The Best Caulk for Perfectly Sealed Showers and Tubs

Learn what caulk is right for your bathroom project, and enlist one of our picks for good-looking, long-lasting results.

Best Overall

Tube of Gorilla Waterproof Silicone Caulk on a white background

Gorilla Silicone Sealant Caulk

Best Bang For The Buck

Tube of DAP Kwik Seal Plus White Premium Caulk on a white background

DAP Kwik Seal Plus White Premium Caulk

Best For Small Repairs

Tube of GE Advanced Silicone 2 Kitchen & Bath Sealant on a white background

GE Advanced Silicone 2 Kitchen u0026amp; Bath Sealant

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While DIYers can obsess about caulking technique, the truth is that laying down the perfect bead will do little good if you don’t use the right caulk for the job. This viscous, waterproof paste is primarily used to seal joints where two surfaces meet (e.g., where the tub meets the wall) or to fill cracks (which commonly crop up in the shower floor) to keep out air, moisture, and dirt.

To defend your shower or tub against these threats, the garden-variety latex caulk commonly used on drywall, window frames, and wooden doors simply won’t cut it. The best caulk for the shower or tub has special properties that keep it pristine and structurally intact in the unique environment of the bathroom.

With so many kinds of bathroom caulk available, it can be tough to figure out which is the best for your situation. We talked to an expert who knows exactly where most homeowners can go wrong with caulking their shower, and took their advice on board when picking our products. Then, we performed hands-on testing with the following caulks in order to suggest only top-notch products.

With that in mind, we selected the Gorilla Waterproof Silicone Caulk & Seal as our best overall caulk for showers for its waterproof, shrink- and crack-proof, and rain-ready formula with a 30-minute drying time.

Read on for aspects to consider when buying caulk for your bathroom project and see why we find the following products to be some of the best caulk for showers.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Gorilla Waterproof Silicone Caulk & Seal 
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: DAP Kwik Seal Plus White Premium Caulk
  3. BEST FOR SMALL REPAIRS: GE Advanced Silicone 2 Kitchen & Bath Sealant 
  4. BEST MILDEW PREVENTION: Mold Armor Silicone Mold Free Caulk & Sealant
  5. BEST QUICK-DRYING: GE Supreme Silicone Kitchen & Bath Sealant
  6. BEST PAINTABLE: Red Devil Kitchen & Bath Siliconized Acrylic Caulk
  7. BEST FOR SEAMS: DAP Kwik Seal Ultra White Advanced Siliconized Caulk
  8. ALSO CONSIDER: Loctite Polyseamseal Acrylic Caulk with Silicone
The Best Shower Caulk Options
Photo: Tom Scalisi

How We Tested the Best Caulk for Showers

Before rounding up our products for testing, we interviewed Roy Barnes, co-owner of Service Force Plumbing in Rockville Maryland, who has several decades of plumbing experience and wanted to share his two cents on shower caulk. “We regularly get service calls for ‘leaking pipes’ that turn out to simply be poor or worn-out waterproofing. Customers will see spots on their ceiling below their bathroom, and they’ll pay a plumber for a service call, when in fact their shower or tub just needs better caulking to prevent water from escaping.” He adds that “keeping your shower or tub properly caulked is a key step to avoid water damage, mold, and confusion over where dripping water might be coming from.”

With this advice in mind, we took steps to gather the top products available and put them to the test.

Originally, we were going to set up a bunch of fiberglass boxes and caulk all the seams with the different types of caulk, but we scrapped that idea in favor of replacing a shower. So we ordered a shower and set about installing it, using the caulks to waterproof the enclosure.

Each of the caulks (except for the bronze one) was used to caulk a seam inside the shower, and we checked each seam at the designated time to ensure it was dry. Next, for caulks that were paintable, we applied them to the scrap shower we removed and let them dry. After they dried, we painted them and tested their flexibility.

With those tests behind us, we had a good idea of which products were a hit or not. We used those tests and personal experience to develop our list of the best caulk for a shower.

Our Top Picks

There is a lot to know about choosing the best caulk for a shower or a tub, and shopping for just the right product can feel overwhelming. To help, we performed hands-on testing with all of the following products. After using them, we chose certain awards that we felt best fit their strengths. Use our observations and the above considerations when looking for caulk for your shower space.

