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JC
Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

Hi,

My kitchen has this polished granite-like backsplash. There is no apparent caulk where the backsplash meets the wall. I was thinking of applying silicone caulk at this joint to prevent water from getting behind the sink.

Is there any reason to -not- to do this? Or is there another/better way to seal this gap?

Attached is a piccie that (hopefully) shows what I mean. The gap ranges from 0 to up to perhaps a 16th" at it's most bowed.

TIA,

---JC

A. Spruce
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

I would caulk the splash to the wall, but I wouldn't waste money or time with silicone, use a good latex based caulk. Latex is MUCH easier to work with and can be replaced and/or reapplied as needed.

Silicone is extremely difficult to work with, fails just as readily as any other type of caulk, with the added insult of being near impossible to remove, and new silicone will not stick to old silicone, so you will have all sorts of fun trying to remove the old well enough to get something else, anything else, to stick.

Save yourself the headache and just go with latex based caulk.:cool:

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

We always use 100%silicone to prevent mold. Latex will mold for sure, especially in the humid south.

Read this thread some good lookin' fella wrote.

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85634

dj1
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

Houston,

Here in the dry west, we don't have to deal with so much humidity. I really dislike silicone and prefer to use latex too.

A. Spruce
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?
HoustonRemodeler wrote:

We always use 100%silicone to prevent mold. Latex will mold for sure, especially in the humid south.

Read this thread some good lookin' fella wrote.

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85634

Mold forms for a reason, regardless of the type of caulk used. I just had to recaulk a shower due to moldy silicone, failed moldy silicone at that.

It is unlikely that the OP's backsplash/wall connection is going to mold unless it is always left wet, then they're also going to have problems with the paint and drywall.

JC
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

Thanks for the replies. For some reason I never get 'notified'.

In any case... I was going to use silicone because I used latex on my bathtub and it only lasted a few years. It also shrank a bit. Also, it did get a little moldy.

I live in Seattle... I dunno if that has any factor.

In any event, I really don't care which -type- of caulk I use. I was more wondering why it hadn't been caulked in the first place. It seems silly to put in a counter with a sink and -not- have some sort of sealant to prevent water going behind the counter. I figured there must be some good reason for it.

I didn't realise that silicone was hard to remove. I was hoping to use the leftover silicone to redo the tub.

Anyhoo...

Thanks to all!

---JC

ordjen
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

I personally feel that once in place, silcone is probably the most durable. However, Spruce is correct that silicone is a devil to remove, especially if it was applied to a plastic or fiberglas surface which cannot be abraided without dulling the surface. Silicone needs to be physically worn off completely, as new silicone, or other caulks, will not adhere to ANY residue. I also know of no really good solvent for it. GE suggests mineral spirits, but i haven't found that to be very effective.

Make sure to use a caulk rated as "kitchen and bath". These have more mildecide in them.

I once was waiting in line at the paint store counter when a woman came in looking for advice. She had just had crown molldings installed in her entire house and the "painters" had caulked them all with silicone! :( I didn't say anything to the woman, but I was thinking to myself, "I bet you took the low priced bid".

A personal story: years ago my wife was a smoker. After completely tiling the bathtub and surround and the plastic window over the tub, I used silicone to do the caukling. I learned the hard way that silicone absorbs nicotine and it cannot be cleaned off! I had to sc**** off all that silicone and replace it with acrylic. Fortunately, you can get agressive with 3M scrubby pads on ceramic tile without dulling it.

Finally, I just had new Silestone countertops installed by one of the North-West's premier counter companies. They used acrylic caulks both in the corners of countertop/backsplash and backsplash/wall. I expected it at the wall as silicone is absolutely not paintable, but was a little surprised that they used the same where the Silestone came together.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

Silicone can be a bugger to remove, but it's my choice for these applications. Those of us in the business here on this forum are pretty evenly split on the silicone vs acrylic latex debate :rolleyes:

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) :p
Phil

A. Spruce
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?
Mastercarpentry wrote:

Silicone can be a bugger to remove, but it's my choice for these applications. Those of us in the business here on this forum are pretty evenly split on the silicone vs acrylic latex debate :rolleyes:

You mean half of us are right and half of you are wrong? :p:p:p

You know, this is one of the things that I love about this site, that we, as professionals, can disagree, and that's ok! Oh, you're still gonna get some poo flung at ya, just know that it's only a loan, I expect it back.:cool:

dj1
Re: Caulk Where Backsplash Meets Wall?

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.

JC
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. :D

Thanks again,

---JC

Mastercarpentry wrote:

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) :p
Phil

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