How to Improve the Look of Your Shower

8 Materials
3 Days

If you want to make a big impact in the look of your shower or bathtub, refreshing the caulk is the project for you! Hard water spots? We cover this as well!

Caulk is the white stuff, or at least it starts out white, that is put between surfaces to keep out water. You'll most likely find it wherever two different materials touch each other like the tub and the tile.

This caulk is very susceptible to mold and mildew, and eventually discolors to the point where it can no longer be cleaned and does degrade over time. If you experience any of these issues, it's time to re-caulk!

The caulk in Steph's shower is probably 25 years old--it was time for a refresh! Take a look at how we tackled this DIY friendly project.

A picture is worth a 1,000 words, AND a video is even better. Take a look to see the process in action!

Here's an example of where we are starting in the shower. The caulk is worn, dirty, and in some places, missing! At the end of the video, we talk about that damage on the aluminum and how it probably happened.

The first step is also the most time consuming and tedious. You have to remove ALL the old caulk. We used a variety of tools including this very handy plastic razor blade. We've had this inexpensive tool a few months and find ourselves reaching for it to use in many of our projects. We keep one in the kitchen junk drawer and one in the garage.

We also used this black stick to get into these flat areas. Much better than a metal tool that could scratch the aluminum.

This is the standard caulk removal tool that worked well on the corners. Steph took a few days to work on the caulk removal as it was slow work.

You can access a full list of the materials we used on our blog page by clicking here.

Once all the caulk was removed, we throughly cleaned the area. This little power scrubber helped make short work of that process. Before you re-caulk make sure the area is DRY.

For the hard water spots on the glass and aluminum, Steph found this product that works on both materials. It's eco-friendly and non-toxic! It worked a bit on the shower at Steph's house, but because there had been deferred maintenance in this shower, the water spotting seems to be permanently etched into the glass.

We headed to my house to get better photos of the product in action. This is an example of what the glass looks like in my shower.

To use the Quick-Glo, you simply put a little on a microfiber cloth and clean in a circular motion. As the product disappears, so do the water spots on the chrome and glass!

Here's another example....BEFORE...

...and AFTER. Pretty cool! It takes some elbow grease but once it's done, it's supposed to help protect from future water spotting.

Once everything is clean and dry, it's time to re-caulk! We are using a battery powered caulk gun. We find it easier than a manual one. Prep your caulk tube by snipping the tip and puncturing the seal. There is usually a puncturing tool on the caulk gun itself for this purpose.

On the outside of the shower, where mistakes would be more visible, we used painter's tape to get a nice clean line. Lay down a bead of caulk and then use a wet finger to smooth it into place. Remove the tape before the caulk sets.

Steph did the same procedure inside the shower, but without the tape.

So much better! New caulk and hard water spot removal makes the shower look so much better!

Here's another post about Steph's shower where we tried out Wet & Forget Shower Cleaner.

Resources for this project:

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • KL KL on Sep 10, 2019

    What's a black stick?

  • Sharon Rhymes Matlock Sharon Rhymes Matlock on Sep 17, 2019

    How long does the caulk need to dry?

  • Sandra L Warren Sandra L Warren on Aug 25, 2021

    After your glass is cleaned have you tried using rain-x sprayed on it to help prevent build-up and water spots? It really works in keeping it clean much longer.


Join the conversation

4 of 18 comments
  • Jan Jan on Aug 25, 2021

    We took the glass doors out of both bathrooms in our house, they were there when we bought the house. No idea how long they had been there, but my guess was at least 30+ years. Under the metal was pure moldy nastiness. I used bleach to clean and it was still nasty. We use shower curtains and it actually made the bathrooms look better and more updated.

    So much easier to clean a shower curtain.....

    • Pat Pat on Aug 25, 2021

      Agree! To each their own . . . but my $900 fancy glass shower doors are under one of the beds and an easy-dry curtain hangs in our bathroom now.

  • Paulah Paulah 5 days ago

    Not a question so much as a tip… for Steph’s “permanently etched” glass door water spots. A glass installer once told me his trade secret for getting even the oldest, crustiest water spots off of a glass shower door: CLR toilet bowl cleaner gel! Just squirt it liberally on the affected piece of glass, wear some protective rubber cleansing gloves, if the spots are especially bad, use a scotch pad ( the green flat scouring pad type thing) to wipe the toilet gel all over the glass, give the worst areas a nice scrub down, let the gel sit just a few minutes, then hose that stuff off and see those water spots disappear! 😉