There’s always a gap between the floors and the baseboard. So, can you caulk between the baseboard and floorboards to cover that gap?
You can caulk between your baseboard and floorboards by using wood sealant or caulk to cover gaps and spaces where the floorboard meets the baseboard. This helps to prevent moisture and dust from damaging your floor and baseboard trims.
You should know that caulking can only be done with non-porous floorboards. This is because caulk is a sealant that will seal porous floorboards making it difficult to apply a finish. Also, the caulk to be used between the floorboard and baseboard should match the look and pattern of the boards.
- 1 Should You Caulk Between Baseboard And FloorBoard? (Pros/Cons)
- 2 What Type of Caulk Should You Use Around Floors?
- 3 Do You Caulk Baseboards Before or After Painting?
- 4 How To Fill Gaps Between Baseboard and Laminate Floor?
- 5 How Long Does Caulk Take To Dry?
- 6 Can You Caulk Around Laminate Flooring?
- 7 Can You Caulk Between Floor and Walls?
Should You Caulk Between Baseboard And FloorBoard? (Pros/Cons)
Next, let’s find out the pros and cons of applying caulk between a baseboard and a floorboard.
Pros of Caulking Between Baseboard and Floorboard
Here are the advantages of caulking between your baseboard and floorboard:
- Caulking between the floorboard and dashboard will prevent water damage, especially in cases of broken pipes or water heater leaks.
- Caulking prevents dust nibs and debris from getting underneath your floorboards.
- Caulking paste also prevents the floor from moving or separating since the floorboards will sit flush against the wall.
- Caulking paste prevents pest damage as insects can’t burrow into your floor or wall.
- Caulking paste also blends into the color and shade of the floorboard and baseboard.
- You can paint over caulk with any type of paint as long as you prime and use good paint.
Cons of Caulking Between Baseboard and Floorboard
Here are the disadvantages to consider before caulking between the floorboard and baseboard:
- Caulking paste can’t be used with porous floorboards, vinyl sheets, or carpets.
- Caulking paste can seal expansion gaps making it difficult for floating floors like laminate to acclimate on the subfloor.
- Caulking paste can turn brown or yellow after a while especially if the caulk is exposed to direct sunlight.
What Type of Caulk Should You Use Around Floors?
There are different types of caulking pastes and compounds that you can use around floors and walls. But, let’s check out the best types to use on floorboards and baseboards.
Latex caulk is a water-based paste that is manufactured by combining synthetic polymers and natural latex compounds.
Latex caulk due to its water-based formula is compatible with floorboards and baseboards and the paste dries very quickly. On average, latex caulk will dry completely in about an hour.
The presence of natural latex (rubber-like compounds) in the latex caulk makes it expand and stretch which means that this caulk can be used to fill large holes and gaps between the floorboard and baseboard.
Pros of Latex Caulk
- Latex caulk is inexpensive.
- The caulking paste can be used to fill and cover holes due to its expansive features.
- Latex caulk dries quickly.
- Latex caulk can be covered with any type or color of paint to match the floor color.
- Latex caulk is compatible with all types of floors including floating floorboards like laminate and vinyl flooring.
Cons of Latex Caulk
- Latex caulk is not very durable.
- Latex caulk is not weather-resistant and will get ruined if you use it on outdoor floorboards.
- Latex caulk will wear off easily if exposed to high temperatures.
Silicone Acrylic Latex Caulk
This caulk is also known as the siliconized acrylic latex caulk and it has a similar makeup to latex caulk only that it includes silicone compounds in its formula.
Silicone is a strong compound that is water, heat, and weather-resistant which means that this caulk is specially designed to withstand heavy use and traffic without wearing off. Silicone acrylic latex caulk is also resistant to heat and can be used on kitchen floorboards.
Pros of Silicone Caulk
- This caulking paste is strong.
- Silicone acrylic latex caulk has impressive heat and moisture resistance.
- The silicon caulk prevents flooring problems like buckling and peeling.
- Silicone caulk has weather resistance which means that you can use this caulk on outdoor floorboards.
Cons of Acrylic Latex Silicone Caulk
- It’s difficult to paint over this caulk due to the presence of silicone compounds that will repel the paint.
- Silicone caulk can be difficult to clean and maintain.
- This caulk is more expensive than latex or acrylic caulk.
Polyurethane caulk is used for sealing, covering, and filling gaps in floors and buildings. The caulk contains urethane compounds which make the caulk very flexible and also waterproof.
Pros of Polyurethane Caulk
- Polyurethane caulk is water-resistant
- Polyurethane caulk will curb mildew growth
- Polyurethane caulk bonds brilliantly to floorboards
- Polyurethane will stop pests and insects from burrowing into your floorboards
Cons of Polyurethane Caulk
- Polyurethane caulk may yellow over time due to exposure to UV rays
- You’ll need to sand and possibly prime polyurethane caulk before the paint can stick to it
Do You Caulk Baseboards Before or After Painting?
It is generally recommended to caulk baseboards and floorboards before painting. This is to allow the caulked areas of the baseboard to blend evenly with the paint. Caulking after painting will make the painted surface look patchy and unprofessional.
Caulk is a preparatory product that is used to fill holes and gaps. The product is to be used on the baseboard before you paint over it. This way, you can cover the caulked areas and the rest of the baseboard with the paint making the surface look even and professional.
If you use caulk after painting, then the baseboard will look patchy. This is because caulks usually come in white or grey color and the white color of the caulk will not fit whatever color that you paint the baseboard with.
