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Properly Caulk a Shower Door

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

A Step-by-Step Guide to Properly Caulk a Shower Door

Caulking a shower door might not be the most glamorous task, but it's an essential part of maintaining a watertight and clean bathroom. Properly caulked shower doors help prevent leaks, protect against mold and mildew growth, and keep your bathroom looking polished. In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of caulking a shower door like a pro.

A siliconed glass enclosure
Glass Enclosure - Clear Silicone on outside

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary supplies at hand:

  1. Caulk: Here is a high quality silicone caulk, reasonably priced, that will work well for your bathroom or shower use. It is mold and mildew resistant. (Gorilla). The nozzle is removal so you can use it many times before you need to discard it.

  2. Caulking Gun: A caulking gun will make the application process much easier and ensure a consistent bead of caulk.

  3. Caulking Tools: These caulking tools are available to help make your finish work consistent.

  4. Utility Knife: You'll need a utility knife to remove any old or damaged caulk as well as cutting the tip of your caulk tube.

  5. Masking Tape: Use 1" masking tape to make clean lines and prevent excess caulk from smearing onto surfaces where it shouldn't be. This may not be necessary if you use very thin lines of caulking.

  6. Rubbing Alcohol: This will help clean and prepare the surfaces before applying caulk.

  7. Paper Towels or Rags: For cleaning up any spills or excess caulk.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Before you start caulking, make sure the shower door and surrounding areas are clean and dry. Remove any old caulk using utility knife. Take time and be cautious not to nick or gouge your shower threshold or walls if they are fiberglass or acrylic. Clean the surfaces with rubbing alcohol to ensure a proper bond for the new caulk.

Step 3: Apply Masking Tape

Use masking tape to mask off the areas besides the edges of the shower door where you'll be applying the caulk. This will create clean lines and prevent any excess caulk from spreading onto tiles or other surfaces.

Step 4: Load the Caulking Gun

Load the silicone caulk tube into the caulking gun and cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45-degree angle. The size of the opening you cut will determine the thickness of the caulk bead. Start with a smaller opening and cut more if needed.

Step 5: Apply the Caulk

Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle and apply a smooth, even bead of caulk along the edges of the shower door where it meets the tiles or shower enclosure. Move steadily to ensure a consistent bead. If you're not satisfied with your first attempt, don't hesitate to wipe away the caulk and try again.

Step 6: Smooth the Caulk

Using a caulk smoothing tool or your finger (dipped in soapy water), carefully smooth out the caulk bead. This will help to make a neat and even finish. Keep a damp paper towel or rag nearby to wipe your finger or the tool as needed.

Step 7: Remove Masking Tape

Carefully remove the masking tape while the caulk is still wet. This will ensure clean lines and prevent the tape from pulling away any caulk.

Step 8: Allow the Caulk to Cure

Allow the caulk to cure for the recommended time specified on the caulk tube. This will typically be anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. During this time, avoid using the shower to ensure the caulk sets properly.

Step 9: Regular Maintenance

To extend the life of your caulk and prevent mold and mildew growth, regularly clean your shower and wipe down the caulked area. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the caulk.

A  caulked shower door
CW Surfline shower frame caulked


Caulking a shower door might require a bit of patience and attention to detail, but the results are well worth it. A properly caulked shower door not only prevents leaks but also keeps your bathroom looking clean and polished. By following these simple steps and using the right tools and materials, you can achieve a professional-quality caulk job that will stand the test of time.

Note: If you are installing a new shower door, check the manufacturer's recommended location for proper caulking. Some will have you caulk the exterior of your shower door frame only. Others will have you do the inside only and others will have you do both.

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