White Or Clear Caulk Around The Toilet Base? (Full Comparison)


Sealing the toilet base is necessary, but what caulk color should you use? Some claim the caulk should be white. Others prefer the clear kind. 

You can seal the toilet base with either white or clear caulk, as long as you use a waterproof sealant. Generally, white silicone caulk is preferred over clear because it can easily conceal any gaps between the toilet base and the floor. It also maintains its color for longer than clear caulk, which tends to turn yellow fast.

White Vs. Clear Caulk

When choosing a sealant for your toilet base, the only thing that matters is the type of sealant you use. As a rule of thumb, you can’t go wrong with pure silicone caulk regardless of what color you apply.

However, you might care about the color from an aesthetic standpoint. The table below compares white vs. clear caulk around a toilet base: 

CharacteristicWhite CaulkClear Caulk
ApplicationWhite toilet bowl and white or light-colored floorOff-white or colored toilet bowl or dark floor
Maintenance Mold and stains are more visibleTurns a yellowish shade in time
FinishNeatly seals the toilet area, masking gaps and imperfectionsCould draw attention to gaps between the toilet bowl and floor

Application 

The best way to decide between white and clear sealant is by considering your circumstances. 

Does the toilet bowl sit perfectly flush against the floor, or are there any visible gaps? What color is your toilet bowl, and what color is the floor?

White caulk can create a flawless, perfect finish when used to seal a white toilet base. Since both the ceramic (or porcelain) and the cured silicone caulk are glossy, white caulk can easily mask any imperfections. 

Clear caulk would draw attention to any gaps between the toilet base and the floor. If the gap is substantial, it can even give the impression that your toilet is floating.

However, it is a better choice for toilet bowls that are not white or on dark floors. A transparent sealant works best for all colors other than white, including off-white shades and light cream. 

That said, silicone caulk comes in a number of colors aside from clear and white, so you might be able to find a solid hue that matches your fixture or floor.

Maintenance 

Just like grout, caulk must be cleaned regularly. 

White caulk tends to show off dust and grime faster than clear caulk. Mold, mildew, and urine stains are also more visible on a white surface. 

Clear caulk masks stains for longer, but it turns yellow faster. In some cases, it might even look like a huge stain surrounding the toilet base. 

While you could increase light exposure to slow down yellowing, chances are you’ll have to recaulk the toilet base more frequently if you use clear caulk.

Finish

A solid color caulk – be it white or any other hue – can easily mask imperfections and gaps between the toilet base and the floor. 

A clear sealant will prevent spills from leaking under the base, but it will leave all gaps and imperfections on display. However, if the toilet base is perfectly flush with the floor, clear caulk is less visible. 

Can You Get Silicone Caulk In Other Colors?

White and clear silicone caulks are the most commonly found in home improvement stores. However, you can get silicone caulk in colors ranging from white to black, as well as colored translucent options. Moreover, you can also find silicone caulk in satin rather than gloss finish.

As a rule of thumb, darker colors need less maintenance and are less likely to turn yellow or brown due to discoloration compared to lighter hues.

Is Caulking Around Toilet Base Necessary?

Finding the right caulk color for your toilet base is often challenging, but should you caulk at all? 

While some homeowners claim you don’t have to seal the toilet base, the building department in your area may say otherwise. 

Both the International and the Universal Plumbing Code require any joints that form when a fixture comes in contact with a wall or floor to be sealed. 

These codes may not always be enforced, but your home will unlikely pass an inspection if the toilet base is not sealed. Code aside, you may want to seal around the toilet base anyway to prevent spills from leaking under it.

If soiled water or urine gets under the toilet base, it can create the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to thrive. Spills under the bowl can be the cause of bad odors in your bathroom.

Caulking around the toilet base can also keep the toilet secured to the floor, preventing it from wobbling. 

Alternative To Caulking Around The Toilet Base

If you want to caulk around the toilet base, 100% silicone caulk is your only option. Acrylic and latex caulks are not as resistant, need more frequent recaulking, and might let water seep through. 

However, there are other non-caulk alternatives you could use: 

Epoxy Sealant 

Epoxy resin can be used to seal pretty much anything around your home. Use it to seal a toilet base to the floor, bathtub edges, countertop and wall joints, the joint between a kitchen sink and counter, and so on.

This sealant sticks to all surfaces and creates a waterproof seal, but it has a high-gloss finish. This could work well with a porcelain toilet and some tile floors but could look awkward if your floors or toilet have a flat finish.

Sealant Tape

Sealant tape is one of the most popular alternatives to caulk. It is a peel-and-stick method that suits all homeowners, but you have to pay attention to avoid air pouches when applying it, or it won’t stick. 

Unlike epoxy resin, sealant tape doesn’t adhere to all surfaces. Choose another material if you have wood or vinyl floors.

Grout or Mortar

Grout and mortar are popular construction materials that can keep the toilet secure against the floor. 

However, they are not sealing materials. While both grout and mortar will prevent spills from leaking under the toilet base if wiped away promptly, they generally absorb water. This means that spills can still get under the toilet if left long enough. 

Neither grout nor mortar is flexible, and this is another thing to consider when using them. They are more likely to crack as you use the toilet.

Another disadvantage is that they are harder to remove compared to other sealants, so you might struggle to remove the toilet if you have to.

So, What Sealant Color Is Best Around Toilet Base?

There is no such thing as the best sealant color. It all depends on your circumstances. 

As explained above, you should consider the color of your toilet and floor and ideally get a sealant in a color that matches both.

Roxana Bikfalvi

Roxana is a copywriter passionate about home improvement and interior design. When she’s not writing, you can find her upcycling old furniture or remodeling interiors. She has written for numerous home improvement blogs before joining PlumbJoe.

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