Best Overall

Gorilla Silicone Sealant Caulk

Product Specs 

  • Type: Silicone
  • Paintable: No
  • Dry time: 30 minutes


  • Dries completely waterproof, shrink- and crack-proof, and rain-ready
  • Clear finish is barely noticeable; suitable for applications around tubs and tiles
  • Won’t yellow or crack over time due to the mold- and mildew-resistant formula
  • Flowed well and easy to tool during the application process


  • This formula is not paintable; may not be ideal for some users’ needs
  • Cannot be applied in aquariums or on brick, cement, masonry, or metals

Gorilla’s adhesives tend to be a step above the competition, and the same is true for this clear sealant caulk. This 100 percent silicone caulk adheres to most bathroom surfaces easily to create a mold- and mildew-resistant barrier. It remains flexible throughout its life, and it won’t shrink or crack like some siliconized caulks might. It dries in just 30 minutes, making it useful for quick repairs or even full bathroom installations.

During testing, we found Gorilla caulk & seal to be a top-quality product. It applied easily and created a strong bond for the shower surround. Once dry, we found it was barely noticeable, and the fact that it remains flexible and won’t yellow leads us to believe it’ll stay unnoticeable. While it’s not paintable, this product will work on any seam that needs to be waterproof but doesn’t need a coat of paint. We also liked that it flowed well, was easy to tool, and was not too sticky to tool with a wet finger.

Be advised that this product is not suitable for use in aquariums or on brick, masonry, metals, or cement.

Get the Gorilla caulk at Amazon or Walmart.

Best Bang for the Buck

DAP Kwik Seal Plus White Premium Caulk

Product Specs 

  • Type: Siliconized latex
  • Paintable: Yes
  • Dry time: 2 hours (paintable), 24 hours (shower-ready)


  • Made with a paintable, Microban-infused formula for fighting mildew, mold, and fungal growth
  • Creates a 100 percent waterproof formula once fully dried; suitable for ceramic and plastic tile, porcelain, metal, and more
  • Applies easily and forms a strong and last bond


  • Takes over 24 hours to be shower-ready; this is longer than the average caulk for a shower

Anyone shopping for an affordable caulk that will get the job done for less than half the cost of some of its competitors may want to check out DAP Kwik Seal Plus. This siliconized latex caulk creates a 100 percent waterproof barrier and features Microban for antimicrobial protection that fights stain-causing mold, fungus, and mildew. Its paintable formula requires 2 hours of drying time before applying paint, and then 24 hours before showering. According to the manufacturer, this option has outstanding adhesion to ceramic and plastic tile, porcelain, metal, cultured marble, drywall, metal, painted surfaces, glass, fiberglass, and wood.

Kwik Seal Plus is affordable, but it’s not low on quality. We liked how easy this product was to apply, but it was even easier to clean up—a wet rag is all it took to clean some excess from the tub surface. While the 2-hour dry time seems to betray the product’s “Kwik” moniker, our applied caulk appeared to dry slightly faster (about an hour in our conditions). This allowed us to test it with paint on a spare surface. It passed this test well, taking paint without issue.

Get the DAP Kwik Seal Plus caulk at The Home Depot.

Best for Small Repairs

GE Advanced Silicone 2 Kitchen & Bath Sealant

Product Specs 

  • Type: Silicone
  • Paintable: No
  • Dry time: 30 minutes to 24 hours


  • Durable silicone formula dries waterproof and lasts for over 10 years
  • Suitable for a variety of materials; adheres to metals, plastic, wood, glass, tile, and fiberglass
  • Flexible formula is made to be shrink- and crack-proof for long-term dependability


  • Formula is not paintable; may not suit some bathrooms’ current color schemes

Cracks, leaks, and other shower woes can happen in some challenging spaces, and getting a caulking gun into position can be tricky. However, with a 2.8-ounce or 10.1-ounce tube of Advanced Silicone from GE, DIYers can make repairs in both tight and large spots. This shrink- and crack-proof caulk features a 100 percent silicone formula that remains flexible and waterproof for up to 10 years. It is low-odor and adheres to metals, plastic, wood, glass, tile, and fiberglass, and it dries in 30 minutes.

Here’s what we noticed about the GE Advanced Silicone: It might be a lot of work to caulk a whole shower with these tubes, for but small repairs, they’re incredibly convenient. They’re easy to use yet still apply consistent beads of silicone. While we prefer our shower caulk in white, this clear silicone was barely visible and created a strong, flexible seal.

Get the GE Advanced Silicone caulk at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Ace Hardware, or Walmart.

