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Silicone sealants – A plumbers best friend

Silicone sealants are a plumber’s best friend, as they are great for stopping water, or just moisture, from seeping or leaking at joints in pipe work. But, it is important that they are applied correctly. If they are not, they won’t do their job properly and can look messy and unfinished.

smooth silicone seal

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Fortunately, there are some handy tricks that both plumbers and DIYers can use to ensure a smooth, even finish every time.


Using your finger is easy when you know how, but does take a bit of practice. The trick is to keep an even pressure down the full length of the silicone line, and if possible do it in a single movement. Do clean any silicone off your finger afterwards.

If the seal is not workable in a single movement, perhaps the length of a bath, work in sections to get a better overall finish. This is also a sensible option for a long line so that by the time the end is reached the first section hasn’t started to dry and become tacky.

Time Is of the Essence

You do need to be quick to smooth the silicone out, because once it starts to dry it can be extremely difficult to get the smart, smooth finish customers expect from their tradesmen. Be confident and deliberate.

Using a quality sealant will help. There are lots of good products available now, in stores and online from sites such as https://www.ct1.com/product-applications/replace-all-silicone-sealant-with-just-ct1-sealant/. If there are any ridges left once you have finished, run a damp rag along the line to even out the finish.


Arguably, the best way to get a smooth finish is to use masking tape. It’s a guaranteed straight line, and it does prevent the silicone from smearing so keeps the line very neat. It’s worth taking the time to do this properly, especially on very visible areas such as the seal on a bath tub. Put one line of tape along the edge of the bath itself, and then another just above it on the wall, leaving just the width of a bead of sealant between the two.

Once the sealant is dry, peel away the tape to reveal straight, sharp lines of silicone.

Practice is key for whatever method you use, and experience will help as that builds up.



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