caulk sealant difference?


What is the difference between caulk and sealant? They both seem to describe pasty material squeezed out from a tube to be applied to joints to make air/water tight.
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see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caulking
peter wrote:

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There's a picture on that web page of a soldier using a caulking gun. The caption indicates that he's using silicone caulk to fill the gap between a baseboard and the wall. Silicone caulk, unless specifically stated otherwise on the tube, is not paintable. From the looks of the tube of DAP he's using, it's more likely a siliconized acrylic caulk. I wonder how many people will be mislead by that picture, use silicone caulk in a similar application, and find out to their horror what a nightmare it is getting rid of the silicone so the next coat of paint will stick.
R
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wrote:

Once finding out about the blunder, I would think the easiest solution is to put paintable silicone over the existing silicone.
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peter wrote:

Unlike construction caulk, which is applied where no building movement is expected, a sealant is made of elastomeric materials that typically allow movement of 25% to 50% of the width of the joint.
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Thank you all. That sums it up nicely.
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Sums it up nicely, but it's erroneous information. There is no clear demarcation line based on joint movement that categorizes caulk. The type of caulk is chosen based on the application criteria, such as - expected amount of joint movement, paintability, exposure, life expectancy of the installation, and cost.
For all intents and purposes there is no difference between the designations caulk and sealant. Pick one you like. The term caulk won't confuse anyone who has ever applied or used the stuff, or watched a DIY show. Sealant is a broader term - think of the liquid goo sealant for car tires, Flat Fix, that comes in an aerosol can.
R
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