Best Mildew Prevention

Mold Armor Silicone Mold Free Caulk & Sealant

Product Specs 

  • Type: Silicone
  • Paintable: No
  • Dry time: 30 minutes to 24 hours


  • Silicone formula is 100 percent resistant to mold and mildew; will not yellow, shrink, or crack
  • Can be applied to glass, wood, granite, aluminum, ceramic, fiberglass, marble, metal, and painted surfaces
  • The 5.5-ounce tube is a convenient size; suitable for applying in small cracks
  • Creates a strong barrier in 30 minutes and fully cures in 24 hours


  • First inch of caulk was clear upon application; manufacturer lists this item as a white caulk

Moldy or mildewy showers aren’t very appealing, and this product from Mold Armor can help prevent them from occurring. The Mold Armor Mold-Free Caulk has a silicone formula with fungicides to create a 100 percent waterproof bond while also protecting those nooks and crannies from mold and mildew for 20 years. It can be applied to glass, wood, granite, ceramic, painted surfaces, fiberglass, marble, metal, and aluminum. It applies easily, thanks to the convenient squeeze tube, and it’s water-ready in 30 minutes and completely dries in 24 hours.

When we first used this product, we thought we got a dud: The first inch of caulk that we squeezed from the tube was clear, despite the tube’s “white” designation. However, as we kept squeezing, the caulk turned white and all was well. This product was easy to apply, and the 5.5-ounce tube is a nice meet-in-the-middle between a small tube and a large caulking gun. We liked that this product created strong, flexible barriers and took only 30 minutes to dry. While it’ll take 20 years to prove that this product is as mold-resistant as it claims, it works very well as a shower caulk.

Get the Mold Armor caulk at The Home Depot.

Best Quick-Drying

GE Supreme Silicone Kitchen & Bath Sealant

Product Specs 

  • Type: Silicone
  • Paintable: No
  • Dry time: 30 minutes to 24 hours


  • 100 percent silicone formula dries completely waterproof and mold-resistant for long-term use
  • The flexible formula should not shrink, crack, or yellow with use
  • Affordable price point compared to other caulks on the market


  • Not a paintable formula; may not fit into some bathroom spaces’ current color schemes

A quick-drying caulk doesn’t do much good if a DIYer has to redo it when it shrinks and cracks. That’s not the case with GE’s Supreme Silicone. This special, low-odor formula creates a waterproof and mold-resistant barrier that doesn’t shrink, crack, or yellow over time. And, better yet, it does it while drying in just 30 minutes, but users should wait up to 24 hours for the best results.

We used the Supreme Silicone along the longest seam in our test tub and shower, and we were very happy with the result. Not only did it flow well, but it was also reasonably easy to clean up after (for a silicone caulk). Our bead dried in 30 minutes, and the bright white caulk gave the seam a nice finished look. We did have a relatively large gap in the bottom of the surround that we needed to apply a bit extra to, and the 30-minute dry time was a big boost. The only downside that we found is this product isn’t paintable.

Get the GE Sealants & Adhesives caulk at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Ace Hardware.

Best Paintable

Red Devil Kitchen & Bath Siliconized Acrylic Caulk

Product Specs 

  • Type: Siliconized
  • Paintable: Yes
  • Dry time: 72 hours


  • Paintable formula will not crack or stretch; keeps applied paint looking fresh and crisp
  • Made with a HomeShield Antimicrobial protection that keeps the formula mold- and mildew-free
  • Can be applied to porcelain, ceramic, marble, glass, plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, metal, and wood
  • Low-VOC formula is ideal for the chemical-conscious consumer


  • Has the longest drying time of any caulk on this list; may not be ideal for some users

It can be tough to find a caulk for a shower or tub that creates a good seal with plenty of adhesion and also takes paint well, but Red Devil’s Duraguard Kitchen & Bath Caulk does the trick. This low-VOC product features a special formula that adheres to porcelain, ceramic, marble, glass, plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, and more, though it takes up to 72 hours to dry. It also has a HomeShield Antimicrobial protection that keeps the formula mold- and mildew-free.

Here’s the thing about Red Devil Duraguard Kitchen & Bath Caulk: the drying time is very long, and it’s important to wait to prevent brush strokes or pulling some of the caulk from the bead. However, we found that once we let it dry, it took paint well while remaining fairly flexible. We liked that it can adhere to a variety of surfaces to create a waterproof barrier, and it comes in white, clear, and tan.

Get the Red Devil caulk at Amazon.

