Ultimate Guide – 8 Different Types Of Bathroom Caulk

Bathroom caulk is an important part of any bathroom. It's used to seal gaps and cracks in the bathroom walls, floor, and ceiling. Bathroom caulk can have different colors so you can match it with your other decorations inside your bathroom. If you're planning on installing bathroom caulk, review the information below for choosing the best type of bathroom caulk.

Silicone Caulk

Silicone caulk is best for sealing gaps where water can flow through. Silicone caulk is resistant to moisture and it can last longer than other types of bathroom caulk. You can find silicone caulk in clear, white, and black tinted colors. If your bathroom walls are made from ceramic tile or you have textured paint on your walls, silicone caulk is the best type of bathroom caulk to use. Silicone caulk expands as it hardens so it won't crack or chip away like other types of bathroom caulk. It's non-flammable and low toxic so you can have a clean and safe environment inside your bathroom.

Silicone caulks can be used in tub surrounds, floor joints, behind the toilet and under your sink. Silicone caulk is resistant to mold and mildew so you can use it anywhere inside your bathroom without worrying about it growing mold or mildew.

Silicone caulks are easier to apply since they don't dry as quickly as other types of bathroom caulk so you can easily spread it out to avoid having any unwanted air pockets in your joints. Use a caulking gun to apply this type of bathroom caulk and make sure you use the correct size nozzle for the best results.

Silicone caulk is more expensive than other types of bathroom caulk but it's worth the extra money since it's resistant to moisture, mold and mildew. Silicone caulk can last from five to ten years inside your bathroom depending on the type of silicone caulk you use.

Mold Proof Bathroom Caulk

This type of bathroom caulk is known for its ability to resist mold and mildew growth inside your bathroom. It's a good choice for areas inside your bathroom that have a lot of moisture. If you're planning to install mold proof bathroom caulk, review the information below to choose the best type of mold proof bathroom caulk.

Mold proof bathroom caulk is more expensive than other types of bathroom caulk but it lasts long and keeps your bathroom mold-free so it's worth the extra money.

Mold proof bathroom caulk comes in clear and white tinted colors so you can match it with your other decorations. You can find this type of bathroom caulk at plumbing supply stores around your area or you can order online. There are different types of mold proof bathroom caulk you can choose from. Some of them include silicone, polyurethane and silicone-latex caulk. 

Waterproof Caulk

Waterproof caulk is just as the name implies, it's a caulk that is applied to any surface that has water involved in its use.  An example of this would be a bath tub or a sink where water is being used. Usually you'll find waterproof caulk in the bathroom, however it can be found anywhere there is risk for wetness occurring.

Waterproof caulk should also not be confused with silicone caulks which are designed to seal up gaps and crevices that may not be water tight, but are not actually waterproof.

Waterproof caulk can usually be purchased in a spray can or putty form, but if you're looking for silicone based caulks, there is also that option as well. Silicone caulk will usually come in one of two formulas: A high-build formula which thickens and forms a very strong seal, or a low-build formula which is used for very small surface gaps along with water tightness.

Waterproof caulk has an extremely high level of protection against water and moisture, however it does not have the same effect on air tightness. When a waterproof caulk is applied to shower walls or around tubs it is not designed to keep air from penetrating. Waterproof caulk is used more as a preventative measure, and more often than not waterproof caulk will be accompanied with other materials that are added to ensure an airtight seal such as foam tape or fiberglass mesh.

If you're having water issues in your bathroom shower or bathtub, this is the type of caulk you're likely to find.

Acrylic Caulk


Acrylic caulks are known as a multi-use caulk due to its ability to be used in numerous applications for sealing up gaps and crevices that aren't water tight or air tight, but do need a bit more protection than regular silicone caulk provides.

You'll find acrylic caulks used in a lot of different household settings: furniture, doors, windows and even walls that need a bit more protection from the elements than is provided by regular silicone caulk.

Although acrylic caulks have been known to fail within 5 years on exterior applications, they are meant for interior uses only where moisture and humidity isn't too high.

Acrylic caulks are often colored with a variety of hues, allowing you to match the color of your caulk to almost any surface it may be applied on top of.

If acrylic caulk is used in an exterior application, or if it's not properly dried before being exposed to moisture, it will lose its flexibility because it takes up moisture, which is not what you want if you're trying to seal up cracks and holes.

Acrylic caulk can also be used as a form of insulation if applied in the right places. Often people refer to an application like this as insulating caulk or air-gap caulk.

If you're trying to keep moisture out of your window cracks, this is the caulk you want to use.

Sealant Caulk

Sealant caulk is often referred to as a silicone or acrylic sealant now, but it originally was just a form of caulking that used caulk like material in its place. Sealant caulk is a less viscous version of a regular caulk and is almost always in putty form.

It's widely known that sealant caulk will not withstand any sort of water exposure. It's surface is very smooth and almost glass-like, which makes it a poor choice for exterior uses because water can cause sealant caulk to become stiff or even crack.

