Author Topic: Silicone caulk for granite countertop  (Read 683 times)

jeromedawg

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Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« on: June 09, 2018, 01:59:58 PM »
Hey all,

We need to re-caulk a portion of our granite countertop where it joins with a piece that's against the wall as it's pretty much worn away. I had re-caulked several years ago with the GE Silicone II Clear product - is there a better product out there that will last longer though?




Some of the caulking that is in OK condition:

(should I remove this?)


And the part that needs caulk:

Papa bear

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Re: Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 02:56:46 PM »
Whatever product you end up using, prep is super important. You need to take off the old caulk and clean that space before starting over or you'll keep having problems. 




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jeromedawg

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Re: Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2018, 03:11:27 PM »
Whatever product you end up using, prep is super important. You need to take off the old caulk and clean that space before starting over or you'll keep having problems. 




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Maybe I didn't clean it as well last time. What are the 'proper' steps? I scraped off the bad caulking and wiped down with alcohol. Anything else? Should I remove the entire section, good *and* bad? Or is it okay to remove only the bad spots and leave the areas that are still good (some of which are in between bad spots, etc)?

jeromedawg

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Re: Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2018, 05:57:55 PM »
Also, when smoothing a bead of silicone out, is it best to use latex or vinyl gloves? Or something besides my bare fingers? That silicone really stays on even after washing it immediately.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 09:44:59 AM »
Whatever product you end up using, prep is super important. You need to take off the old caulk and clean that space before starting over or you'll keep having problems. 




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Maybe I didn't clean it as well last time. What are the 'proper' steps? I scraped off the bad caulking and wiped down with alcohol. Anything else? Should I remove the entire section, good *and* bad? Or is it okay to remove only the bad spots and leave the areas that are still good (some of which are in between bad spots, etc)?

I always take out the good and the bad and put in one continuous piece, rather than multiple pieces that are adhered together, but still multiple pieces with joints.

Also, when smoothing a bead of silicone out, is it best to use latex or vinyl gloves? Or something besides my bare fingers? That silicone really stays on even after washing it immediately.

I've had decent luck using these (https://www.homedepot.com/p/DAP-PRO-Caulk-Caulking-Tool-Kit-4-Pack-7079809125/205730424) in place of my finger. I still prefer my finger and a very small amount of caulk that requires minimal working.

jeromedawg

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Re: Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2018, 05:20:04 PM »
Thanks! I've also read about someone recommending to have a spray bottle of water/dish detergent and sort of spraying the bead and area before or while smoothing it out - this to kill bacteria and prevent mold/mildew and growth. Would you recommend doing this? Anything else to take into consideration whilst prepping for or applying the silicone?

BTW: would acetone or Googone work for removing any excess silicone that didn't come off from scraping it off?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 07:58:05 PM by jeromedawg »

Papa bear

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Re: Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2018, 07:09:17 PM »
I would replace all of the silicone for the area you are doing.  Clean it up with soap and water, or the alcohol as you did. Make sure you dry it off.

Apply a bead of caulk in the corner, trying not to get any big clumps or bare areas, lick a finger, and run it over the area in one continuous motion. This should push some caulk into the space and give a consistent, clean look. Try not to stop or restart. If you put too much caulk on, your finger will start to gather the caulk and you will need to clean it off.  If you have to do this and start over in the middle, luck your finger again and lightly start over a "finished" area and apply more pressure as you go until you have the same pressure that you started with.

Wipe your finger off with a paper towel.  Take a wet sponge and very lightly run it over the caulking to smooth out any edges.


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Surf

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Re: Silicone caulk for granite countertop
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 11:07:22 PM »
Thanks! I've also read about someone recommending to have a spray bottle of water/dish detergent and sort of spraying the bead and area before or while smoothing it out - this to kill bacteria and prevent mold/mildew and growth. Would you recommend doing this? Anything else to take into consideration whilst prepping for or applying the silicone?

BTW: would acetone or Googone work for removing any excess silicone that didn't come off from scraping it off?

Just did this exact DIY project, replacing silicone caulk behind sink between stone counters and backsplash.  Get all the old caulk out, a painting multi tool is great for this, then finish up with a razor blade. 

Critical to cut the tube to the right size - a too big opening will make a huge mess.  start with a small opening you can always cut larger as needed.

Cut open tube at around 45 degree angle, then a 15 degree cut in the opposite direction across the cut you just made.  This will allow you to hold the tube at 90 degree angle to the work area, and reduce smear off the sides as you push the caulk down the line.  Face the larger cut towards the direction you are pushing and the smaller cut side trailing, will leave a really close-fit bead of caulk.

If you wind up with the wrong opening size it's worth the $5 to cut a new tube vs making a huge mess.  Silicone is a pain to clean up and making sure just the right amount goes down is your best bet.

The spray bottle of soapy water + bare finger works great.  I sprayed my finger and then ran it along the bead. If you are doing a particularly long run spray multiple fingers on one hand and switch fingers as they start to dry out.  Silicone sets pretty quickly but you can still do 12"-24" sections and have a seamless look.

A square or two of TP to immediately clean of fingers is a must.

While silicone is notoriously challenging, these tips made it possible to do a shower surround, bath vanity, and kitchen counter/blacksplash joint the other day with minimal mess/cleanup and a very professional looking result.  Good luck!