The jobs that caulk can do are almost endless but you need to understand which caulk is right for the job you are doing. Here’s a little list of the most common ten types of caulk and the type of projects each can be used for.
1. Acrylic latex caulk. This caulk can be used for both indoor and outdoor projects. It can be used best to fill in gaps in moldings and baseboards and around door and window frames. It is fast drying and can be painted in 6-8 hours of applying. It also comes in different pigments so you can match a color to your job. This caulk is inexpensive and easy to apply. It should not be used in wet places or areas that will endure a lot of moisture. This caulk remains flexible and can be effective for 10-15 years.
2. Vinyl latex caulk. Vinyl latex caulk can be used in a variety of places, both interior and exterior. It is really good for small gaps around windows and doors and can also be used for tubs and showers because it withstands wet and damp areas well. It is also non-flammable and you can paint it. However, this type of caulk will lose flexibility and harden over time and so it will need to be replaced after about five years.
3. Siliconized acrylic caulk. This type of caulk combines silicone with acrylic latex caulk for a durable, waterproof formula. It is good for both interior and exterior projects and adheres well to most surfaces. It is especially good for tubs, tile, glass and ceramic tile surfaces. It comes in a clear version as well as a variety of colors, is non-flammable, can be painted and is mildew resistant. This caulk remains flexible for a long time and can have a life expectancy of over 25 years. It is also very easy to apply and cleans up with soap and water.
4. 100% Silicone caulk. Silicone caulk is excellent for sinks, tubs, showers , or any other area that has a lot of moisture. It will work well on non-porous surfaces such as ceramic tile, glass and metal surfaces and is mold and mildew resistant. However, this type of caulk does not adhere to wood surfaces, resists painting, and typically only comes in a clear or white color. Silicone caulk can be difficult to apply but does remain flexible when dry. It is non-toxic but it must be cleaned up with a solvent. Silicone caulk does tend to have a strong odor so you should plan your work in a well-ventilated place.
5. Painter’s caulk. This is an inexpensive latex caulk that painters use to fill in holes and cracks before painting. It can also be used in corners to provide a smooth joint where painters are using contrasting colors. This caulk applies easily and smoothly and adheres well to wood, plaster, drywall and masonry. It can be painted within one hour of application and cleans up nicely with soap and water.
6. Tub and tile acrylic sealant. This type of caulk is an excellent choice for all your bathroom and kitchen projects. It is mold and mildew resistant, gives a good watertight seal and adheres to almost all surfaces such as tile, tubs, glass, metal, wood, drywall and plaster. It also comes in a variety of different colors or it can be painted to match your project. This product is non-flammable, cleans up with soap and water, stays flexible when dry, and can last for over 10 years.
7. Adhesive caulk. This is an all-purpose caulk that is especially good for high humidity environments such as kitchens and bathrooms. It adheres well to many surfaces like ceramic tile, porcelain, wood, drywall, plaster and metal. A mildew-cide is a part of the chemical composition which helps to resist mold and mildew growth in damp areas. This caulk can also work as a strong adhesive for replacing loose tiles, molding and other such items. It is easy to apply and only requires a soap and water clean-up
8. Butyl rubber sealant. This is a strong exterior sealant that can be used on wood, metal, concrete and brick. It is good for sealing joints in gutters and around chimneys as well as sealing around skylights and roof vents. It is also the best waterproof sealant for house foundations. It is difficult to apply and slow to dry and clean-up requires a solvent. This sealant has a life expectancy of anywhere from 2-10 years.
9. Roof repair caulk. This caulk is a butyl rubber/asphalt formula that works well on roofing, skylights and for sealing flashing. It can also repair small areas in asphalt. It is weatherproof and waterproof and can be used on wet and dry surfaces. This caulk can also be painted. It requires mineral spirits for clean-up.
10. Concrete and mortar repair caulk. This is an interior/exterior caulk that can repair cracks and holes in brick, concrete, stone, stucco, and metal as well as textured walls and ceilings. It has a textured finish and retains some flexibility when dry. It can be painted and cleans up easily with soap and water.
You should always read the manufacturers label before choosing a particular type of caulk for your project to be sure you have found the right one for your project.