Caulking the countertops?

lovlilynneJuly 15, 2009

Soapstone was installed today (yea!!!), but *after* they left, I noticed that they didn't caulk between the countertops and the wall (I'm not having a backsplash). I'll call M. Tex tomorrow, but I assume that this is our responsibility? (at least, it certainly is now). I can't wait to have that conversation with contractor.

Anyway, has anyone done this? It it as simple as applying the bead of caulk, following the caulk directions, etc.?

TIA,

Lynne

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billandterry

It really is not that bad. If you have a sample of your counter top take it to the store with you to buy the caulk. I went to lowes and purchased a paintable caulk and a caulking kit and followed the instructions. It was really easy.
You can also ask one of the guys to explain how to use the scrapers but once you see them you will totally understand.

Good luck

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 10:34PM
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buehl

Yes, it should be the coutertop installer's task, at least it is around us. Our installer forgot one wall and rather than call them back, we had our new general contractor do it...and they did a much better job than the countertop people!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 5:35AM
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staceyneil

Our installers did not caulk, but they did ask me if we we were tiling to the counter (we are) and I assume they figured it would get caulked after tiling.

Are you tiling the backsplash? I guess it's possible that caulking beforehand would interfere with the bottom row of tile. However, I am having such a hard time choosing my tile -I know it'll be months before that's in- so I am going to run a small bead of caulk behind the sink, just to keep splashes out of the base cabs.

But- as far as DIY level of caulking: its easy! You might want to practice on some cardboard so you get the idea how much pressure you need to run a nice clean bead. But it's easy to tool with a wet finger if it's not totally smooth.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 8:26AM
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rubyfig

A little trick to make a really clean seam: use painters tape on either side of the caulk joint. caulk and smooth with your finger, and then just pull up the tape before the caulk dries. Clean line every time. :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 1:14PM
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lovlilynne

Is there any restrictions on what kind of caulk? What color should I get? Or should it be clear? Billandterry, you mention paintable - but I wouldn't be painting this. I thought I had read here someone saying not to get clear because it yellows.

TIA,

Lynne

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:38AM
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azstoneconsulting

Lovlilynne-

check with your Fabricator and look over your contract language - they may
have forgotten to caulk if it was specified in your contract with them.

If not, and you are the caulk guy - I'd use an accrylic type of caulk that IS
paintable - as silicone is not, and you may regret this down the road.

This is not a big deal if you have to do the caulking - just use some
3M Blue Tape and mask everything off first, then squirt the caulk in, wipe
down with a wet sponge, then pull the tape off and your done!!!

Easy Peasey!!!

HTH

kevin

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:03PM
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lovlilynne

Yes, my installer was supposed to do that, but given that they are 4.5 hours away, I doubt that they are going to come back to do it. I asked my contractor (in a note) if he would do it, and he still hasn't responded, so I'm guessing it's on my dime. I bought black caulk already, but I was checking to see if that's what I really needed to use.

Ok, so taping off everything does not sound "easy peasey" to me. It actually sounds like a 15 minute job just turned into a 2 hour job (masking both sides of the joint??).

Why would I ever want to paint my countertops (soap stone)? I must be missing something.

Lynne

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 4:06PM
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azstoneconsulting

Lynne-

the reason that people WANT paintable caulk, is so that IF you decide
to paint the area above the splash you can, and paint the caulk joint too.

Remember tha you have Soapstone - which is a soft and porous material -
IF you get any caulk residue on the stone - it may show and be difficult to
remove after you (or the Fabricator) are done doing the actual caulking process.

As far as masking off the joint prior to applying the caulk - just run a band
of tape above where the joint is, and another below on the soapstone. Rub
the tape so it bonds well to both surfaces, then apply the caulk.

once the bead of caulk is in the joint, "strike" or "draw" over in with a finger
or wet sponge - this will give you a nice - smooth finish. When you're happy
with the look of the caulk, it will start to "skin over" as it dries - you'll need to
pull off both strips of tape PRIOR to the caulk starting to skin over, but trust me
this is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, and Yes, it IS "Easy Peasey".........

I'll see about posting a podcast on how to do this on www.naturalstone101.com
for folks to use as a guide..... sometimes it's way easier if a person "sees it"
rather than just reads about it......

hope that puts your mind at ease... just tryin to help ya!

kevin

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Stone 101's website

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 4:48PM
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weedmeister

You may not paint your countertop, but you may paint the wall behind it.

Pick a color that matches either the soapstone or the wall. (I would pick the soapstone color.) If you use your finger to smooth it down, keep your finger wet (water) so the stuff doesn't stick so much.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 5:38PM
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sfcitydweller

lovlilynne-

I work for a caulking company, I know strange occupation. I agree you should use paintable, in case you decided to paint the wall behind the soapstone. However, make sure you pick a high grade latex and not the cheapest white caulk available, this will prevent cracking and having to caulk in the future.

If you decided to go clear, latex caulk dries a cloudy clear and the only true clear is Lexel, which is paintable. If you are going white I would use Big Stretch. The website for both is below!

Cheers!
SF

Here is a link that might be useful: Sashco Products

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:04PM
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nursetammi

Quick question. Do you caulk where in my case the granite butts up to wood? My installer did not caulk there but everywhere else.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 12:10AM
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azstoneconsulting

We caulk wherever the stone butts up to a wood structure, as wood and stone
will expand and contract at different rates. Especially here in Arizona, the wood
at certain times of the year will be tight up against the stone, and then at
other times - that same wood will shrink up and there'll be a gap between
the stone and the wood - so the caulk helps to eliminate that issue.

It's a personal prefence, but in 99.999% of the time we'll caulk it and never
have a call back or a problem - happy customers make for sleep filled nights
at my house!!!

HTH

kevin

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:38AM
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nursetammi

Thanks Kevin,
Do you caulk with clear when you are caulking granite to wood. Both my granite installer and my builder both said they would not put anything there.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 12:18AM
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azstoneconsulting

We'll use clear most of the time - but every now and then, we'll get
a client that wants a color...... Either way - we DO caulk

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 11:00AM
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sfcitydweller

Be careful with what caulk you use on Stone, because certain types of Silicone will etch the stone. Acetoxy silicone will definitely hurt your stone.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 11:25AM
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lovlilynne

Ok, so I already painted the wall behind the soapstone, so would this be when/if I ever decided to change the color of paint? The reason I ask is that I don't want to have to paint the caulk now since I already painted the walls, and I don't want a big strip of white caulk if I don't have to. I'm thinking the black is the way to go???

I bought whatever Lowe's had, but certainly I could return it. They didn't have much choice in brands at all.

Here's my thing about the taping - I'm the worlds slowest taper. I cannot tape a straight line to save my life. I just painted my whole kitchen, dining room, and 1 living room wall without taping one thing - I rather cut in than tape :-) I don't have a lot of linear feet - maybe 12? - but x2 for each side is 24' and it will take me at least an hour to get tape on each side nice and straight and an even amount apart - which is the goal, right? To have it be a perfect bead of caulk?

Lynne

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 11:58AM
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rubyfig

Lynne,

The clear will pick up the color of the SS and not show as much as the black. I have used Lexel and it is, by far, my favorite caulk (did I really type that?).

Use the tape, but don't drive yourself nuts (If you pull off a big section, "stretch" it out and then lay it down, that will give you a pretty straight line). This is cleaner than trying to "smooth" a straight line with your finger.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 1:39PM
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