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Most people choose to put caulk around their bathtubs to keep them intact and stable. But is it actually the best material to use?
There are several alternative options available to you, but whether they’re better mainly depends on your circumstances.
5 Caulk Alternatives
Spray foam is typically found in DIY fix-it kits. While it’s usually used for insulation, you can also use it to replace caulk.
Expanding foam is more waterproof than caulk and can be used around wet areas like the bathtub.
If you do use this material to replace caulk, it’s important to understand how it expands. When there’s not enough room for the expansion, it can be strong enough to lift your tub or crack your walls.
- It’s waterproof, whereas some types of caulk aren’t.
- It’s easy to use.
- Expanding foam might cause damage if misused.
The main component of sealant tape is silicone, which is famous for being waterproof. Applying it to the bathtub is simpler than caulking with silicone.
There’s no need for a gun. Thanks to the adhesive, the silicone seals tightly to the surface after it’s applied.
Sealant tape is available in a wide range of colors, giving it an edge for the home decorator. However, it doesn’t stick well to vinyl floors.
- It’s available in colors to match your bathroom tiles.
- It’s waterproof silicone, but applied without needing a caulk gun.
- It’s not good for use on vinyl flooring.
Epoxy sealer is an amazing tool to keep around the house because it can be used for sealing and binding basically anything. In addition to adhering extremely well to many surfaces, this type of sealer creates a waterproof seal around anything.
Unlike caulk, epoxy sealer has a smooth and glossy finish. People often use this material for DIY projects when they want their floors and counters to be glossier.
- You can use it to seal basically anything around the house.
- It sticks to any surface.
- It creates a waterproof seal no matter what material it’s paired with.
- It has a high-gloss finish.
- If you don’t want a shiny and glossy finish around your tub, this is not your ideal caulk alternative.
Peel and Stick Trim
This trim is very similar to sealant tape. But instead of being fashioned as tape, it’s fashioned as wall molding or a cord.
Because it has basically infinite designs and colors, you can use it to add to your interior decoration.
This type of trim must be applied right over the seam in question. If you apply it right, it will waterproof and weatherproof the cracks.
- It can be stuck on walls and floors.
- It comes in infinite colors and shapes.
- It can be applied without a caulk gun.
- If you press it improperly over the seam, you won’t get any seal whatsoever.
Mortar and grout might be used as a caulk alternative, though these materials are extremely different from caulk.
Grout is made out of sand, cement, and water. Sometimes a bit of gravel is thrown in, too.
It is a thick paste that is used to press tiles together. You can use it when remodeling your bathroom floor if you want to keep water away.
Grout helps keep the edges of bathroom tiles from chipping because of how it clings to them. But it cracks with movement because it doesn’t have the flexibility of caulk.
In addition, it can become dirty-looking and stained with time.
Using mortar around your tub instead of caulk is possible, especially if you’re already redoing the floor. The work will last longer than traditional caulk.
But in this case, caulk’s flexibility might actually make it a better candidate.
- It keeps edges of tiles from chipping.
- It is tough and waterproof.
- It can be used to seal a bathroom.
- It can crack if you move the objects around it.
- As time goes on, it becomes dirty and run-down.
Reasons Why You Might Consider A Caulk Alternative
Caulk Can Be Toxic
Caulk can cause mild poisoning to pets and children when it isn’t dry. If you get it on your hands or in your mouth, it could cause problems.
Adults have also experienced inflammation of the nostrils because of how strong the smell is. Uncured caulk can cause eye and skin irritation if you don’t have protective gear on.
Make sure you wash your hands very well after handling caulk to remove every trace of the substance.
Caulk Lacks Humidity Resistance
Though silicone caulk is built to be waterproof, the material is not built for humidity fluctuations. And your bathroom often undergoes serious humidity changes.
Wet caulk might peel away from the tub, while dry caulk might crack and break.
Once your old caulk starts peeling, it’s no longer giving you watertight protection against leakage.
Caulk Is Temporary
If you choose to caulk your bathtub, you have to re-caulk it frequently because the material peels and cracks. There are alternatives that are permanent enough that you don’t need to do this grudging task several times a year.
Silicone caulk is the best for waterproof sealing around the bathtub, but you can also find latex and acrylic caulk. It’s possible to find formulas of these ingredients that don’t have the same peeling and cracking issue that caulk does.
Caulk Lacks Resistance To Wear
Caulk wears down over time. Even if it doesn’t obviously peel or crack, it can respond badly to certain cleaners.
Components in the material can emulsify, which causes the sealing to break. There’s no protection against water damage in that case.
It’s important to note that most cleansers that affect caulk are chemical in nature, rather than natural cleansing solutions.
There are multiple alternatives to caulking around the bathtub. These can be a lot easier to apply, last longer, and have better results.
Some are available with multiple shapes and colors, allowing for infinite customization and decoration.
The right caulk alternative for you will vary depending on your needs. For longevity, use mortar.
For aesthetics, use epoxy sealer. And for caulking free of a caulk gun, use peel-and-stick silicone tape.