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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Thanks. The thing is... there's no way to run such a test. There's an inside to the cabinet under the sink so you can't see whether water is getting behind the sink/cabinet. I guess it's possible that there is a hidden caulking below where I can see it.

    If there was a way to -know- I'd love to do nothing.

    Thanks again,

    ---JC

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    When I install this kind of backsplash, I lay a healthy bead of silicone under the backsplash to seal it, making sure that none extrudes to where you'd see it in front for appearances sake, and all the professional countertop guys here do exactly the same thing (save for one who epoxies this joint!). So while it may appear that it isn't sealed it very well could be. You can test it by having someone splash water against it while someone is underneath in the cabinets with a light (and a towel just in case) looking for leaks. No leaks = no need for further caulking. If you caulk one done like this anyway, you'll create a dead-air space which if any moisture gets in, will likely grow moldy and odorous so don't just caulk, test it first- then caulk only if it's needed.

    (and use silicone)
    Phil

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    JC,

    This is time for a McGuyver moment !

    Here's my idea;

    Make a damn from plumbers putty or your child's modeling clay in a U shape from the backsplash out onto the counter. Fill the area with water to the tippy top. See if the water level falls.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Like was said before - silicone is OK, until you want to remove it. I've worked with silicone before, and I don't like it as much as latex. And the thing is, it doesn't provide more protection against mold than latex.
    If I can get one more follow-up. The reason I went for silicone is that I recently re-caulked my bathtub with latex and it's already shrunk and in a couple of spots -split-. I admit I used the cheap-o 'Lowes-Brand' caulk.

    Is there a brand that really doesn't shrink or split? My assumption was that silicone was better in this regard. I just want some white caulk (and this means for my kitchen and the bathtub) that -stays-. At this point, I am willing to admit I was a cheap dumass and I have to redo it. I'll pay -whatever- if I know the product will perform.

    Suggestions?

    TIA,

    ---JC

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,190

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by suntower View Post
    If I can get one more follow-up. The reason I went for silicone is that I recently re-caulked my bathtub with latex and it's already shrunk and in a couple of spots -split-. I admit I used the cheap-o 'Lowes-Brand' caulk.

    Is there a brand that really doesn't shrink or split? My assumption was that silicone was better in this regard. I just want some white caulk (and this means for my kitchen and the bathtub) that -stays-. At this point, I am willing to admit I was a cheap dumass and I have to redo it. I'll pay -whatever- if I know the product will perform.

    Suggestions?

    TIA,

    ---JC
    Just stick with a name brand such as DAP and you'll be fine. You want a tub/tile or kitchen/bath caulk. The tube will probably also say "adhesive caulk" on it, don't worry about that.

    It is not uncommon to have some caulk shrinkage after application, you can always come back in after it cures and apply another bead over the top. You can only do this with latex, as was said before, nothing will stick to silicone, not even more silicone.

    What I would do is apply as small a bead as possible (in all situations ). If you notice some cracking or shrinkage, apply another thin bead as necessary. What this will do is, bead #1 will fill the gap, bead #2 will fill any small crack or minor shrinkage that occurred with the first bead.

    Tip #2 is to have a soggy wet rag, really wet, but not to the point of dripping. Lay the rag out flat near where you're working, lay in your bead, then wet your finger really good on the rag and lay off 2" - 6" of the bead at a time, wiping your finger between strokes. Once you've done this the entire length of the joint, go back to the beginning with a clean wet finger and do a single full stroke along the length of the joint. The first pass presses the caulk into the joint and removes the excess, the second pass gives you a perfect finish.

    Tip #3, always lift your finger from the bead while in motion, this will prevent you from pulling the caulking out of the joint before it's fully pressed into place, it also leaves a smoother stop/start point as you work along the joint. If you're working from two inside corners (a corner on each end of the joint ), then do half the joint from one direction and half the joint in the opposite direction, starting from each corner.

    One last thing, caulking is a maintenance item that should be checked regularly, at least yearly, and repaired as needed, regardless of it being latex, silicone, beutyl, etc. The more movement there is in the joint, the more likely that it is going to crack or completely fail. Movement comes from thermal expansion/contraction of the surface the caulk is applied to.
    Last edited by A. Spruce; 12-08-2013 at 02:58 AM.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Thanks. I didn't realise you could caulk over caulk. I thought it was like 'plaster'... once it was done that was it... if it shrank or split you had to tear it out and redo the whole thing.

    Best,

    ---JC


    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Just stick with a name brand such as DAP and you'll be fine. You want a tub/tile or kitchen/bath caulk. The tube will probably also say "adhesive caulk" on it, don't worry about that.

