or break off. Although, if the remaining sealant doesn’t require it, you can simply use your fingers to rub off the strands.
It’s essential to properly prepare before applying a shower tray sealant. Following these pointers will help avoid any issues throughout the process:
- • Make sure to read the instructions available with your silicone sealant and wait for the product to completely cure before using the shower unit or allowing any contact with water.
- • Using a hoover, clear away any remaining dust or granules. Next, use a weak detergent and a soaked cloth to wipe over and clean the shower tray.
- • After cleaning the shower tray, use a damp cloth to remove the cleaning solution, then use a paper towel to dry the area.
- • Leave the shower tray for at least 2 hours to dry out as the silicone sealant may not bind to the surrounding surfaces properly if there is any residual moisture left over.
How to reseal a shower tray
- 1. Make sure the surface has completely dried - As seen above, make sure the area has finished drying and remove any particles left to create a clean space. This will be important to ensure the silicone sealant properly adheres to the shower tray and walls.
- 2. Choose the most effective sized sealant finishing tool - Make sure to select the right sized tool to smooth the bead. This will ensure there are no gaps between the shower tray and wall tiles.
- 3. Cut the sealant nozzle - Cut the tube nozzle at 45 degrees and pay extra care to not initially make the hole too wide. 5mm is the standard size, although the nozzle should have indicators for where to cut in order to widen the hole if a larger bead is required.
- 4. Use the silicon sealant evenly - Beginning at the inside corner of the tray, carefully squeeze the trigger of the sealant gun and in one slow action, direct the bead to the front of the tray. The sealant is hard to clear so be careful not to overapply.
- 5. Fill any visible sealant gaps - Make sure that the gap between the shower tray and tiles is completely filled. Apply extra sealant to any areas where it is required.
- 6. Swab away any extra sealant - When finishing each sealant line, quickly take your finger off of the trigger and wipe away any excess sealant from the gun. Replace the cap to avoid any unwanted application.
- 7. Use the finishing tool - Starting from the corner of the shower tray where you first applied the sealant, in a balanced and gentle motion, pull the tool across the shower tray so you’re left with a consistent bead.
Once you’ve smoothed over it, do not retrace the line too much to avoid the risk of ripping the sealant.
- 8. Leave the area to dry - While the sealant may appear dry after around 30 minutes to an hour, it will not have fully cured and gained its waterproof quality for a while longer. It’s recommended to wait at least 24 hours before using the shower unit or allowing any contact with water, although different sealant products can come with different recommended curing times so make sure to view the instructions.
If you’re looking for a replacement shower tray, see our premium MERLYN Shower Tray Range here.