Bathroom Caulk


Dear NH,
Where can I purchase polyurethane caulk? It is to be used in a shower stall. I have been using silicon but I have been experiencing mold problems. I understand that does not occur when polyurethane is used.
PW from Schaumburg, IL

PW,
I don't believe that there is a polyurethane caulk available specifically for bathroom use. Even manufacturers who produce both acrylic latex caulk and polyurethane do not recommend using polyurethane caulk in bath enclosures. Part of the reason is that polyurethane is not as mildew resistant as the best so-called mildew-proof acrylic latex caulks, manufactured by companies such as MD (Macklanburg-Duncan) and Polyseamseal.

Polyurethane has much more adhesive ability and flexibility or "stretchiness" than either latex or silicone caulks. This is great in some applications, especially exterior joints where there is significant seasonal expansion and contraction. It is not so great in bath enclosures. The stress on the joints in bath applications is not that great, so the additional adhesive strength is essentially overkill! Since you will eventually have to replace any bathroom caulk, the extra adhesive strength may even work against you!

As far as mildew resistance goes, I would choose acrylic latex over silicone caulk any day, especially the "mildew proof" varieties mentioned earlier. This is from personal experience with miles of mildewed caulk!
NH


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