Silicone vs. Acrylic Caulk

caulking leaking out of a caulk gun onto a tile surface

Using caulking on tiles or walls is one of the most basic jobs in the handyman's skill set, but home improvement beginners may be unsure whether to use silicone or acrylic caulk on a particular job. There are certain advantages to each type of caulking, but it often takes practice and experience to understand which kind of caulk is best for a particular project.

Acrylic Caulk

Acrylic caulk can help make the finish on a project look more natural. Sanded acrylic will match with any other sanded products that you are using, and it may also have a firmer bond. However, it is unsuitable for use in areas that are likely to get wet, such as on the inside of a shower unit. An occasional soaking will not damage the caulk, but it will need to be brief and drying out must be quick. Acrylic caulk is best for tasks like filling in the seams of trim moulding.

Silicone Caulk

Silicone caulking is much more suitable for lining the edges of showers and bathtubs, or for kitchen and utility rooms. If you want to caulk a bath strip, to prevent water getting into the area beneath the tiles, then you should use 100 percent silicone. Silicone caulk also has a lot more flexibility and range than the typical acrylic caulk.