Caulking Vs Glazing: What’s The Difference?

Last Updated on January 11, 2023

Are you confused about the difference between window glazing putty and caulking? If so, this article will give you a brief overview of the differences between these two materials.

Read on to find out whether you should use one or the other. And don’t forget to ask your local home improvement store for help! Caulk is a type of adhesive that bonds to surfaces with a tacky substance called silicone. Window glazing putty is similar to caulk, but has a different formula than traditional putty.

Acrylic latex/silicone caulk

When it comes to sealing gaps around windows, there are a few things to remember. While silicone and acrylic latex are great for gaps less than 1/4″ wide, glazing is best used for larger gaps.

However, some people use butyl rubber caulk for window frames, too. Whichever you decide to use, it’s important to follow the directions carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Window glazing putty has been around for centuries and can last for hundreds of years. Silicone caulk has only been around for about half as long.

Compared to glazing putty, silicone caulk requires frequent replacement every seven to ten years. Window glazing putty is much more durable and is made of high calcite lime and linseed oil, making it the perfect choice for many windows.

While both types of caulk can seal the edges of windows, they are not interchangeable. You should never use one instead of the other because the texture and elasticity of each will vary.

The difference in elasticity makes it a better choice for small gaps such as around windows. And caulk is the best choice for gaps larger than a quarter inch wide. You may want to experiment with both types before making a final decision.

While window glazing putty is not completely interchangeable, they both serve different purposes. While window glazing putty is best for sealing a glass to a wooden frame, caulk is a better option for sealing window frames.

Both products are valuable resources, but which one is right for your project? Ultimately, it will depend on what your end goal is. You will need to use your judgment to choose the right one.


A common question when sealing exterior cracks is whether to use silicone caulk or glazing putty. Both products can effectively seal cracks, but silicone caulk cures much faster than glazing putty.

While putty must be allowed to dry until it forms a firm outer layer, caulk dries much faster, and can be painted on immediately after installation.

Unlike glazing putty, silicone is also very affordable and flexible, making it a convenient option for small cracks.

While glazing putty is still used to set window panes in older sash windows, silicone is increasingly being used for this purpose.

Because silicone has excellent adhesion to glass and wood, it can prevent water from penetrating between the two panes, and prevents wood frames from warping.

Using glazing putty also poses some problems for the paintable nature of the window pane, as water can get trapped between the glass panes and rot the wood frame.

However, while silicone caulk is more rigid than glazing, it is still not as durable. This makes it an inferior choice for many projects. However, it is ideal for many types of sealing jobs, including sealing window gaps and securing seams.

Using silicone sealants is the best option for those areas that experience minimal contraction and expansion, such as windows in high-rise buildings. In addition, silicone caulk is easy to apply, and it is cheaper than glazing and plumber’s putty.

Window glazing putty

Window glazing putty

When you’re installing windows, you might be wondering which product is best. Window glazing putty is a quick and easy way to seal gaps between the panes.

This product comes in a putty knife, which you can use to spread it evenly on the surface. Once you’ve applied the putty, use the putty knife to spread it out and scrape away any excess.

If you’re using window glazing putty, you’ll find that it’s easier to apply and will leave neater edges. When applying putty, you can simply use a putty knife or a makeshift tool to spread it into cracks.

When applying caulk, you’ll use a gun to apply it. Once you’re done, you can then paint the frame. Caulk dries within a day.

Whether you use window glazing putty or caulk depends on your goals. If you’re trying to seal gaps between a wooden frame and glass, window glazing putty is better.

However, caulk serves more purposes. Caulk is more suitable for sealing gaps around vents, doors, and windows, while window glazing putty is better for sealing gaps in between wood.

If your gaps are greater than a quarter-inch, you’ll want to use caulk. Window glazing putty can be applied to larger gaps, like those found between casement windows, and it cures in one to two days.

Afterward, you’ll want to apply a window treatment. For larger gaps, however, window glazing putty is the best choice. Just make sure that you choose the proper one for the project.

If you don’t know much about window glazing, watch Craftsman Blog’s video about glazing windows. It shows a window laid out on a table, and how to properly work with the putty.

While caulking and putty are both capable of the same task, putty is easier to work with and takes longer to harden. Silicon, on the other hand, dries quickly.


If you’re comparing polyurethane caulking and glazing for a home improvement project, you might be confused by the two types. Polyurethane caulk is paintable and claims to be flexible and durable.

While it won’t adhere to wood and vinyl, it is more expensive than glazing and can be a good option for certain situations. Polyurethane caulk also sticks better to glass.

Another advantage of polyurethane caulk is its resistance to chemicals, moisture, and corrosion. It also provides excellent flexibility, preventing cracking and loosening when joints expand and contract.

This type of caulk comes in industrial strength and consumer ready-to-use varieties. Whether you need a durable sealant for a residential project or a durable waterproof coating for a building, polyurethane is an excellent choice.

However, polyurethane caulk is better suited for wood surfaces that will need to be painted. It adheres to most surfaces and does not break down as well as silicone caulk, but can last for ten years or more with minimal exposure.

Polyurethane is easier to clean up than silicone caulk, although once it has set, it is difficult to remove.

When choosing a sealant for a window or door, consider the amount of time the sealant will need to cure. Silicone sealant is water-based, but acrylic caulk can be applied to doors and windows.

Both have benefits and disadvantages. While polyurethane is a durable and energy-efficient choice for small caulking jobs, silicone is less suitable for exterior applications. It can be applied to smaller areas, such as corners.

In many cases, a window will need replacement if its glazing is damaged. While the latter can be a good option, Polyurethane is best for windows and doors with large gaps, so it’s better to choose a glazing putty when you’re installing your new windows.

In addition, a window’s glazing may need to be replaced if it’s broken, so caulk is a good alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– What is the best use for caulking?

Caulking is most commonly used to seal cracks or gaps between two surfaces. It can also be used to fill in holes or to create a watertight seal around windows, doors, and other fixtures.

– What is the best use for glazing putty?

Window glazing putty is most commonly used to fill in the gaps between the window panes and the window frame. It can also be used to seal cracks or create a watertight seal around windows, doors, and other fixtures.

– How do I know when to use caulking or glazing putty?

Window glazing putty is generally used to fill in the gaps between the window panes and the window frame. If there are cracks or gaps between two surfaces, caulking is usually the better option.


Caulking and glazing putty are both great options for repairing and sealing windows, but they have different purposes. Caulk is best used for bonding surfaces together, while glazing putty is better at filling in gaps.

If you’re not sure which material you need, it’s always best to consult with a professional. But in general, caulking is better for bonding surfaces together, while glazing putty is better at filling gaps. So if you’re not sure which one you need, ask your local home improvement store for help!

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