    It is not uncommon to have some caulk shrinkage after application, you can always come back in after it cures and apply another bead over the top. You can only do this with latex, as was said before, nothing will stick to silicone, not even more silicone.

    What I would do is apply as small a bead as possible (in all situations ). If you notice some cracking or shrinkage, apply another thin bead as necessary. What this will do is, bead #1 will fill the gap, bead #2 will fill any small crack or minor shrinkage that occurred with the first bead.

    Tip #2 is to have a soggy wet rag, really wet, but not to the point of dripping. Lay the rag out flat near where you're working, lay in your bead, then wet your finger really good on the rag and lay off 2" - 6" of the bead at a time, wiping your finger between strokes. Once you've done this the entire length of the joint, go back to the beginning with a clean wet finger and do a single full stroke along the length of the joint. The first pass presses the caulk into the joint and removes the excess, the second pass gives you a perfect finish.

    Tip #3, always lift your finger from the bead while in motion, this will prevent you from pulling the caulking out of the joint before it's fully pressed into place, it also leaves a smoother stop/start point as you work along the joint. If you're working from two inside corners (a corner on each end of the joint ), then do half the joint from one direction and half the joint in the opposite direction, starting from each corner.

    One last thing, caulking is a maintenance item that should be checked regularly, at least yearly, and repaired as needed, regardless of it being latex, silicone, beutyl, etc. The more movement there is in the joint, the more likely that it is going to crack or completely fail. Movement comes from thermal expansion/contraction of the surface the caulk is applied to.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,190

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by suntower View Post
    Thanks. I didn't realise you could caulk over caulk. I thought it was like 'plaster'... once it was done that was it... if it shrank or split you had to tear it out and redo the whole thing.

    Best,

    ---JC
    Nope, no need to remove old latex, unless the original was gobbed on, ugly, or has severely failed.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Seems that Lieutenant Latex has been at it again so I'll play Sergeant Silicone and respond with a few thoughts of my own. First is that if you read the instructions, all caulking manufacturers will tell you to remove all old caulking before applying new- even with latex. And yes. silicone will stick to silicone fairly well so long as the first bead has not fully cured Even if the manufacturer says not to do it. Just don't expect a full-strength bond doing this- you won't get that doing it with latex either Once fully cured then yes- silicone doesn't stick to itself well at all but it wasn't supposed to.

    What most folks get wrong with caulking is the prepwork- clean, dry, and sound surfaces mean what they say, totally clean and totally dry and staying like that until the caulking is fully cured. The next huge error is having too thick a bead. For it to work, caulking must stretch. so the thinnest bead possible in the middle of the bead gives the least resistance to stretch and in doing that it exercises the least pull against the adjoining surfaces where you want it to adhere. This property of elasticity is thus very important, indeed the sole realm of caulks versus fillers is in this, and compared to latex caulks, silicone will give a lot more stretch before parting for a much longer time. We've all seen hardened latex caulk (which means it lost it's elasticity) but have you ever seen this with silicone? Nope- it remains as elastic as when new forever. So if you do it right, barring any outside influences, silicone done once can last forever but latex cannot. Plus silicone is more resistant to outside influences because it is less permeable than latex caulks. Guess which one is always used in the harshest environments over the widest temperature range? (Hint: it begins with "S") "S for superior and L for lesser" makes for an easy way to remember

    So there! But all "warring" aside, the most important parts of caulking are the same for either latex or silicone, and if you do them well you will get all either one has to give you.

    Now ducking back in my foxhole before the next incoming round. I lined the edge with silicone so if they miss even a little it will bounce off and I'll be safe

    Phil

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,190

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    Now ducking back in my foxhole before the next incoming round. I lined the edge with silicone so if they miss even a little it will bounce off and I'll be safe

    Phil
    I have my Latex caulking gun aimed at your foxhole, Mister! <wink> LOL

    I do agree, that proper prep is key to longevity, no matter what type you use. The only headache I'll give you here is that you haven't told Suntower how to properly and easily use sillycone. There is one single trick that turns the massive hassle of using silicone, into much less of a hassle. Are you gonna share?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    I have my Latex caulking gun aimed at your foxhole, Mister! <wink> LOL

    I do agree, that proper prep is key to longevity, no matter what type you use. The only headache I'll give you here is that you haven't told Suntower how to properly and easily use sillycone. There is one single trick that turns the massive hassle of using silicone, into much less of a hassle. Are you gonna share?
    Yeah... what -would- be the super-secret trick?

    ---JC

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

    Look at post #3 on this matter. I gave a link to a tutorial on caulking.

    Quite thorough and very humorous, if I do say so myself.

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