caulking questions

I planed to re-caulk my bathtub and kitchen sink and came to a decision which caulk to buy. After searching online to educate myself (I am totally new to home repair, so please bare with me if I ask stupid questions), apparently I got confused by some discussions. Lowe's website has some good advice for caulking. As far as I understand, acrylic latex caulk is not water resistant while silicone caulk is. So given my usage in kitchen and bath, silicone caulk seems to be the choice. However, Lowe's website also gives 2 types of caulk that seems for my usage:
1. Tub and tile: Acrylic sealant gives a flexible, watertight seal. It is mildew resistant with water cleanup. 2. 100% silicone kitchen and bath sealant: Has the same characteristics as plain 100% silicone sealant.
My question is if the first one is acrylic, how can it be used for tub? that is, how can it be both watertight AND water cleanup?
One such type of product is Polyseamseal White Tub and Tile Adhesive Caulk. The description for this product is
Guaranteed mildew-proof Seals around tubs, showers, sinks and all bathroom fixtures Resets tiles, fills cracks and joints Seals around windows and doors Stays flexible Won't crack or peel Goes on easy Soap and water cleanup
If it can be easily cleaned up by water, then why should it be used to seal around tubs, showers, sinks, etc in the first place? can anyone answer the question?
Another question I have for the job I am going to do is that I have a vinyl floor in my bathroom, the edge of the vinyl at the foot of the bathtub is kind of curved upward, i.e. the edge is not tightly adhered to the floor, how do I caulk the joint between the vinyl floor and the bathtub in this situation? Do I have to fix the problem of curvature of the vinyl floor first before caulking?
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Similar to the first question is can I use siliconized latex for the kitched and bath caulking? siliconized latex can also be cleaned up by water according to Lowe's website. thx
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On May 15, 3:32 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

For the same reason that latex paint is widely used for exterior house paint. As it dries, the molecules link together and it is no longer the same as it was when it was in the can. I think the silicone products are more durable, however they are not as easy to work with as the acrylic.

The vinyl should be secured first, otherwise it will just break away from the caulk when it's pushed down. Get some adhesive under it, then put some weight on it to keep it in place.
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On May 15, 1:55 pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Do you mean when the acrylic latex caulk dries, it becomes water resistant just like the silicone caulk? So the "water clean up" refers to the clean up during the caulking process? In other words, the latex caulk can be perfectly used in bathtub and kitchen where water spill and moisture is frequent? Just want to make sure.
thanks

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clipped

"Clean-up" refers to cleaning hands and tools before the caulk sets.

I use paintable caulk for rooms other than kitchen and bath, and for exterior (the tube will indicate what is suitable.)
I use only silicone around plumbing fixtures. Surface must be absolutely, immaculately clean; wipe with full strength bleach and dry before application. If not applied smoothly, or if applied on soapy or dirty surface, it will get mildewy.
Easy to do, once you have a little practice. Use painters tape and remove right away to get nice straight edge. If your vinyl flooring is curled, you would probably save a headache or two by replacing it.
My parent's home - only brand new one I have lived in - had vinyl on kitchen and bath floors. The builder used clear silicone all the way around under baseboards. Partly, I suppose, to keep bugs out, but also prevents damage to baseboard when the inevitable flood occurs.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) says...

I absolutely refuse to take my clothes off. If you want to bare anything, please do it in the privacy of your own home.

A retailer is the last place to look for advice. Big box stores are run by salesmen who know nothing about building materials.

There are more than two. There are also adhesive caulks, plumbers caulks, butyl caulks and poly caulks, just to name a few.

The same reason that acrylic paint doesn't wash off the outside of your house. The water is just a carrier.

Good stuff. It hardens after a few years, and will crack if the joint flexes.

Already did. For your purposes, it's magic.
I like to use straight silicone caulk in the bathroom. It has a couple advantages. First, it stays flexible forever. Second, almost nothing will stick to silicone caulk, not even paint. Mildew cleanup is a snap. Third, if it starts to get ratty, just pry up one edge and pull the caulk out. A little scraping and you have a clean joint, which you can just caulk again.

The best thing to do is replace the vinyl flooring and make sure the new flooring gets glued all the way to the edges. Then seal the edge with caulk. If that's too much work, get a bead mold as wide as the loose vinyl, pump some of your adhesive caulk along the edge, and nail the bead mold down to the floor along the tub edge. You will be glad the stuff cleans up with water, because you don't want to leave any voids. Be generous with the caulk. If your tub is porcelain, you will probably be able to scrape the caulk off when you finally get around to replacing the flooring. If the tub is fiberglass, plan on replacing the tub when you replace the flooring.
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I work at Home Depot and I've forgotten more about paint and caulk than you ever knew.
So Bite me!
Larry Caldwell wrote:

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Before this turns into a flame war, let me try to help...
All the replies have some validity. All I can say is look at your exact needs and abilities and go from there. Silicone does have more durability, but is harder to work with (needs mineral spirits to clean up). Many of the newer acrylic latex caulks designed for kitchen and bath use will remain mildew free for several years thanks to mildewicides they add to the product. Definitely stay away from painter's grade caulk. See the old guy working in the paint department at your local store and ask his advice.
If you vinyl is peeling you need to know why. Is it an issue with the adhesive, not enough, wrong kind? Is the vinyl just way too old? Is the subfloor damaged in some way? Once you know the answer, your local flooring store can make some recommendations as to how to fix. Just adding caulk, and resting a brick on top will only be a temporary band- aid if there is an underlying issue.
As far as the crack about retailers....There are good and bad, just like there are good and bad contractors. A well trained retailer will know more about the specific products he carries than the average contractor that frequents his store. The question is, did you get a good one? Someone looking to help won't throw around insults trying to make himself feel better about his own limitations. If you ask the right questions and listen to the answers, it's not hard to figure out what someone's needs are. There are hundreds of different caulks because there are hundreds of different needs.
Some of my best employees have been former Home Depot / Lowes employees, and I've done business with contractors that I wouldn't want to have sweeping my parking lot after I really got to know them. Then again....the opposite is also true.
Please save the cocky attitudes for the bar after work.
Ed
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LOL, Then why do you bastards always sell the wrong shit to the clueless noobs?

Google it, If it's on the net, it's got to be true.

Yea! But can they cook?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (toolguy) says...

There is no fix. The vinyl is peeling because of water penetration. Neither the vinyl backing or the latex adhesive used to stick it down are waterproof. He is doing well to seal the edge, but there is no way to repair what has already deteriorated. It can be covered with something fairly permanent, but just trying to glue it back down will not work.
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