Best for Seams

DAP Kwik Seal Ultra White Advanced Siliconized Caulk

Product Specs 

  • Type: Siliconized
  • Paintable: No
  • Dry time: 4 hours to 24 hours


  • Siliconized, waterproof formula repels stains, dirt, and water for protection against mold and mildew
  • Very quick drying time; the formula is water-ready within just 4 hours
  • Stain-proof formula will not cause any yellowing; should not crack with long-term exposure to moisture
  • Low-odor and low-VOC formula is ideal for the chemical-conscious consumer


  • Formula is not paintable; may not be ideal for some shoppers’ preferences

Whether it’s a new shower going in or a shower getting a refresh, DAP Kwik Seal Ultra can help those seams blend in for a fresh, clean look. This low-odor and low-VOC caulk features a siliconized formula that dries to a glossy white finish and repels stains, dirt, and water, providing a waterproof surround when used to caulk seams. The resulting bead won’t crack or shrink and remains flexible after drying (which takes 4 hours) while offering stain-proof protection. For best results, users should wait over 24 hours before exposing the caulk to water.

Of all the caulks we used on the shower seams, this one dried to the nicest finish. It has a slightly shinier finish than the others, which blends in well with the shower surround. It flowed well and was easy to tool and clean up. The result was a clean, sharp seam that looks good, despite the 4-hour drying time necessary before we could check it out. The one thing that threw us for a loop is that this product isn’t paintable, even though it’s not 100 percent silicone.

Get the Dap Kwik Seal caulk at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Ace Hardware.

Also Consider

Loctite Polyseamseal Acrylic Caulk with Silicone

Product Specs 

  • Type: Siliconized acrylic
  • Paintable: Yes
  • Dry time: 30 minutes to 24 hours


  • Flexible and waterproof formula will not crack or split over time, even after painting
  • Can be exposed to water after just 30 minutes for quick project turnaround
  • Adheres well to a variety of surfaces including wood, drywall, plaster, metal, brick, concrete, masonry, and painted surfaces


  • Bronze did not accept the light-colored paint well (white would probably do much better)
  • This caulk should be allowed to dry for 24 hours before oil-based paint is applied

For yet another shower caulk option, check out Loctite Polyseamseal Acrylic Caulk with Silicone. This product features a special siliconized acrylic formula to help it remain flexible and waterproof, and it can even work as an adhesive in some cases (like securing loose backsplash tiles). The formula is paintable once dry, which takes just 30 seconds to accomplish when using latex paints. However, users who rely on oil-based paints should wait 24 hours before applying.

We’ll be honest: We did not apply the bronze-colored Loctite Polyseamseal Acrylic Caulk we received to the new white shower surround. Instead, we tried it on the scrap tub we removed, and we liked what we found. First, it adhered well to the fiberglass surround and dried in just 30 minutes, allowing us to test it out with some paint (which it didn’t handle especially well, mostly due to the caulk’s dark color). Luckily, this product is also available in white or clear. It also cleaned up easily, which we discovered when we dripped some on the floor near the scrap tub.

Get the Loctite caulk at Amazon or Walmart.


DAP INC 18152/11440 10.1oz White Alex Plus Caulk

DAP’s White Alex Plus Caulk features a special formula bolstered by added silicone for additional water resistance. The purpose of this formula is to create a waterproof product that also accepts paint well and dries in 30 minutes.

In full disclosure, this is an excellent caulk. However, it’s more suitable for the trim around the shower than it is for the seams or gaps actually within the shower. We have personal experience with this caulk, and we know it does have a tendency to shrink slightly, meaning it could leave a seam open to water penetration.

While we did test it, and it worked well, we know it will shrink a bit once fully cured. For that reason, it’s better to keep it out of the shower, but it will do just fine in the rest of the bathroom space.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing Caulk for Showers and Tubs

Finding the best caulk for a shower or tub requires thorough knowledge of the types of caulk on the market, the formula of the caulk, and if it offers the best long-term solution to mold or mildew. To determine the best option for a given bathroom space, consider some of the factors below.

Types of Caulk for Showers and Tubs 

Caulk made of pure silicone or siliconized latex/acrylic (i.e., latex or acrylic caulk with added silicone) adheres well to common shower and tub materials, including porcelain, ceramic, stone, fiberglass, and glass.

  • Choose pure silicone for a more durable caulk job that won’t come in contact with paint afterward. It’s more waterproof and flexible, so it better resists rot, rarely cracks with thermal expansion (when the shower or tub material expands or contracts with temperature changes), and lasts longer (40 or more years). However, it doesn’t take paint well and is about 10 percent more expensive than the alternative.
  • Siliconized latex/acrylic caulk, on the other hand, is easier to apply and correct than sticky pure silicone, which can be a real pain if you make a mistake during application. But it’s less moisture resistant and more likely to crack with thermal expansion, so a caulk job will be more short lived (30 to 40 years).

