Sometimes we have too many choices. And with that often comes a greater opportunity for making the wrong choice. Not politics, not restaurants, not wives and husbands, I am talking about really important choices. Which caulking to use.
I was looking at that section at one of the big stores and noticed that there were over 84 different caulkings. I stock 7 on my trailer and this seems to take care of just about everything.
Now I understand that there might be one “kind” of caulking but it comes in maybe 6 colors. OK fine, I’m just trying to make a point here.
I think that you need the following in your garage workshop and you will be able to take on almost any situation around your house.
#1- White Big Stretch Caulking. Use this inside or outside, anywhere it is going to get painted over. Trim to siding. Baseboards to sheetrock. Shelving to cleats, even in hidden areas like new windows to sheathing or watershields. Good stuff. I really like it.
#2 Clear and White Polyseamseal. I try to buy the “Ultra” version of this when I can because it is great for tubs and showers. I use the clear over grout joints in corners and for toilets to tile floors where a color caulk will look ragged. This is also a good adhesive when it dries, but it takes a while. Clear is nice when there is a painted or tinted finish that needs to be sealed or up against.
#3 Kitchen and Bath Silicone in White and Clear. Silicone is probably the most misused caulk out there. Never use silicone on anything that ever was or ever will be painted. However, it is great to seal metals, cultured marble, glass, and plastics.
#4 Butyl Gutter and Lap Cement. Grey and Gooey. This stuff will stick to just about anything and never really hardens up. A good sealant for gutters obviously, but also for other places like flashings. Don’t even think about trying to paint it.
#5 Polyurethane Caulk. Silver Grey. A good crack filler for concrete as well as mortar joints or anything around or in concrete. Nothing matches concrete, but this is close. It dries to a very rubber like quality, but sticks better than silicone to masonry.
Sure, there are needs for specialties in caulking like fire caulk, specific colors for wood floors and laminate floors, Bone and Almond colors for some plumbing fixtures, and of course roof sealants and penetration fillers.
Also in the caulking tube format comes Construction Adhesives for wood and foams, various roof cements, cove base adhesive, and mix in the tube epoxy and anchoring cements.
To go with any of the above, extend the life of an opened tube with “Red Caps”. Trust me, you will think of a different name for them when you see them, but they are worth the cost. $5 of these saves me $100 is wasted, dried up caulking.
How’s that for a thrilling column. Maybe next time I’ll get controversial with glues!