How do I apply a decent silicone bead?

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Hi guys,

I have almost finished renovating the bathroom however the last major obstacle i just cannot conquer is applying the silicone.

I have tried applying a bead, spraying it with a washing up liquid/water mix and smoothing it with my finger, i just couldn't get it straight.

I then tried it with masking tape, when peeling the tape didn't cause a defect that needed going over with the finger (resulting in the above) the bead still had that dreaded ridge along the edges.

Today i have tried using the Cramer Fugi tool, works pretty decent on the 1st pass, however i find if you have to stop to wipe away excess silicone, or to re-go over a defect the silicone starts to sort of pull losing the smooth finish. Even tried the washing up liquid spray over it but no difference.

I have been through tube after tube of silicone trying to do this however i just cannot get a decent finish.

Im using Bal silicone to match the colour of the grout.

Does anybody have any more tips, youtube videos always seem to go over the same techniques I have already tried.

Thanks
 
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There are a few threads on this subject in the general DIY section, maybe have a search, I favour (good) masking tape pressed down really hard and a wet (with water) finger, the seal should only be maybe 2 or 3mm, really squidge it in there, needless to say everything should be miraculously clean and free of old beforehand.
 
I suspect that you might not be cutting the nozzle to the right width of bead. In an ideal world, the unsmoothed bead should look almost good enough to leave as it is. I appreciate that the bead required often varies though.

The surface pulling problem is a pain- been there many times. AFAIK, humid weather will speed up the time that it takes for the skin to form. *THINKS- next time I have to silicone I might put the tube in the fridge first*

When working with very irregular gaps, sometimes I use tape and a fugi. Working fast and then removing the tape and using my finger to remove the edge ridges.
 
Masking tape is unsuitable as it has a rough edge and sticks poorly to tile.
You can get metallic tape on a dispenser which applies at a measured distance from wall specifically for this job.Its very thin so leaves little by way of a lip. Always remove tape at obtuse angle to avoid lip. Always found finger to be better than any tool as it can follow contours on tile where tool fails, and tool requires exact 90 degrees between surfaces to be effective and has tendency to mess up at grout lines .
Most important thing though is practise, practise and more practise.
 
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I can remember some Italian guys fitting some granite worktops on a job I was involved in.

It took one guy about 5 minutes or so to do the siliconing around the back between worktop and upstand on a biggish U shaped room. No special gun or anything, no masking, no fingers.

I checked it later on, thinking it would be crap as it was done so fast.....but no it was pretty near on perfect.

so yes, I would say practice is the answer!
 
After the masking tape is removed the trick is to then run your (wet) finger gently along again, no ridges will be left. Works for me.
 
I can remember some Italian guys fitting some granite worktops on a job I was involved in.

It took one guy about 5 minutes or so to do the siliconing around the back between worktop and upstand on a biggish U shaped room. No special gun or anything, no masking, no fingers.

I checked it later on, thinking it would be crap as it was done so fast.....but no it was pretty near on perfect.

so yes, I would say practice is the answer!
With two smooth surfaces I don’t use any tape as it’s fairly simple to get a good finish.The Op is doing a bathroom with tiles .
 
My "tip" is to fill all the big gaps, holes etc with a first pass and let it set - this will make the final bead more "regular". Very strong solution of washing up liquid and water, clean finger and timing - I would say after you've applied about 2m at DIY speed you should be smoothing it. A pack of (aldi) baby wipes to clean your finger and remove any excess. And just lots of practice. If you smear a bit you can usually carefully clean it with a baby wipe wrapped round your finger.
 
My "tip" is to fill all the big gaps, holes etc with a first pass and let it set - this will make the final bead more "regular". Very strong solution of washing up liquid and water, clean finger and timing - I would say after you've applied about 2m at DIY speed you should be smoothing it. A pack of (aldi) baby wipes to clean your finger and remove any excess. And just lots of practice. If you smear a bit you can usually carefully clean it with a baby wipe wrapped round your finger.
If you have big gaps and holes you need to start again.
 
Sorry, I meant in the corners where the tiles on each wall don't quite meet. I like to fill these in first to give a consistent base for the final bead.
 
Sorry, I meant in the corners where the tiles on each wall don't quite meet. I like to fill these in first to give a consistent base for the final bead.
Regrout so you have a perfect joint then small bead of silicone
 

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