Packaging Options

Caulk is sold in small squeeze tubes or large cylindrical cartridges, each type suited for different scale projects and requiring a unique application. Generally, cartridges are suited for large caulking jobs, such as sealing the perimeter of a tub, as they contain more caulk by volume and afford more precise application. But they must be loaded into a caulking gun and dispensed by pressing down on the gun’s trigger.

Squeeze tubes are better for small-scale projects, such as filling a crack in the shower floor. The caulk can easily be applied by hand with a simple squeeze of the tube, but it has a smaller coverage area because there’s less of it by volume.

Mildew and Mold Prevention

Most pure silicone and siliconized latex/acrylic caulks are formulated with mildewcides and fungicides (chemicals that destroy mildew or fungus, respectively) to minimize the formation of stain-causing mildew or mold on the caulk.

For a rot-proof caulk job, check the packaging for the terms “for bath,” “mildew-proof,” or “mold-proof,” along with the number of years the caulk can be expected to hold up to mildew and mold.

Color Choices

Both pure silicone and siliconized latex caulk are sold in a variety of colors, including clear, white, cream, and brown. Painting over caulks labeled “paintable” gives you even more color options.

Clear caulk, the most versatile choice, blends into showers and tubs that range in color from light to dark; it’s your best option if you want to ensure that there is no contrast between the color of the caulk and the shower or tub. White caulk, which pairs well with most shower and tub colors, is a good option if you’re caulking a white shower or a tub or have darker fixtures and don’t mind a color contrast between the caulk and the shower or the tub.

Dry and Cure Times

Pay attention to two time frames listed on the caulk package: dry time and cure time. Dry time refers to how long it takes for the caulk to dry to the touch, whereas the cure time refers to when the caulk will fully set and be ready for use and exposure to water. Pure silicone and siliconized latex/acrylic caulks have similar dry and cure times—anywhere from half an hour to 12 hours to dry and 2 hours to 10 days to cure.

If only caulking the shower or the tub in the house, choose caulks with dry and cure times on the low end of these ranges so that the bath won’t be out of commission for days.


While the hands-on reviews can be extremely helpful for many shopping for shower caulk, every situation is different. Often specific questions arise, so below are answers to some of the most popular questions about caulk for showers and tubs.

Q. Is there a difference between caulk and sealant?

Yes, there is a difference. Although the terms are used interchangeably, caulk and sealant differ in elasticity. Both fill cracks or seams, but caulk is more rigid and sealant is more flexible. Sealant can hold up better in areas where materials expand and contract.

Q. Do you caulk the inside of a shower enclosure?

You should caulk any areas of the shower enclosure where water can get in, especially when the existing caulk begins to crack or crumble. This ensures that the shower will never leak and cause light to extreme water damage.

Q. How do I keep my shower caulking white?

The best way to keep shower caulking white is to make sure it has no cracks to let mildew in. Keep the caulk clean and scrub stubborn stains off with a soft brush like a toothbrush. To clean naturally, try a paste of baking soda mixed with water or vinegar, or use bleach or your regular bathroom cleaner. A caulk or grout pen can hide some stains that remain after cleaning.

Q. Is black mold in shower caulk dangerous?

Any sign of mold or mildew on or around shower caulk is a sign that water can be getting through. Clean it thoroughly and evaluate the existing caulk to see if it needs replacing, taking proper safety precautions when removing the moldy caulk.

Q. How do you prevent mold in shower caulking?

If mold is a problem in a shower, choose a silicone sealant for the best chance of keeping water and mildew out. Ventilate the bathroom to remove moisture from the air when showering and re-caulk as needed to make sure water does not seep through cracks in the caulk.

Meet the Tester

Tom Scalisi is a full-time DIY and construction writer for many of the largest websites in the industry, including, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Forbes as well as his own pest control blog. He spent years working in the trades and industrial building maintenance.


Manasa Reddigari has tackled topics ranging from computer software to home remodeling in her more-than-a-decade-long career as a writer and editor. During her stint as a scribe, she’s been featured by leading outlets in the real estate, home improvement, and lifestyle niches such as Trulia, Stikwood, and Brit + Co. Her design philosophy is, if you can dream it, you can DIY it! Connect with her on her website,, or LinkedIn to find out what she’s been writing about lately.