Sealant caulks are designed to go in between objects that aren't touching but have gaps in between them. So it's very common to find sealant caulk inside a door frame or windows, but not so much on the actual door or window themselves.

If you're trying to fill in gaps between objects with no regard for water prevention, this is the caulk you need.

High-Performance Caulk

High-performance caulks are the most expensive caulk on the list, but they provide a more advanced solution to regular silicone or acrylic caulk. High-performance caulks have different formulas than either of these other two types and are designed to do exactly what you would expect from their name: perform better.

For example there is one type of high-performance caulk that is commonly used in shower stalls to seal up the gaps between your tile and your tub because it has a grit mixed into it.

High-performance caulks also have an exceptional strength to flexibility ratio, unlike silicone or acrylic caulk which becomes stiff and brittle depending on what types of weather it's exposed to.

With high-performance caulk you don't have to worry about your caulk failing like you would with regular types because they are so flexible.

High-performance caulk is also formulated to expand and contract over time depending on the temperature of its surrounding area, which makes it ideal for applications such as bathroom caulk or exterior window caulking. 

Paintable Caulk

Paintable caulk is the most common type of caulk used in residential settings because it requires no extra preparation time to apply.

If you're using paintable caulk for a decorative purpose like creating lines or borders, then you'll want to make sure the paintable caulking is colored as well, otherwise your surface will be covered in white caulk lines.

Paintable caulk can be used in both interior and exterior applications, as long as the source of moisture is not too high. If the humidity around your area is very low, that will do fine for paintable caulking because it's so flexible.

Paintable caulk has been known to crack when it's used in exterior applications because of the moisture exposure.

If you're trying to seal up exterior cracks with a paintable caulk, it will not last very long and it might need to be re-applied every two years or so.

Paintable caulks are often used for home improvement projects because they do require a bit of preparation before applying them, but once they are applied there is no prep time required for any sort of special treatment.

Colored Caulk

Colored caulk comes in the same three types as regular caulks, but it has coloring mixed into it.

The most common colored caulks are ones that come out white or clear and turn the color of your surface when applied. This makes them ideal for creating borders around things like counters or in between tiled floors and tubs because it will blend in with your surface's color.

Colored caulks are also made to match the color of your surfaces, but it can sometimes be hard to tell what color a particular colored caulk is going to match because you're looking at white or clear caulking that has no pigmentation yet.

Just because a colored caulk is designed to match your surface's color, doesn't mean it will perfectly blend in like you might be imagining. The coloring used in colored caulks are very subtle and easily smudged by the touch of your hand.

So if you're using colored caulk on something that people will be touching frequently, it might be best for you to use a different type of caulk entirely.


How much caulk do I need to fill a gap?

That depends on how big the gap you're trying to fill is and what type of caulk you are using. Caulks typically come in tubes with 12 or 13 ounces, but the thickness will affect how much caulk your tube contains. Thicker caulks like silicone contain less caulking material than thinner ones like acrylic or latex.

For 1/2 inch gaps, a tube of caulk will usually work well, but for anything wider you may need two tubes of caulk to completely fill the gap in thickness.

How long does it take to apply caulk?

Applying caulk is not a fast process, so if you need to fill a gap immediately, caulk might not be the best choice for you. It can take 15 minutes just to make sure that your surface is completely smooth and ready to apply caulk.

For minor gaps, it should only take an hour or two to apply caulk depending on how much caulking is required.

How long does it take for caulk to dry?

Caulk can take anywhere from two to three hours to dry depending on the thickness of the caulk and how warm it is in your area. Caulk can also take longer if you need to apply more than one coat of caulking because that will increase its drying time.

How do I clean up excess caulk?

If there is extra caulk left on your surface, you can scrape it off with the edge of a credit card or something similar. Caulk that is applied to things like your fingers and around your nails will come off after about an hour or so, but for anything like countertops you'll need to use a nail polish remover to get any leftover caulk off.

How do I prevent things from sticking to the caulk?

You can prevent things like paper towels and toilet paper from sticking to your caulk by allowing it to dry for a day or two before using those items. It won't stop everything from sticking, but it will reduce the amount of static on your caulking because there are no tiny air pockets that would increase the amount of static.

How do I fix a caulk problem?

Caulk is notoriously difficult to remove, so unless you can get it off without causing any damage to your surface (like paint or wood) you should try to avoid using caulk in those areas. You can use nail polish remover or lacquer thinner to dissolve the caulk and then wipe it off with a cloth.

If you have unsightly caulk, then you can try sanding it down as much as possible with wet/dry sandpaper and using primer before applying paint in the area.

How do I remove hardened caulk?

The best way to remove caulk is by scraping it away with something like a butter knife. If the caulk has hardened into a sticky mass, then you might need to use something like lacquer thinner to soften it up first so that you can scrape it off.


The purpose of this article is to introduce types of bathroom caulk and the benefits you'll derive when they're utilized. You can see that each material has its own characteristics, so choose wisely. A lot of service providers are offering a wide range of products for bathroom caulk jobs , so make sure you invest your money in quality products.

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