What is the difference between Acrylic vs. Silicone caulking?

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It’s that Simple

Thank you for visiting “It’s That Simple” with Paul & Kiesel. This is just one article as part of a series I have developed to answer contractors’ questions about products and installation methods.

What is the difference between Silicone and Acrylic Caulking?

Silicone Caulking

Silicone caulk is 100% silicone, colored to match your grout. It is waterproof and provides a long lasting, flexible bond in corners and against dissimilar materials.

Acrylic Caulking

Acrylic is made using acrylic additives and can sometimes be label “siliconized”. But don’t be fooled by the label siliconized. It doesn’t mean it can be used in tubs and showers. Over time, Acrylic becomes inflexible and becomes detached from its surroundings allowing moisture and mold to get behind it.

To make things even more confusing, some labels say acrylic caulk can be used in “wet” areas but unfortunately wet areas in the USA means any area that might get wet. In the rest of the world, specifically Europe, wet areas mean showers and tubs and only caulking specifically rated for showers and tubs can be used.

So why do some tile setters prefer acrylic? Because it is applied using the same method as grout. Training helpers is easier and there is a decreased chance of failure and an unhappy customer.
Silicone is definitely the recommended product for wet areas and is far superior, but it takes a little more training to use.

It’s That Simple!

– Paul


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