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Let's set the scene:

The horizontal surfaces of the bathtub in my apartment are flat. We have a double shower curtain (with the waterproof bit that hangs on the inside of the tub and the fabric bit that hangs on the outside of the tub) and are careful not to splash too much, but the flat top bits of the tub still get water on them when you reach for stuff. The floor in the bathroom is very slightly slanted, so the open side of the bathtub is slightly lower than the wall side of the bathtub. This means that any water that gets dripped onto the short end of the tub (the side with the showerhead) drips down to the floor, and then slowly flows across the bathroom floor to the opposite wall.

Not ideal.

We rent this apartment, so replacing or making major upgrades to the tub is not really an option. (We will have trouble convincing the management company that a few drops of water on the floor merit remodeling the bathroom, since there's no actual leak involved here.)

I need a way to catch the water that wants to drip off the edge of the bathtub and redirect it back down into the tub. (My current plan is to use some foam tubing and rubber sheeting to create a sort of ramp... thing... around the corner of the tub, but I bet this community can generate some ideas that will both look and work much better.)

Additional info: Turns out I'm sort of a natural at drawing bathtubs. A diagram, in case you're confused by my description:

enter image description here

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It isn't so much a way to keep water IN the tub, but my wife and I have gotten in the habit of simply wiping up the area surrounding the tub after taking showers. We keep some cheap small towels around for just this task. If there is a specific path that the water typically takes, you can put a towel down in its path to stop it during the shower, then wipe up after you're done. –  Luke Dec 31 '12 at 19:46
    
@Luke: that works well when you have a good, water-proof floor and moulding in your bathroom, but if some wretched soul decided that carpeting was a good idea you're in for a world of hurt (while I was moving in, I made the mistake of putting my foot next to the corner of the tub, and it... kinda went through). –  Shog9 Dec 31 '12 at 20:20
    
Are there any small splash guards? –  user13039 May 16 '13 at 14:25

4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

You can buy bathtub splash guards such as the ones found here.

enter image description here

You should be able to find similar ones at your local hardware store. Most versions install in seconds, using easy peel and stick adhesive backings. No tools, no mess, and usually no waiting for caulks and/or glues to dry.

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Just ordered one of these. Will report back. –  Abby T. Miller Jan 3 '13 at 22:07

Have you considered Sugru?

enter image description here

In the words of its maker:

It moulds like play-dough, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight.

Another way to think about it is that it feels like clay, then turns into stuff a lot like the outside of an iphone charging cord. I think you could pretty easily use it to make something like a very thin ramp on the tub edge that guides water back into the tub (rather than splitting between in and out due to the currently flat surface).

One challenge is that it's designed for smaller patches, and is expensive when you start using a lot of it. If you only need it in the corners where the curtain isn't, you're probably fine, but doing the whole length could get costly, depending on how much "ramp" you need. It's also not super easy to remove when you move out, but you can cut off the bulk of it with a sharp knife, and then scratch of the remaining bits with your fingernail.

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Original suggestion. Thanks. –  JerryOL Jan 7 '13 at 18:15

I had this problem in my last house, but rather than Jaydles' fancy putty, I just grabbed a cheap tube of silicone caulk and ran a bead around the outside of the tub wall. A couple seconds to squeegee it off after the shower, and things stayed nice and dry.

Gratuitous image

If you're not great at drawing straight lines, use good-quality masking tape to get those perfect edges on it.

3M really makes very nice tape

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Where did you run the caulk? On the outside edge of the tub? Also: it's cute that you think we own a squeegee. –  Abby T. Miller Dec 31 '12 at 20:18
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I would do the outside edge, unless you're really confident in the stopping power of your inner curtain (mine let entirely too much water through during long showers). Of course, that does mean you'll have some wetness there until you wipe it off; if you don't have a squeegee, I'll be watching for the question on mildew removal... –  Shog9 Dec 31 '12 at 20:25

If the water problem is primarily just right at the one end, you could cut a shallow triangular piece of plexiglass, with a nice stylish curve if you like, and glue it into the corner with silicone sealant. It will also stop splash water that seems to get around the curtain end. It looks more purposeful than some stuff gooped near the edge. It can be removed as much as any silicone can be removed.

Something like this should work...

enter image description here

You can cut plexiglass much as you'd cut thin plywood, and the edges can be sanded to be smooth and slightly rounded. Similar products might be found already manufactured, ready to be glued in place.

You'll still want to mop up any standing water or water mineral deposits will develop. Nice perspective drawing of your situation btw!

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Nice idea - can you provide more detail about cutting the plexiglass? –  Abby T. Miller Jan 1 '13 at 0:34
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I added a suggestion and some info to the answer. Plexi is cut with a fine toothed saw blade. –  bcworkz Jan 3 '13 at 4:53

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