During one of our toilet forum discussions last week, a lady wanted to know which type of caulk – between white and clear – is ideal for usage around the toilet base.
Sooner, after a series of responses, I observed that many confident DIY-ers are equally confused about which of the two available caulking options is recommended.
Suppose you’ve also finally decided to caulk around your toilet base; you might be wondering which of the caulking options you should go with. Is white ok, or is Clear a better option?
After doing a more profound research on this, coupled with my experience in caulking bathroom walls, bowls, and toilet base, I have curated this article to help you decide rightly, along with other essential things you should note before during, and after caulking your toilet base.
Usually, I would recommend that you use a clear caulk for your toilet base as it gives a much cleaner look and finish, mainly if the surface of the bathroom floor is tiled. Whereas white caulk never seems to match anyway.
In many hotel rooms and apartments that I’ve entered to fix plumbing problems, I’ve noticed how bad white caulking looks, in contrast to the use of Clear caulk, which would have looked much better.
To validate this position and recommendation, I want you first to understand the difference between white and clear caulks, their respective benefits, and why I have advised you to choose the clear caulking option.
In the end, it all boils down to your preference and situation around your bathroom setup. But to make the right decision, you have to know the caulk options individually and their difference as per aesthetics and functionality.
What is white Caulk?
White caulk is one of the standard adhesives used in sealing multiple points around the home. The usage of this sealant, just as with other kinds of caulks, prevents water from penetrating walls and edges around the toilet base, leading to structural damage.
Beyond the bathroom, white silicone caulk is also applied for interior and exterior structures around the home to prevent pests from seeping into the doors and windows.
Of course, there is an extent to which this particular sealant offers a smooth transition between trim and walls, but there are arguments that its alternative is better used when it comes to bathrooms and kitchens.
Nevertheless, not just any while caulk would work for toilet bases. Variants like Loctite 100% white Silicone caulk are generally recommended for bathrooms as they won’t crack or shrink with time.
However, White caulk, when applied on glass fixtures, does not present a nice look as the clear formula does.
What is clear Caulk?
Clear Caulk is an adhesive sealant equally used for interior and exterior fixtures around the home.
However, this particular high-performance, water-resistant sealant dries ultra-clear and won’t yellow, crack or peel once applied and dried.
Difference between White and Clear Caulk
In terms of functionality, there is no vast difference between while and clear caulk. But from an aesthetics standpoint, the main difference between the two is that plumbers go for the while caulk when dealing with white trim, while clear is recommended for applying on a non-white surface such as chrome fixtures.
In addition, a quality white caulk lasts longer and looks fine when used for joint between the tub and tile, while clear caulk appears better for applications like around the toilet base.
Benefits of using white caulk and clear caulk
White or clear, one of the guaranteed benefits of any high-quality caulk for a bathroom is that it stays fully once it’s dried. Moreover, caulking has a lot to do with how it looks as much as its performance. So here is the benefit of using white and clear caulk:
The benefit of white caulk
- Highly recommended for white surfaces and trims
- A plus for clean transition between trim and walls
- Mould and Mildew Prevention
- Great elasticity
The benefit of clear caulk
- Clear caulk works well around the bathtub
- It is considered a better option for toilet bases
- Ideal for surfaces with new designer tiles such as marble, travertine, etc.
- Great elasticity
- Prevents Mould and Mildew
Does clear caulk turn yellow?
It’s always advised that since silicone sealant tends to yellow over time, go for ones with “non-yellowing” properties, especially if you don’t intend to paint it.
It would take a long time before a clear caulk would turn yellow. The decoloration is due to many years of exposure to water and humidity.
But, going for high-quality caulk like Lexel is a sure bet for this as it is a liquid rubber that sticks to wet surfaces.
What type of caulk should I use around my toilet?
Going back to the bone of contention, more thoughts are expected to go into the kind of caulk you use for the toilet base than any other fixtures in the bathroom.
As we have deciphered in our recent post, the best sealant to use around your toilet is the 100% silicone caulk due to its superior water resistance and improved elasticity. This gives it an edge for application on toilet bases, ahead of other caulk types like acrylic.
While it costs a little more than other caulk types, silicone caulks are the best option to think of when the question of filling the gap between the toilet and the floor comes to mind.
The era of arguing whether or not to caulk around the base of our toilet should be well behind us because the benefits of caulking are undeniable.
However, there is an intercession of aesthetic and functionality when caulking, and they both have equal importance. While you want to flaunt your beautiful tile, metal, or granite fixtures, the look shouldn’t be sacrificed due to visible caulk lines but should still be durable.
Clear caulk has a much cleaner look, especially on the tile, while whites appear on white trims and surfaces.
The choices are dragged based on aesthetics, not functional.
Arthur C. Jackson is the resident handyman and toilet expert for BestToiletGuides.com. Drawing from his experience, he tends to focus on how he can help the consumer.