Without caulk, your toilet would not sit firmly on your bathroom floor, leading to a wobbling toilet, and no one wants that. This sealing material comes mostly in clear or white and sometimes off-white. So the question is, should you use white or clear caulk around toilet?
Both white and clear caulk can make excellent waterproof sealants for your toilet base. However, experts recommend white caulk because it keeps its color longer, blends perfectly with the bottom of the toilet, and hides spaces between your toilet base and the flooring.
The downside of clear caulk is that it constantly seems glossy and creates the appearance of persistent moisture at the toilet base. Nonetheless, let’s explore reasons for choosing white or clear caulk. Also, I’ll look into why you should caulk around your toilet.
White or Clear Caulk Around Toilet?
This section delves into different reasons to go for white caulk and what makes clear caulk a better option.
Why Should You Choose White Caulk?
Apart from creating a waterproof sealant, (View on Amazon) here are other reasons professionals prefer white caulk to clear ones:
1. Fits the Floor Grout
In some circumstances, you might have to decide between complementing the grout color or the color of your toilet. Applying clear caulking in this circumstance wouldn’t produce a polished appearance.
In such scenarios, most homeowners choose white caulk that matches the grout on the tile floor.
2. More Aesthetic Appealing
White caulk would be more visually appealing since it would fit in with the white accessories in the bathroom. More significantly, since most toilets are white, all you need is matching white caulk.
Clear caulking, on the other hand, will not provide a uniform white finish on the bottom of your toilet. It will appear to have a gap between the flooring and your toilet base.
3. It Does not Give the Sense of Being Damp
Many homeowners employ white caulk because they can clean it when it gets dirty. Clear caulks sometimes give the false impression of “accidents” resulting from toddlers in your household missing the bowl while relieving themselves.
It is because clear caulk sealants appear like water, and surely you won’t want such unsightly stains in your restroom.
4. Clear Caulk Draws Attention to the Gap
When you apply white caulk well, you will hardly notice the small space between the floor and the base of your toilet. Conversely, clear caulking usually makes the space appear even bigger, as if there is a massive black hole between the base of your toilet and the tile.
Therefore, experts route for white caulk sealants because they create a smooth transition by concealing the gap. A clear caulk, in this case, will be an eyesore because it might make one think the toilet is floating.
5. White Caulk Doesn’t Yellow
If you use white caulk for the toilet base instead of clear, you will prevent the awful yellowing on the toilet bottom. It is a common problem with clear caulk owing to exposure to heat, sunlight, or mold development.
You can alleviate these concerns by applying white caulk.
Why Should You Choose Clear Caulk Over White Caulk?
Here is why you might find clear caulk sealant more appealing:
1. Ideal for Non-white Toilets or Those on Dark Floorings
Even though transparent caulk points out gaps between the floor and the base, it is a perfect fit for colored toilet bowls on dark flooring. They also work well with light cream.
Apart from transparent and white, silicone caulk is available in different hues. Therefore, you can locate a solid shade that complements your unit or floor.
2. Conceals Stains Longer
White caulking displays dust and dirt more quickly than its clear counterparts. You will easily detect urine, mold, and mildew stains on white surfaces, but clear caulking will hide them for longer periods.
The downside is that transparent caulk becomes yellow faster and may appear as large stains encircling the toilet base. Even though increasing the transparent caulk exposure to light can slow yellowing, you will probably have to re-caulk your toilet base more regularly.
A transparent sealant will keep spills from seeping beneath the bottom but will show any holes or defects. On the other hand, clear caulk is less noticeable if the toilet base is flush perfectly with the flooring.
Should You Caulk Around a Toilet?
Though homeowners in your neighborhood may find it unnecessary to apply caulk for the toilet base, your local building authorities may disagree. Universal plumbing codes require you to seal any fitting that comes in contact with the floor or the wall.
These rules are not usually adhered to, but if you don’t caulk the toilet base, the property will most certainly fail an assessment. However, the main reason individuals don’t consider caulk for toilet bases is that they cover leaks that can cause intensify if left undetected.
According to the argument, leaking water will flow freely on a surface without caulking, and you will notice it almost immediately. The theory holds in cases with sudden and considerable pipe breakages, but this is a rare problem.
Many leaks are minor and seep into the underlying layer rather than spreading out onto the restroom floor. You will notice them from the flooring below your toilet when looking up.
What Are the Benefits of Applying Caulk for Toilet Base?
Having looked at the differences between the clear and white caulk sealants, here are their benefits:
1. They Add Stability on Uneven Floors
Plumbers use bolts to hold the bottom of the toilet to the flooring. But this will be challenging when you install your fixture on an uneven surface.
A toilet installed on an uneven surface will swing back and forth, which is noisy, uncomfortable, and can cause problems with internal plumbing. As you secure the toilet, avoid over-tightening bolts since this will keep the porcelain from cracking.
Caulking the toilet to the flooring has the added benefit of cushioning to account for the uneven floor. When fully cured, excellent-quality caulk provides effective and long-lasting cushioning.
2. Caulk Prevents Water from Leaking Under Your Toilet
Water splashed out of a tub or shower cannot leak under a properly sealed toilet. A toilet base without a caulk will keep stagnant water, which is a conducive environment for mold and fungi.
Applying a clear or white caulk (View on Amazon) will curb this and help maintain the freshness of your bathroom.
Alternative To Caulking Around Toilet
100% silicone caulk is the go-to option to seal your toilet base. Nevertheless, you will find the following non-caulking options:
1. Sealant Tape
Sealant tape is a peel-and-stick solution and an excellent alternative to caulking. It is suitable for most houses, but you must be careful to eliminate air bubbles when using it, or else it will not stick.
It’s also worth mentioning that sealant tape won’t adhere to vinyl or wood floors. So, if your bathroom has vinyl or wood floors, use another sealant.
2. Epoxy Resin Sealant
You can use epoxy resin to seal the bottom of the toilet to the floor, countertops, bathtub edges, wall joints, and the seam between the counter and the kitchen sink.
Unlike sealant tape, this sealant adheres to all surfaces and forms a watertight seal while maintaining a high-gloss coating. It is ideal for porcelain toilets and certain tile flooring but might be an eyesore on flat restrooms and floors.
3. Grout or Mortar
Even though grout and mortar are not sealing materials, they come in handy for securing your toilet to the floor. They absorb water and keep spills from seeping under the bottom of the fixture (although you’ll need to clean the spills quickly).
It implies that spills may still penetrate beneath the toilet if ignored for an extended period. Another factor to consider while applying grout and mortar is their degree of flexibility since the toilets are susceptible to cracks.
Besides that, it is more difficult to remove these materials compared to other sealants, which further implies you’ll have a difficult time removing your toilet.
What Color Should Caulk Be Around Toilet?
Silicone caulk is often more costly than other sealants, but the extra cost will spare you from the issues associated with a defective seal. Apart from that, ensure that the color of your caulk matches your bathroom decor.
Most homeowners go for white caulk because it suits most bathroom styles.
In summary, you can apply white or clear caulk around the toilet, depending on the situation. White caulk matches most floor grouts and doesn’t give the impression of being damp.
In addition, it does not yellow or stresses the gap between the toilet base and floor. On the other hand, clear caulk conceals stains for longer and is ideal for non-white toilets and floors.
With that in mind, consider the color of your toilet before deciding whether you’ll pick clear or white caulk. Clear caulk is better if you do not intend to paint over it.
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