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Can You Fix The Gap Between Tub And Floor? (How To)

One of the many struggles that occur within the home is if you have a gap between the tub and the floor. As you will see, it can create a number of problems, and often, it is more than just a cosmetic issue. Is it possible to fix the gap?

For the most part, a gap between the bathtub and the floor can be filled with caulking. In order to do this properly, you sometimes need to use a caulking backer so it will hold in place and fill the gap for the long term.

White tub with wooden floor

Of course, not everybody wants to correct the problems that they have in the home with caulking. Can it work? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be the option that everybody will consider.

Can You Fix The Gap Between Tub And Floor?

This article is one that will help you to correct a problem that many homeowners face. The gap between the tub and the floor is sometimes there on purpose and sometimes due to improvements or perhaps even settling in the floor.

Regardless of why it is there, the desire to fill the gap so that it isn’t unsightly is seen among almost all homeowners. At the same time, it is important to ensure that these problems do not become larger, and this one certainly has the potential to do so.

Why You Should Fix The Gap Between Tub And Floor

White tub with tiles floor

The question as to whether you are physically able to fill the gap between the tub and the floor is easy to answer. On the other hand, the question as to whether you should do it or not is often a personal one.

Filling the gap between the tub and the floor helps to provide a more cosmetically appealing look to the bathroom. It also provides the benefit of sealing a gap that could potentially cause problems, including hiding pests and the development of mold.

Quite obviously, none of us want to have to deal with some of the serious problems that could occur as a result of the gap. In addition, there are some things that could be under the tub that you don’t realize.

In most homes, the bathtub is installed before the flooring. It is installed directly on the subfloor, so the flooring is something that comes up to meet it.

In the case of a floor that has settled, however, it really can be problematic. This can sometimes result in a gap, especially in a tub that has been installed tightly in place and meets the walls on both sides and the back.

If the floor is settling, then it may be an ongoing problem. Fixing the gap between the tub and the floor may be a temporary measure but eventually, additional measures may be necessary if the problem becomes too large.

On the other hand, there are times when a gap is built into the tub to provide a little airflow underneath it. This can be a problem, however, when the gap is visible in the bathroom. Why?

First of all, the gap is potentially allowing water to get underneath the tub and from that point, mold is not very far behind. In addition, it provides a safe location for pests, including insects and even rodents to hang out.

As you will see, it’s not difficult to fix the gap so if you have one, then you will find it beneficial to go ahead and do the job.

What Is Causing The Gap Between Tub And Floor?

Confused woman standing

There are a few reasons why a gap may exist between the tub and the floor. Understanding why they occur and help you to identify the ways you can correct the issue.

1. Installation – The most common reason why a gap exists between the tub and the floor is that the tub was installed higher than it should. There may be a small space between the tub and the floor but it should be small enough that it is covered by the finished floor.

2. Uneven Floor – If the subfloor under the tub is uneven, then gaps could form. This is an issue that can either be fixed by leveling the subfloor before the tub is installed or if the gap already exists, you can fill it using one of the methods outlined below.

3. Uneven Tub – Is the tub old? It is not out of the question for tubs to warp, and this may have been an issue for your home. There isn’t much that can be done unless you want to replace the tub.

4. Leaking Tub – One of the biggest issues that could take place is for the tub itself to leak. If it is an issue that occurs in your home, it could have damaged the subfloor and perhaps even the integrity of the floor.

How To Prevent Gaps From Forming Between Tub And Floor

Confused woman standing

They sometimes say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Is it possible to prevent a gap from forming between the floor and the tub?

The easiest way to prevent gaps between the tub and the floor is to fix the subfloor and ensure it is level prior to installing the tub. You should also make sure that the tub is installed properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions so that it doesn’t leak or warp.

Unfortunately, the only way to truly prevent the gap from forming between the tub and the floor is to take action before the tub is installed. If the gap exists after the tub has been installed, then you have very limited options.

You could always build up the subfloor outside of the tub to make sure that the finished floor matches without a gap showing. This can be problematic because you would also need to raise the level of the toilet and the cabinets as well.

Sometimes, it’s not a matter of preventing the problem but rather, it is an issue of fixing it. We have three different ways that you can fix this problem below.

3 Ideas To Fix The Gap Between Tub And Floor

Confused woman standing

1. Use Caulking

One of the more common materials that are used in construction is caulking. It can fill a gap in hidden places and if it is used properly, it can fill a visible gap as well.

Using a bead of caulking along the floor and tub is a great way to hide a small gap that exists in the area. It should be wiped carefully so that the caulking is as seamless as possible.

As the gap gets larger between the tub and the floor, it becomes more and more difficult to hide the issue. That is why it is important to use a caulk backer rod if possible.

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The caulk backer rod is essentially a piece of material that holds the caulking in place. Rather than relying on the strength of the caulking to fill the gap and hold itself in place, you are actually using something that does both.

2. Install Quarter Round

Sometimes, one of the best options is to simply use a piece of trim. There are a number of choices available for doing this when you have a gap between the tub and the floor.

Since you are working in an area where water is likely to be an issue, using a piece of wood trim is going to be out of the question. Any water that gets under the trim would quickly rot the wood and then you would have additional problems.

Fortunately, they do have trim that is specific for this purpose. This includes some that are made out of vinyl or PVC. Not only is it impervious to water, but it also looks very beautiful because it is designed for the area.

The type of trim that you can install in the area is quite diverse. For the most part, however, all that is typically needed is a piece of quarter-round.

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Measure the widest part of the gap and use a piece of quarter-round that is larger than that size. That will ensure that the entire gap is closed from one end to the other.

One other option is to use a piece of rubber quarter-round. This is a very specialized material that is perfect for use in this area. The rubber allows it to flex, so it can easily be installed in the area and it will not rot if water is a problem.

The fact that the rubberized material can flex allows it to stay close to the floor. For the most part, you won’t notice any change in elevation on the top of the strip but the closeness to the floor allows it to be sealed with a small bead of caulking.

After installing the trim, make sure that you caulk the area between the trim and the floor to keep water from getting under it.

3. Use a Marble Strip

One other option to consider is using a piece of marble molding. This type of marble strip can really hide the gap well and it looks beautiful if you can get the molding to match the floor.

Although this is an option to consider, it is only one that is used in very specific situations. For example, you wouldn’t want to use a marble strip in an area that is using a porcelain tile.

Then again, if you can get a piece of molding that is the same material as the tile floor, it can be used to create a beautiful transition between the floor and the tub and hide any gap that exists.

It is possible to fix a gap between the tub and the floor using either caulking or a piece of quarter-round. Make sure that you are using material that is appropriate for use in an area where water could be a problem.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 20, 2022.

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