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I just finished installing the treads and risers and need to caulk. I’m looking for the most durable caulk type - something that wont peel in a few years.

I’ve been trying to research the best for this application, but having a hard time deciding. This list made it even more confusing.

Price is not an issue, looking for one with the longest life. My stairs are a combination of laminate and painted board

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    Is there a weathersealing issue here? The idea of caulking stairs is, quite frankly, odd to me. So I'd pick none, and it won't fail, because it's not there to fail.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 12, 2021 at 18:16
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    Your stairs look very nice, and caulk won't make them look better. They move and caulk cracks and accumulates dirt.
    – isherwood
    Feb 12, 2021 at 18:21
  • Thanks. There are some gaps on the riser edge and bottom. Thought some caulk would make it look a bit cleaner. Feb 12, 2021 at 18:42

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Use the picture below as a guide:

  • You can caulk above and in the middle of the trim pieces on the side - in yellow.
  • the appropriate caulk here is the DAP Alex Plus. Yes going there because I use this caulk because it settles with the smallest bead possible and it is a nice white. I am sure there are others just as good, this is what we use.
  • You make the yellow beads as small as possible. When I caulk trim like this you would have to get on your hands and knees inches away and inspect to see that caulk was used.
  • The red areas - DANGER - do not caulk these
  • If you had to take one picture - a snapshot - yes if you caulked them the picture might look slightly better. But with people bouncing on the stairs, people with dirty feet and shoes... Caulking here will be an eyesore in a month or two.
  • Caulking stairs in the redzone is literally one of the biggest tells of a "bad flipper"
  • your stairs look great. When you do something that turns out well, leave it alone.

Side Note: Those stairs can last a long time but laminate covering will wear really quick on stair nose if people are wearing shoes. Also laminate is really bad taking metal rubbing against it. So if moving a shelf put a blanket or rug on stairs for protection.

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  • Awesome. But why not the risers on the left/right edges? Some gaps in some areas. Feb 12, 2021 at 18:47
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    Beacause, @TchaiQuentin you're the one that did the work so they stick out to you like there are flashing neon signs (anyone else remember those?) pointing at 'em. For the rest of us, you've got to point it out before we notice them. I had to look 3 times before I noticed that little gap on the 2nd riser from the top of the pic. It really doesn't look that bad.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 12, 2021 at 18:51
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    The main issue is those sections in red see so much deflection based on season and the weight of people going up and down. Caulk could be used but it simply wouldn't adhere well after a while because all of the movement. Caulk is elastic and deals with small incremental changes. Big back and forth changes... yea it can take a few but after so many it will break down.
    – DMoore
    Feb 12, 2021 at 19:15
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    With a good silicone caulking tool you can fill all those gaps and it wont even be noticeable. I'd use dap extreme stretch with a tiny flat bead achieved by using a 90 degree sharp corner caulk tool
    – redlude97
    Feb 12, 2021 at 19:17
  • I've put down miles of ALEX Plus. It's good stuff, but over time it accumulates dirt and looks... dirty.
    – isherwood
    Feb 12, 2021 at 22:08

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