Decorators Caulk – The Full Story

July 24th, 2020

Decorators caulk is now one of the most widely used sundries in any decorators kit and is often the go to product to ensure that every job is completed perfectly and economically.


Why use caulk?

Using caulk is an easy and inexpensive way to achieve a great finish, especially where different substrates meet or there are surface defects, joints or corners. Many millions of tubes are sold in the UK every year and there are several different types and qualities ranging from basic caulks, to those with high elasticity, ones that you can paint over immediately and others that are guaranteed to give good results regardless of what type of paints they are finished with.


What does caulk do?

Caulk manufacturers do not have an easy life as they are trying to make a product which will adhere well to all the common building surfaces, is elastic enough to accommodate substrate movement, is sufficiently white, dries quickly without shrinking too much, is easy to tool and smooth and is compatible with all the many hundreds of paint products and brands that could be used to finish the caulked areas and they have to do this at a price the market is prepared to pay – usually well under £2.00 per tube for a product that will complete a whole room and when the labour and other materials for the same room will often cost several hundred pounds, if not more.


the challenges

Probably the biggest challenge is ensuring there are no compatibility issues between caulk and paint. The reasons for this are firstly that there are literally hundreds of paints which may be used over any caulk ranging from UK based brands both large and small to continental and US brands. In reality there are far too may for any manufacturer to be able to test for full compatibility which is why you will often find a suggestion on the caulk tube to test compatibility before use or to use a primer over the caulk before applying a finishing product, thereby ensuring you avoid the risk of any issues. Secondly most paint manufacturers have to make small batch adjustments during the manufacturing process as there can be small variations in raw materials which have to be dealt with to ensure that their products remain consistent in terms of coverage, colour, finish and performance. This could mean that there will be odd compatibility issues between the caulk and the finishing paint with certain products, colours or batches. These problems do not happen very often but they can happen and are nobody’s fault however, they can be avoided by following the caulk manufacturers usage suggestions regarding test areas, priming, site conditions and curing times or alternatively by paying a little extra and buying one of the performance caulks, such as our Ultimate Caulk which is designed to minimise the chance of any problems.


ARE THERE DIFFERENT CAULKS AVAILABLE AT BREWERS?

Any quality decorators merchant will offer a range of caulk choices in both standard and performance types. At Brewers we have our own Brewers Premium and Brewers Ultimate products but we also have several others from Geocel, Polycell, Siroflex, Everbuild, etc. as we recognise that our customers like a choice and often have strong preferences and it’s our aim to give our customers what they want. 

Furthermore, most of these products have slightly different characteristics which is why some customers may prefer one to another and can be the reason for the variations in price. Our two exclusive brand products are made for us by one of the biggest sealant companies in the world, who also make very similar products for other leading brands/distributors and account for well over half the caulk sold in the UK but are also experts in other sealants such as silicones, acrylics, MS polymers, adhesives, etc. and they have many years experience of supplying the decorator, glazing, automotive, refrigeration and building industries with a whole host of performance products. 

We do not and will never compromise on the quality and value we offer so when launching our Brewers branded lines we will always evaluate quality ahead of price and will always look to upgrade products when new innovations are available. Working with a leading manufacturer as we do, is also key to ensuring our products are consistent and perform and that we can offer improvements and performance products and most importantly, the choice our customers demand.

If you have not yet tried our Ultimate line please watch out for the regular promotions we are running and take advantage – you won’t be disappointed as it’s our best caulk yet!