Encyclopedia & FAQ's

DIY Frequently Asked Questions / Water-Based Caulk

  • Latex Caulk DIY Frequently Asked Questions / Water-Based Caulk')"> Generally referred to as latex caulks and sealants, water-based caulks are the easiest to work with because they apply easily, are paintable, have little odor and clean up with water.
  • Ideal curing conditions are warm (above 40 degrees), dry weather.
  • Effective for filling gaps in baseboard and trim, as well as for caulking around interior window and door frames.
  • Generally available in cartridges ranging from 10-12 oz. as well as convenient squeeze tubes ranging from 4 oz. to 6 oz.
  • Vinyl Latex Caulk usually effective for five years and is most effective on small cracks in baseboards and little gaps around windows. Vinyl latex is non-flammable and paintable but not very flexible. It hardens over time.
  • Acrylic Latex Caulk is a general-purpose caulk—more flexible than vinyl latex caulks. It is water-based, easy to apply, non-flammable and cleans with water. It adheres to most surfaces—best on wood and masonry—and it can be painted shortly after application. It is available in pigments that allow it to match many surfaces. It remains effective for 10 to 15 years. However, it is not recommended for an area that is subject to excessive water collection. It is flexible and it maintains that flexibility over time. It should not be applied in temperatures of less than 40° F.
  • Tub and Tile Caulk is a specialty performance caulk with added mildewcide to protect against mildew growth in the areas prone to moisture (kitchens, bathrooms). Some tub and tile caulks are more flexible and crack-resistant. Many formulations include adhesives that combine a sealant and adhesive in one. Like other latex caulks, they apply easily, are non-flammable, clean up with water, and are paintable and mildew resistant. They are available in a variety of colors.