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How to Tool Sealants in Horizontal Joints

How to Tool Sealants in Horizontal Joints

The best advice we can pass along for tooling sealants in saw cut and expansion joints in concrete slabs comes from Wayne Belcher from United Professional Caulking in Seattle.  He is a recognized expert in the field and has published a reference book on waterproofing.

We recently watched him lead a team that was doing just this type of work.  His advice was to use a combination of spatulas with both Passive and Aggressive tip shapes.

Image of 2 people holding Albion Spatulas. One with a Passive Round Tip and another with an Aggressive CAT pointed tip



  1. DISPENSE sealant into the joints, overfill them slightly. 
  2. PUSH forward with along the joint with a passive or traditionally shaped (rounded tip) spatula (258 Classic Spatula or 958 Streamline Spatula). Smooth and remove the excess caulk by scooping it off the substrate.
Instructional image on how to push a spatula to remove excess sealant

3. PULL the sealant back towards you using an aggressive shaped (pointed tip) spatula (922-G01 CAT Spatula), Giving it the hourglass shaped profile that most sealant manufacturers recommend for the best elongation characteristics. Take note of the shallow angle of the spatula in this step.

Instructional image on how to pull back a spatula to smooth out the sealant
FINSHED – Remember to clean off your spatulas for longer lasting tool!

For more information on our 258 Classic Spatula,  958 Streamline Spatula, or 922-G01 CAT Spatula see Product Bulletin 297F and Product Bulletin 345.

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