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ponch37300 02-07-2009 01:15 AM

difference in caulks
Which caulks do you use where? Like in a kitchen/bath? Are all caulks paintable? What kind do you use for tiling in bathrooms?

I've had some caulk that turns out looking like crap and just trying to get a little better understanding off caulks and where to use different kinds. Where is the best place to get caulk? I haven't been to impressed with the stuff home depot sells. Thanks

Chemist1961 02-07-2009 06:46 AM

For general purpose indoors I prefer latex which wipes and washes off hands. For bathrooms and kitchens they are labelled as mildew resistant. Paintable types are also labelled as well as indoor/outdoor use.
I have used Alex and Dap products with good results however painters and flashing guys doing outside work will have their preferences.

Bob Mariani 02-07-2009 09:02 AM

Caulking is almost a science and they are all not created equal. As posted some are for indoors or outdoors some will except paint, some not. I stock about 20 different types since I do every trade. Even for bathtubs.. use a silicone Type I for gelcoat or porcelain or cast iron. This is will not except paint and will stay flexible. But for a fiberglass unit silicone will not stick so you need an acrylic caulk. for tiling you would buy an acrylic caulk that matchs the grout color from your tile supplier. Better caulks are available at the supplier that handles the products you are using it for. Like I said, tub form the plumber roofing from your roofing supply. Caulks that will accept paint must be painted or they will yellow and deteriorate quicker.

ponch37300 02-07-2009 08:57 PM

Thanks guys. That answered alot of questions.

Does anyone have any tips for applying the caulk? Like how to put it on and spread it with your finger and make it look nice?

Thanks again.

Termite 02-07-2009 09:45 PM

I always apply a tiny bead. In most cases, more caulk is not better.

You must do something to "tool" the bead of caulk into a desirable shape that will shed water and look good too. I normally use a moistened finger and pull my finger along the joint until it starts to load up with caulk, then clean my finger off. A wet rag in the other hand makes life easier. If a lot of caulk comes off on your finger, go with a smaller bead.

Bob Mariani 02-08-2009 06:48 AM

Actually if you do your research you will find that a lot of caulking that fails is due to too little caulk applied. Without enough bead size there is no room for flexing between the two areas you caulk. On siding you need 3/8" on brick, concrete and such you need 1/2". Since these areas are the most often caulked by commercial professional caulking specialists, I would say that most caulking is a wide bead, not a smaller bead.

Maintenance 6 02-09-2009 08:28 AM

Most caulk failures are caused by the person applying the caulk.
First. Select the right caulk for the job. Plaster, wood, drywall: use latex caulk. Cheap, fairly flexible, good adhesion, paintable.
Tubs, glass, metal, plastics: Use silicone. moderate cost, very flexible, excellent adhesion to non-porous surfaces, not paintable. Tub and tile, bath versions have mildewcides in the formula. Hybrid versions of blended acrylic latex and silicones are paintable. Masonry: Use urethane. Moderate cost, paintable, superior adhesion, good flexibility. Roofing materials: Use asphalt based. Usually low cost, fairly flexible, formulated to adhere to asphalt/oil based materials.
Second: thoroughly clean the area you plan to caulk. Caulk will not stick to dirt, soap scum, water or old, failed caulk. Use a toothbrush to scrub out tight joints. Wipe down areas to be caulked with silicone using de-natured alcohol. Let everything dry well.
Third: plan the joint. Caulk failures can occur because of poor joint design. Too much, too little, expecting caulks to fill gaps they are not capable of. Caulks are not fillers. They are sealants They can hide poor workmanship, at least for a while, but they cannot repair it.
Fourth: apply any backer rod or bond breaker tape. Then apply the caulk. Small bead. Don't go farther than you can tool. 2-3 feet is plenty. Tool the joint to force caulk into corners and recesses where it can bond. This also seals the edges of the joint. The wet finger works OK. I prefer to use denatured alcohol for silicones. Avoid using soaps to wet your finger, especially with latex caulks. Above all, keep joint dimensions within the limits set by the manufacturer. Here is a link that will give you some guidelines.

ponch37300 02-09-2009 12:00 PM

Thanks maintenance...Think I've got a better understanding of where to use which type of caulk.

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