Even if you paint the baseboard white and then appear a white caulk, there will still be color variations in the overall finish as caulks change color with time. So to prevent patchy-looking baseboards, always caulk before painting.
Related Read: Can You Paint Over Caulk?
How To Fill Gaps Between Baseboard and Laminate Floor?
To fill gaps between baseboards and a laminate floor, you’ll need the following tools and supplies to make the task easier:
- A pair of work gloves
- The right caulking compound (Latex caulk will work fine on laminate)
- A caulk gun (optional)
- A broom or vacuum
- Masking tape
Here is a 4-step guide to filling gaps between baseboard and laminate floor easily:
1. Prep The Baseboard and Laminate Floor
The first step is to prep the baseboard and laminate floor for the caulk. Start by removing all items and furniture in the room. If there is a carpet, rubber fitting, or floor mat on the laminate floor, you should remove it too.
After, sweep or use a vacuum to get rid of the dust nibs and filth around the baseboard and laminate floor. Tough stains can be removed using soap, water, and a soft sponge.
2. Tape The Baseboard
When the laminate floor is clean, use masking tape or painter’s tape to cover the baseboard and trims. This is to prevent the caulk from staining the baseboard and walls. You can also use tape on the edges of the laminate floor.
3. Prep The Caulk
Usually, caulk comes in a tube that can be squeezed to expel the caulk. But some people prefer to load the tube and use a caulk gun to apply the caulk.
In this case, you’ll have to prep the caulk gun first. Ensure to load the caulk properly before cutting the tube. If you cut the tube before fixing it in the caulk gun, the caulk will flow out causing wastage.
If you’ll like to use the caulk tube directly, you need to fix the tip of the tube first. The tip is a long hollow plastic that fits directly on the tube. The tip makes it easier to apply the caulk in tight spaces.
4. Apply The Caulk
After prepping the caulk, you can apply it over the gaps and spaces. You don’t need much caulk on laminate planks so go easy on the caulk.
To apply the caulk, fit in the tip of the tube at one end of the gap and squeeze the tube while moving along the gap just the way you squeeze toothpaste on your toothbrush.
After applying the caulk, scrape off the excess using a plastic putty knife. Then leave the caulk to dry. On average, caulk will dry to touch in about an hour but you should leave it for at least 3 days before normal use of the floor is resumed.
This is to give the caulk enough time to cure and harden. Remember to remove the masking tapes after the caulk has dried.
How Long Does Caulk Take To Dry?
It takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours for caulk to dry to touch but you should let the caulk dry for at least 3 days before using it or walking over it.
This is because it takes a few days for the caulk to become fully dry, hard, and waterproof, and only when it has reached this stage can the caulk be walked on. You should know that the time it takes for caulk to get dry depends on the type of caulk and how much of the paste was applied.
Generally, wood caulk dries quickly. The reason for this is that the caulking paste dries through oxidization. Usually, substances get dry when the moisture or water in the substance is evaporated through heat. This will take a while as all the moisture has to be evaporated for the substance to dry. However, caulk doesn’t dry through evaporation. Caulk dries through oxidization or exposure to dry air.
When the caulk is applied, the air current around the caulk carries oxygen that causes the polymers in the caulk to solidify and become dry. So as long as there is proper airflow, the caulk will dry within an hour. This is why caulks generally dry quickly.
On average, latex and latex acrylic caulks dry quickly in minutes. But, polyurethane and silicone caulks can take a few hours due to the complex composition of their formula.
Can You Caulk Around Laminate Flooring?
You can caulk around laminate flooring but it’s best to use a caulk that will match the pattern and color of your laminate floor. This is to prevent patches and color variation on the laminate floor.
Also, you can only caulk around a laminate floor after the laminate floor has acclimated. If you caulk around laminate flooring before acclimation, you’ll fill the expansion gaps making it impossible for the laminate floor to adjust properly to the floor.
While installing laminate planks, homeowners are advised to leave expansion gaps between the laminate floor and the base walls. This is because the laminate planks will stretch and expand based on temperature changes for the first few days after installation. This expansion is how the laminate planks adjust to fit properly on the floor and the process is known as acclimation.
You can only caulk around the laminate floor after the acclimation process is complete. This way, the planks will have adjusted properly to the floor and you can seal the leftover gaps. But if you caulk before acclimation, you can seal the expansion gaps making it impossible for the laminate planks to adjust properly to the floor. The lack of an expansion gap can cause buckling and lifting of the laminate planks.
You are to use a caulk that will fit the pattern of the laminate floor to prevent the floor from looking unprofessional. You are also required to scrape off excess caulk using a putty knife to prevent the floor from looking patchy.
Can You Caulk Between Floor and Walls?
You can caulk between floors and walls. But, you have to use the right type of caulk to fit the floor and wall so the finish doesn’t look discolored or unprofessional.
Also, you should know that you can’t use caulk to fill large gaps between the floor and walls since caulk is a sealant. To cover large holes and gaps, you should use wood putty.
It’s very common to notice gaps and spaces between your floor and walls especially after installing new flooring. These gaps can be filled with caulk but only if the gaps are small enough. If the gap is more than ¼ of an inch thick, it’s better to use wood putty as caulk can’t fill holes that are that large.
In summary, you can caulk between baseboard and floorboards and between floors and walls as long as you use the right type of caulk.
You should use latex caulk for indoor surfaces since the caulk isn’t weather resistant. Polyurethane and siliconized caulk can be used on outdoor floors and walls since these caulks can withstand heavy use and the elements.
Also, remember to use caulking paste that will fit the pattern and color of your floor or wall. This saves you the stress of painting the caulk after.