This is the product that is referred to as “caulk”.
This is 100% silicone.
Hello from Kachunq. Today we are going to discuss the difference between silicone and caulk. I know there are some of us that may believe that it doesn’t really matter. Well, let me tell you there is a big difference between these products and what their uses are.
As we begin to look at a project we need to visualize the end product of what we are doing. As an example, we need to seal the seams of our new baseboards that we just installed. So which product do I want to use? Well, both will seal it, but only one is paintable. So we will want to use caulk. That in itself is one of the biggest differences; caulk is paintable and silicone is not. Below are the product characteristic:
Caulk: is paintable, not cracking, cleans up with water, and it is mold and mildew resistant.
Silicone: is non shrinking, permanently flexible, watertight, interior and exterior, and high adhesive ability.
If you analyze your project you can almost ensure where you would use these products. I do want to help so let me give you a few examples so you can see where these may go.
Caulk: wood trim that needs painted, tubs next to a painted wall, sinks and counter tops next to a painted wall, outside trim that gets painted, drywall corners that have cracked, drywall nail pops, small holes that need to be filled then painted, window areas that need to be painted, or an area that may need a cosmetic fix that gets painted.
Silicone: watertight seals, gutter seams, small siding holes or cracks, morter cracks that need to be watertight, roofing pipe boots, glue a loose shingle down, tub seams that don’t need to be painted, sink drains, windows or metal flashing, chimney flashing, glue sinks down to countertops, glue countertops to vanities, under sink pipes that need a little sealant, garbage disposal seal, satellite dish lag bolts, you can even use it to glue ceramic planters back together. Silicone has so many uses that I cannot begin to state them all but it is very versatile. Caution: it is toxic
You may need to ask yourself how to apply these products or clean them up. They make many tools or utensils to apply these, but the good Lord gave us ten of them and I have used them all. I prefer to use my fingers and thumbs at different angles. This works the best, with caulk I wet my fingers with water to get a nice smooth finish. When using silicone you will need to use mineral spirits or I prefer denatured alcohol. I want to caution you with silicone, once it sets up it is almost impossible to clean up.
There have been some improvements to these products that make them easier to use. You can now get these products in different size containers depending on the amount you need. They have one time use packets that have around 1.5 ounces, re-sealable tubes in 5.5 ounces, and the traditional tubes that you use the caulk gun to dispense. You also can get colors, I am not talking about the typical colors, they make products to match almost any siding color or even metal coil colors. Silicone is now low odor instead of that wonderful aroma you once had to deal with. They also put mold and mildew resistant formulas in them. I am sure there are so many more changes that I cannot think of, but they all have made our job easier.
These products are typically the finishing touches on your projects and can make the difference between a good finish and bad. I hope this information has been insightful and given you confidence when using them. Until the next time, Kachunq will be here for your practical DIY needs.
Notes: The product called silicone in this article will say “100% silicone” and caulk is labeled “siliconized latex caulk”. I would also like to thank Menards.com for the pictures in this article.