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How do you get a nice finish when applying sealant around baths and sinks

I am planning to re-grout the tiling in the bathroom. As part of the project I will be removing the sealant around the bath.
When I applied the sealant last time I had a hard time getting it to look as good as it did when we first moved into the house (it was a new build).

Just how do tilers get such a great smooth finish.

14 Answers from MyBuilder Tilers

Best Answer

The secret to a good silicone finish is by following a few simple tips.
1. Wrap your tube of silicone with tape to prevent it expanding with the pressure of the skeleton gun - this helps the gun stop as soon as you click the release catch instead of running on. Brown parcel tape is ideal for this as it does not stretch easily.
2. cut a nice clean angle on your tube spout, about 30 degrees and make sure you use a sharp blade as any ragged edges will reflect in your silicone. Do not cut the end too large as uncontrollable floods of silicone will come out and make a mess
3. get some water in an old cup or similar and put it beside the area you are going to do, this shoiuld be used for dipping your finger in to smooth the silicone, after application, do not use spit as the bacteria from your mouth causes mould to grow on the finished silicone more easily. Also have some kitchen roll or a clean fresh cloth handy for cleaning excess silicone off your finger/gun.
4. Ensure the surfaces you are siliconing are very clean and smooth, soap or residue will stop the silicone from adhering.
5. Position yourself so that you can do full runs without stopping or trying to walk along at the same time.
6. Pressure the gun trigger so that a smooth constant bead of silicone comes out, adjust your speed of travel to ensure a uniform bead goes down.
Remember not to put too much silicone down as it will spread as you smooth it.
7. Depending on the aplication/finish you require, you can either leave a raised bead or dip a finger in the water and gently run your finger along the bead to push it into the gap and create a smooth hollow in the bead. Remove excess silicone from finger with kitchen roll/cloth prior to continuing.

and remember - practice makes perfect

Good luck


Answered 24th Jul 2011

After my 25 years of experince I have never used a silicone tool either. One of my top tips is Dont buy cheap £1 shop silicone. If you want to do a good pay the money and buy Dow Corning 786 and you stand a good chance of getting it right.

Some people cut the nozzel at 45 degrees I personaly dont, depending on the size of the joint to be filled, I cut mine straight and apply at 90 degrees to the wall

And then finnish with yes you guest it the magic Soapy Finger and dont wipe it on your clothes use a rag


Answered 4th Aug 2011

Cramer products do a thing called a fugi kit available online that gives a perfect 45 degree angle!


Answered 29th Jul 2011

Its an art form but the trick is a steady hand an angled slice on the nib and a bowl with some soapy water in.......

Apply a small bead as evenly as possible then wet your finger with the soapy water ( I use washing up liquid ) and run it along the bead MAKE SURE YOU SMOOTH IT SECONDS AFTER YOU HAVE APPLIED if you do not when you run your finger over it will go lumpy

hope this helps


Answered 24th Jul 2011

ive been tiling now for forty years and have done miles of silicone jointing the answer is make sure you have a brand of silicone like from the Dow corning range as some are very runnie do not fill your bath with water as this leaves a crease in the jointing when the bath is empty due to the bath rising do not use normal washing up liquid use a clear soap as it might stain fill a empty old spray bottle with a mixture of soapy water and after applying the silicone spray and use your finger to smooth wiping with paper towel there is a smoothing agent on the market but can only be got through a specialist.If you need to cut any old silicone away there is a removal tool you can buy do not use a knife as one slip and you bath will end up with cut marks.


Answered 26th Mar 2013

You can get a great finish on silicone by using a Fugi-Kit. The FUGI Kit 5 has forming tools with 16 shape profiles which produce step-by-step profiles without masking tape or cleaning.

Regards Steven Swift


Answered 16th Jun 2013

after 37 years as a tiler i can honestly say that anyone telling you to buy tools to finish silicone lines on here is an imposter!!!
listen to quantum it sounds like me and him should have a seal off of some kind!!
well done quantum


Answered 2nd Aug 2011

I've been tiling for 20 years and silicone finishing is a job that makes the finished job look perfect when done properly. I use dow corning, bal silicone of very high quality, finishing off with fugi bouy tools i got from the internet. All i can say is amazing finish we offer this service to our customers,hope this has been of some help


Answered 16th Apr 2016

You can now buy a DIY silicone kit that comes with a silicone remover, tape and smoother so you can get a good finish. Plumb centre do them its about £25.


Answered 23rd Jul 2011

silicone tool available on e bay etc


Answered 24th Jul 2011

Use a silicon tool to get that clean finish. No soap spray or water as that gets under the sealant. Finger is for old timers who want to stay in the 1950's showing us how to use hand tools to do what a power tool does in seconds.


Answered 9th Apr 2019

If you are not confident in the art of silicon,i suggest that you fill your bath up with water,put a silicon bead around bath,then add a plastic d bead or quadrant to cover the silicon. Once bead is set empty bath.
TRM Builer.


Answered 28th Jul 2011

I also prefer to use the Cramer fugi kit perfect every time for me but I have slightly tweaked the way I apply cut the silicone nozzle to a neat 30 degrees apply silicone then with a standard spray atomiser exactly same as a hair dresser uses mix a little washing up liquid with water spray the area post silicone smooth with fugi kit and jobs done and no mess due to the detergent perfect every time also find if using your fingers spraying the detergent/water mix makes for a lot less mess just have some white roll at your disposal and silicone comes off of everything hassle free


Answered 8th Oct 2017

As per vanmax.
Fugi type tools and no soapy water.
I'm a convert. Moved to fugi and soapy water then just the fugi


Answered 13th Jan 2020

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