Caulking is a sealant that fills cracks, gaps, and imperfections on the surface. This means that you should caulk where moisture might penetrate and cause deterioration.
The base of a faucet cannot make a tight seal by itself to the counter it sets on so it would be a good idea to caulk around the kitchen faucet.
Why you Should Caulk Around Kitchen Faucet
If there is not a tight seal around the faucet and the countertop, this can allow moisture to seep underneath the counter and faucet.
This can happen from an internal leak or splashes.
There are some faucets that come with special rings to help them seal in place.
There are other faucets that you have to seal after you install them and then reseal them later to help prevent leaks.
Choosing the Right Caulk
When choosing a sealant, or caulk, look at the color of the faucet, countertop, and sink along with the type of materials each one is.
You can get it in different types of material and colors; silicone, copolymer, and acrylic bases.
Some even consider plumber’s putty as a type of caulking.
Steps for Caulking Using Plumber’s Putty
- Turn off the water supply under the sink to the faucet. Make sure that the hot and cold water is turned off.
- Once you have turned off the water, turn the faucet on to drain all water out of it.
- If you are installing another faucet you have to remove it from the counter or sink. Use a wrench to disconnect the water supply lines. You will also need to use it to loosen the nuts that are holding the faucet to the counter or sink.
- When the faucet is off you need to clean the area. You want to make sure that you wipe off any old grease or grime and old sealer with hot soapy water. You need to do this whether you are replacing the faucet or reusing the same one. If you are just resealing the faucet you also need to wipe off the base of the faucet. Once this is done, dry it completely.
- Roll a piece of plumber’s putty about three-fourths thick into a rope and form it into a ring. The ring should be the approximate diameter of the piece (s) of the faucet base.
- Press the putty onto the base of faucet piece (pieces).
- Put the faucet back into the hole (holes) on the counter or sink. Then replace the nut and gasket back onto the piece (pieces) of the faucet.
- Reconnect the faucet supply lines.
- Turn on the water to test the faucet for leaks by splashing water around the base and just running the water.
- If you do not see any water seeping out of the faucet or water seeps beneath the faucet it is sealed completely.
Steps for Caulking Using a Caulking Gun
- You would prepare the area the same way that you would if you were using a plumber’s putty.
- To get rid of the caulking you may have to use a caulk removal tool or a scraper but make sure when using either of the tools that you do not damage the surrounding countertop or sink.
- To clean the joints of the faucet you can use rubbing alcohol and also around the area that will make the seal. If this is a new faucet you should not have to clean the joints but can do it to get any dust off. You should always clean the area where the seal will be.
- Once this is done, you will need to use mineral spirits to rub away any caulking that remains and clear all the surfaces of any oils, including those from your fingers, debris, grease, mildew, mold, and dirt.
- Rinse the area with cold water and dry with a clean dry cloth.
Preparing and Using the Caulk
When preparing the caulk, following the instruction from the manufacturer.
- Load the nozzle end into the open end of the caulking gun.
- Press the back of the tube in place by the plunger.
- Cut the tip off the tube using a utility knife at a 45-degree angle making a one-quarter inch opening
To make sure that you have done it right squeeze a small line of caulk on a piece of cardboard o be sure that it is putting out a line one-quarter inch thick.
This is also to prime your caulking tool.
When you are ready to caulk, you will need to put one-quarter inch around the outer edges of the hole (holes).
Once this is done, put the faucet on top and press firmly into place on the sink or countertop.
Do not worry if some of the caulk comes out the sides.
After the faucets are set you go under the sink and install the washers and nuts and water lines.
Once you have finished caulking around your kitchen faucet you can clean up any leaked out caulk by using a caulk-smoothing tool to make sure that any visible caulk is clean and smooth looking.
You can clean up any small amounts using mineral spirits.
- Caulking around the kitchen faucet will help to prevent leaks that can lead to damage to the countertop or wood, mold, mildew, and environments for insects.
- Before you expose the caulk to water, make sure that it is entirely dry. Look on the caulk tube to find out the extract drying time. Once dried, it is ready to use without any issues with splashes or leaks. On average, it takes about 24 hours to dry and cure.
- If you choose to use plumber’s putty, it requires very little time to dry or harden. This means that you can use your faucet immediately.
- Do not use plumber’s putty on porous countertops like granite or marble.
- It is important to make sure that there are no leaks around your faucets or any way to get water under the faucet because overtime it can lead to an expensive repair bill.