How to Seal a Shower Tray

By Kim
Last updated 28th June 2021 - Reading time: 8 mins

Are you looking for information on how to seal a shower tray? This article will go over everything your need to know about sealing a shower tray, along with a step-by-step guide and lists of all of the tools and materials needed to complete the job.

How to seal a shower tray

What Tools Do I Need to Seal a Shower Tray?

Below is a list of the tools you'll need when applying sealant to a shower tray:

  • Utility knife
  • Caulking gun
  • Cloth
  • Masking tape

What Safety Equipment Do I Need to Seal a Shower Tray?

You won't need any specific safety equipment when it comes to sealing a shower tray.

What Materials Do I Need to Seal a Shower Tray?

Below is a list of the materials that you'll need to seal a shower tray:

  • Sealant

How to Prepare for Shower Tray Sealing

When preparing for sealing a shower tray, you want to remove the old sealant and dispose of it. Make sure you do this just before applying your new sealant, as you don't want to risk someone using your shower while it isn't sealed.

You should also make sure that the area is clean, dry, and structurally sound before you start the work.

How to Seal a Shower Tray Yourself

Follow our step-by-step guide below to learn how to seal around a shower tray:

Step 1

Begin by ensuring the surface in and around the shower is clean, dry, and structurally sound.

how to seal a shower tray step 1

Step 2

Next, you will need to remove any of the old sealant from around the shower tray. Do this by cutting into it slightly with a utility knife and then pulling the sealant away.

how to seal a shower tray step 2

The majority of it should pull away easily by hand. If you struggle with any parts, just use your knife again to pry away the stubborn bits and continue pulling it away until it has all been removed.

Step 3

Once you have removed all of the old silicone, clean the entire area and then dry it completely using a cloth.

how to seal a shower tray step 3

Step 4

To ensure you get a neat and clean bead, apply masking tape to both sides of the joint to apply the sealant.

how to seal a shower tray step 4

Step 5

Cut off the tip of the sealant cartridge at a 45-degree angle. You can cut the tip closer to the end of the base, depending on how wide you would like the bead size to be.

how to seal a shower tray step 5

Step 6

Fit the sealant tube into a caulking gun. Use the caulking gun and begin to apply the sealant to the desired area at a steady pressure. You should aim to force the sealant as far into the joint as you possibly can.

how to seal a shower tray step 6

Step 7

Once you've done one section of the beading, wet your finger a little bit and score it across the beading to smooth it out and further push it into the joint.

how to seal a shower tray step 7

Step 8

Continue the above steps across all of the joints of the shower tray.

how to seal a shower tray step 8

Step 9

Remove all of the masking tape as soon as you have finished the job.

how to seal a shower tray step 9

Step 10

You will then need to leave the sealant to dry for at least 24 hours before using the shower.

how to seal a shower tray step 10

Types of Shower Tray Sealant

There are several different types of shower tray seal. Below is a list of the most popular shower sealant types with some information about each of the different types:

Silicone Caulk

Silicone is very good for sealing showers and is one of the most popular sealant types in the UK. It is very easy to apply and works extremely well at keeping your shower looking fresh and protecting it against leaks. Most silicone sealants come in a tube and can be applied easily using a caulking gun.

Acrylic Caulk

Acrylic caulk is another very popular type of sealant for showers in the UK. It is quite cheap to buy and can be bought at most DIY stores, so it is not hard to come by. It's a very good type of caulk but not always as effective as silicone. It has a lower price point than most other sealant types, which makes this type of sealant a popular option.

Waterproof Caulk

Most caulks are great at preventing leaks. However, even the smallest bit of water can cause a big problem. Waterproof caulk can provide even more protection against water than other types of caulk. It can also provide protection without degrading due to prolonged water exposure. This is what makes waterproof caulk a popular option for showers in the UK.

Coloured Caulk

If your shower is a different colour from the traditional white shower, then you may want to find a caulk that matches the colour of your shower. This is where coloured caulk works great as you can colour match your sealant to your bathroom's aesthetic. It provides the same amount of protection as other caulk types but also looks great on coloured showers.

Why Should I Seal My Shower Tray?

There are several reasons why you may want to reseal your shower tray.

Applying a new sealant to your shower tray can really freshen up the look of your bathroom, making it appear like new. Over time, sealant can get worn, dirty, and may start to collect mould. If you remove your old sealant and replace it with new sealant, you can significantly improve your shower tray's look.

Applying a sealant to your shower tray will also protect it from any potential leaks. It will provide a smooth finish to prevent any water from seeping through the cracks and getting underneath your shower or into your walls.

When water is allowed to leak underneath the shower or into the walls, this can cause many problems, including water damage or mould. It can even cause some structural damage to the home in severe cases. This is why it's so important to ensure that your shower is properly sealed.


Will shower tray sealant stain the shower or tiles?

No, shower tray sealant will not stain your shower or tiles. It is designed for this specific job, and the materials that it is made up of mean that it won't cause any staining to your bathroom areas.

Can you put new shower sealant over old sealant?

You should never apply a new shower sealant over the top of an old one. Old sealants will begin to degrade and will allow mould and moisture to seep through the cracks.

If you apply new sealant over old sealant, this problem will not be prevented, as the old sealant will still come away from the gaps and cause problems.

You should always remove the old sealant before applying a new sealant, no matter what state it is in. Applying new sealant over old sealant will also look very messy and unappealing.

How long do I need to wait after sealing my shower tray before using the shower?

Although most caulks will dry sooner, it is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before taking a shower after sealing it. This will ensure that the sealant is completely dry and will avoid any potential damage that could occur through contact with water before it is dry.

Should I seal my electric shower against the wall?

No, you should never seal an electric shower against the wall. There are gaps between the shower and the wall for a reason. Electric showers feature small ventilation areas, usually located in each of the four corners, and these prevent the shower from over-heating or collecting condensation. Applying silicone over these areas could be very dangerous and may put you and your family at risk.

How do I remove the old silicone from my shower tray?

You can remove old silicone from a shower tray easily. You will simply need to pry a small amount of the silicone up using a utility knife.

Then, once part of it is loose, you can then pinch the silicone and pull it away. Most of it should easily come away from the tray by hand. If there are any stubborn bits, use your knife again to pry these bit away and then continue pulling it with your fingers.

What is the best method for sealing a shower tray?

The best method for sealing a shower tray is the one that we have listed in our step-by-step guide. This involves removing the old sealant and then using a tube of caulk and a caulk gun to apply new sealant to the area.

You should use masking tape on either side of the joint for a clean finish, and you should ensure that you use a nozzle size that matches the amount of sealant that you need between the tray and the wall. A caulk gun will allow you to apply all of the sealant you need to your shower tray with limited to no mess whatsoever.


Ready to get a price for your home improvement project?
Get started

Over 1 million homeowners and over 50,000 tradespeople
use MyJobQuote nationwide each year