Silicone is such a useful product around the house, but to get the most out of it, you need to know which one to use when.

‘Silicone’ is a term used for a wide range of adhesive products that fill all kinds of roles. These products often have quite specific properties and intended uses, although most people just opt for the cheapest silicone they find in the right colour!

Silicone adhesives are versatile, water-resistant polymers used to seal gaps and holes to make something airtight or watertight. Most stay flexible at wide temperature ranges, are completely waterproof and bond well to most surfaces. Another major benefit of silicone is that it has excellent UV protection and can last for years, even outdoors.

Unfortunately, there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ in the silicone world, so you need to consider what and where you are going to use the silicone.

If you are going to use the silicone in a humid environment such as the kitchen or bathroom, it’s preferable to use a silicone that contains a fungicide, which will prevent the growth of mould. These are often labelled as Bath or Shower silicone and are used primarily for sealing around shower doors, baths, basins and kitchen sinks, as well as toilet bowls.

If you are sealing round a mirror, though, you need to be careful as many silicones can de-silver mirrors. In this case, make sure you use a silicone that is safe for use on mirrors, such as the cleverly named Bostik Mirror.

If you are working on a leaking aquarium or an aquarium lid, you need a specialist silicone product such as Marine. Marine does not contain a fungicide and so won’t leave your fish floating belly-up.

There are also impressive high-heat silicones that can withstand temperatures up to 1200°C, such as Den Braven Fire Sealant. This would be used to repair chimneys and other items that are exposed to high temperatures. Be aware that it is not flexible once cured.

So far we have mentioned some of the specialist silicones, but there are also a number of general-purpose contractor’s silicones that are great for most jobs around the house such as sealing gutters and downpipes, sealing around aluminium window frames and so forth. There are so many uses for these products that it’s a good idea to have a one in the workshop just waiting to be used.

While silicone sealants are incredible all-round products, they do have their limitations. They can have a strong odour until cured and they are generally not paintable.

If you need something that is paintable you could reach for contactor’s acrylic. This isn’t a silicone product but it is very similar. It can be sanded and painted and is just the thing for filling gaps between ceiling and cornices and filling small holes. It isn’t flexible, though.

We hope that this will help you to make the right choice when buying a sealant. All of these and many more adhesives and sealants are available from Builders, either in-store or online at

shopping cart

Browse 1000’s of products available to you. Select your country to Shop Online.