The Best Caulk to Use Between Ceramic Tile & Base Board
The joint between ceramic tile on a floor and any type of wall material that comes down to meet it is included to protect the two surfaces from seasonal movement and overall movement of the house. When baseboard is installed on top of ceramic tile, you generally want to include some form of caulk joint between the board and tile to accommodate for movement, with the type of caulk you use dependent on the materials.
One of most common types of caulk for wet areas, such as bathroom or laundry room floors, latex caulking is a blend of acrylics and latex to create a flexible caulk that fills the joint while at the same time providing anti-moisture protection. They are slightly more expensive than their plain acrylic counterparts, but they are designed to be used in wet areas rather than general, and they will stick to any baseboard or tile products.
Acrylic caulk is the most basic available on the market for use with ceramic tile installations. If you are using tile baseboards, this is the caulk you will mostly likely use because it works excellently with tiles and natural stones and is sold in the tile aisle of your local home improvement store. Acrylic-latex mixtures are available for wet areas while normal acrylic is sold for any other type of installation.
The only time silicone caulk is used in baseboard installations where they meet tile is for the purpose of extreme protection against movement or for areas where bacteria is a concern. Commercial kitchens as well as public areas such as malls or airports use silicone for the wall-baseboard-to-floor-tile transition. It can be used in residential construction but is considered over-the-top for most residential areas, not to mention it has a very unpleasant smell most homeowners do not want to deal with.
A good all-purpose type of caulk that can be used with most tile and baseboard-material combinations, polyurethanes are designed to be durable caulks for solid interior installations. While it is considered superior to general acrylic caulk, it is very difficult to install, which makes acrylic more popular. While acrylic caulk is generally only good for tile-to-tile, polyurethanes will stick to almost all surface types, although manufacturer guidelines should be followed.
Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. His has been published online through GTV Magazine, Home Anatomy, TravBuddy, MMO Hub, Killer Guides and the Delegate2 group. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing.
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