Buying Guide

Caulk and Sealants

Types of Caulk and Sealants

Caulk and Sealants - A caulking gun makes applying an even line easier for large ;projects.

Caulk and sealants come in cartridges or squeeze tubes. There are several types of caulk and sealants you can use inside and outside your home: silicone sealant caulk, latex caulk, polyurethane foam and specialty caulks like butyl-rubber caulk

Best Uses for Silicone Sealants

Silicone sealant

Silicone acts as a water and moisture repellant. Use it:

  • Around sinks, tubs and showers. 
  • When installing bath fixtures to seal gaps between shower tiles, between sinks and counters, and around the base of the toilet.
  • Outdoors in areas exposed to direct sunlight or rain, as the silicone helps the caulk last longer.
  • In older homes: Seal where any siding overlaps the foundation to prevent air from entering. Fill and seal all exterior areas where different materials meet, such as around windows and doors.
  • Around the full perimeter of windows to help seal the window to the header, sill, jack stud and jamb.
  • Paintable silicone caulk can be used around the outside of window units to properly seal the window and the siding edge, or around the entire door unit.

Tip: Cleaning up silicone caulk requires solvents rather than water.

Best Uses for Latex Caulks

Latex caulk
  • Fill in gaps between crown moulding and baseboards.
  • Seal a door frame in place and seal the subfloor at the bottom of a door frame.
  • Use latex painter's caulk inside of doors and windows.
  • Lasts 10-15 years but breaks down faster if exposed to water often.
  • Cleans up with water.

Tip: Tub and tile caulk is a specialty performance latex caulk with added mildewcide to protect against mildew growth.

Best Uses for Expandable Foam Caulk

Expandable foam caulk
  • This sealant expands to fill gaps and holes.
  • Use around electrical outlets and window jambs.
  • Block large pest holes.

Best Uses for Butyl-Rubber Caulk

Butyl-rubber caulk
  • A specialty caulk for outdoor use only.
  • Good for gutters, siding and concrete.
  • Primarily used in roofing. 
  • Cleanup can be difficult if you get this caulk on clothing, gloves, shoes or skin.