Advice on Toilet Caulk?

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SteveHGraham
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Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:57 am

I need something to seal around the base of a toilet. Before I go get it, I want to know if anyone here has special toilet-caulking knowledge. I figured I would buy whatever they sell at Home Depot, but if there are good products and bad ones, I would appreciate advice.

This may be TMI, but I just found out there is no caulking around the base of my dad's toilet. Because of his dementia, I am the sole member of the cleaning crew. The filthy habits of his youth have continued into old age, and I discovered that urine was going under the toilet where it was beyond the reach of a mop filled with water and bleach.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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steamin10
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by steamin10 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:43 pm

In all honesty, a good tub and tile caulk of the silicone variety is what I use to deal around the base of a stool. The unit must be mounted firm so as not to move and that means the wax ring must be in good shape too. In some homes fat posteriors move the unit and break it loose, and they can seep underneath so this must be sealed first and firm, I cant stress enough. Once solid a run of bead around and it is sealed from mop water and any smell generator that may get under.

I have to rebuild my toilet guts every couple of years because my well water is bad for silting up the valves and level control until they become unreliable. So a periodic teardown is always on the horizon.

Just before you caulk the base, scrub the floor and stool clean for a good bond and dry it with a shop vac to get the water out of the crack. Once bonded a quick inspection will tell you if the seal is good or broken. If broken, it is moving. But it makes for a much better job for cleaning and sanitation if sealed.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:13 pm

I have well water, too. I have been using citric acid in the dishwasher and washing machine, and I also made a solution of it to take calcium off surfaces. I don't know if it will accomplish anything in a toilet tank, but it might. It makes dishes and glasses shine, and it removes all of the cloudy stuff. It's eating the paint off some cheap college-logo glasses, but I don't care about that.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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liveaboard
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by liveaboard » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:53 am

Also, clean the surfaces with a solvent + clean rag to be sure it's grease free.
I forgot to do that recently, in a shower in a rental property. The consequences were time consuming and expensive!

I tried some fancy polymers and such, but they discolored and were a pain to apply, worse to remove. Now I'm back on 'sanitary' silicone, that is silicone with an antifungal agent.

I squirt it around, then use a small thick piece of plastic with a smooth wedge cut end to smooth and shape the silicone, also pushing it into the corner. The trick is to use the tool in one go, you can stop and start, but don't lift it from the work until you're done.
When it's half cured, I pull / scrape off the excess side beads that the technique creates. The result is a smooth flat bead.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:21 am

My hat is off to anyone who can apply caulk neatly. I have never been able to do it. I consider caulking to be a branch of painting, which is a skilled trade.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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steamin10
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by steamin10 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:25 am

Put your hat at half mast. Nobody can caulk neatly around a toilet, there is not enough room for the gun to swing and get the angles you need at the speed you need to be neat. i use the shape of a popsickle stick and wipe it off with a rag and return to draw the bead into some semblance of neat. In the open around the trim on a house, getting a nice bead is all in the squeeze and speed of motion for a nice look. With limited space, good luck with that. In the caulk department they have gadgets that are made for smoothing out caulk. A small piece of plastic or card stock will work just as well for a small job. I have a couple of plastic putty knifes with roundy corners. Move fast, steady, and git off. Dont play with it, just a stroke and done. The more you play, the worse it will look.

Good tip on the clean part. Bowl wax , if present will guarantee adhesive failure. So it must be removed.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:50 am

steamin10 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:25 am
Dont play with it, just a stroke and done.
I harkened back to 1975, when I divorced my ex. Afterwards, I did a remodel on a couple bathrooms, combining the two in to one, which made more sense for my use. In doing so, I chose to have the tub surrounded by Corian, which was relatively new at that time. I was a bit shocked when the installer turned out to be a young guy, maybe 25 years old. He got the Corian installed and reached for his caulking gun. At this point I expected to see one hell of a mess come from his efforts. Talk about a pleasant surprise. It was obvious to me that he'd done it before. With lighting quick swipes with the caulking gun, the joints were filled, following by a wet finger, moving equally as fast. The end result was nothing short of perfect.

So, as Big Dave says, get in and get out, and do it quickly. The more you mess with this stuff, the worse it gets.

How I wish I had the skill required to do it.

H
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liveaboard
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by liveaboard » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:01 pm

This is a toilet I did in a camper a couple of years ago, and the tools I use.
As you can see, there's barely enough room to get a hand in there.

I move the spreading tool along at 1-2 inches per second; wipe excess onto a paper towel, clean up the waste side beads after a few hours when with luck, it will just peel off.

The trailing edge of the spreading tool is sanded smooth.

This system is quite time consuming due to the cleanup time, but yields good results without a huge amount of practice.
Those window guys get a result just as good in about 10% of the time it takes me, but that's what they do all day.
toilet calking.jpg
For grooves in flush items [inset sinks, stoves, decking, etc.] I tape the edges, smooth the calking with a tool, and peel off the tape while it's still wet. Thin tape is the secret weapon.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:21 pm

"Spreading tool"? Maybe I'm starting to see where I go wrong.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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liveaboard
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Re: Advice on Toilet Caulk?

Post by liveaboard » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:56 pm

Many people use a spoon or Popsicle stick, but I prefer a flat surfaced bead.

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