Should I Caulk My Fiberglass Shower Surround?

If you are installing a new shower in your bathroom or simply want to be rid of a lousy caulk job, you might be asking yourself, “should I seal my fiberglass shower surround?”

There is debate on whether applying caulk on the inner seams of a shower is the best option. However, the overall consensus is that it is vital to seal the outside of your fiberglass shower surround with a silicone-based caulk where it meets the drywall.

This seal keeps moisture away from the inner walls and helps prevent mold.

There are many types of showers and designs, which means there are many ways to go about caulking your shower. Let’s review why you should or shouldn’t caulk your shower surround.

Reasons to Caulk a Fiberglass Shower Surround

The most obvious reason to caulk a fiberglass shower surround is to prevent water from getting down where it shouldn’t, resulting in mold and mildew. A well-done caulk job will lead to a shower appearing smooth and clean.

Sealing all the cracks gives it a finished look and means the shower can be easily cleaned. A professional job can last upwards of five years, so check and see if you need to replace yours to keep mold away.

Reasons to Caulk a Fiberglass Shower Surround

Reasons Not to Caulk Your Surround

Some showers have a lip design that prevents water from dripping through the cracks. In these cases, and especially where a tub has just been built, there is space for any collected water to drain away and dry. It helps keep mold from building, given that the surface below isn’t soaking up moisture.

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Not every shower and bathtub is designed that way, though. Check on the manufacturer’s advice before making a decision.

If the wall you’re connecting your shower to is made of tile, it is best not to caulk the surround where it meets the tile. This is unnecessary and can cause issues.

Reasons Not to Caulk Your Surround

Points to Note

A poor caulk job can be worse than having no seal at all. Fiberglass can be tricky if the right caulk isn’t used. Make sure you use a silicone-based formula and apply it professionally.

Even if you have a professional apply it, research how it should look and ensure they apply it correctly. It is easy to ruin a caulk job, so patience and expertise is vital.

Research the design and brand of shower surround you will be using. Knowledge of the product is important in deciding whether or not you should seal specific gaps.

If you are redoing a bathroom, check to see what may be growing (or not) behind the shower or tub. You can then likely decide on whether a new layer of caulk is needed or not.

Things to Note

Closing Thoughts

It’s typical to seal every crevice in a shower. However, that’s not always the right approach, and depends on the design of your shower. So, you should do your research.

Generally, if something is leaking and turning moldy, cleaning and replacing it so it can’t grow or sit is the best option.

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