519 767 2899


The Crucial Role of Backer Rods in Joining Building Materials

September 17, 2020

Joints or seams between surfaces should have an expansion joint material in order to absorb movement and prevent damage to the structure. The expansion joint material comes in various materials, sizes, and styles. Picking the most appropriate tool for your project will be based on many things such as the environment, traffic conditions, and the size of the joint. One of the excellent expansion joints is the backer rods. They are made from foam with the primary use of filling gaps or voids in a joint, serving as a “backer” before the caulking material is applied. The process then creates an airtight and watertight seal and quality finish. 

What exactly do Backer Rods do?

Backer rods are often used in flooring or tiling works, but they can also be found in window sealing, countertops, stoneworks, or decorative wall paneling. In addition to preventing potential damage to either joint, rods also provide additional insulation and help to increase the energy efficiency of a building. They even add firmness and accuracy in joining two materials for better results. When it comes to types, the rod provides a few options only as it comes in just three types. These include the open-cell rod, closed-cell rod, and the hybrid style, which is essentially a combination of the first two types. 

Each of the backer rods has its own unique qualities and so it’s best to take extra consideration in selecting which among the three is the right one for your application. The major difference between them lies in how dense the foam is. The open cell type is typically airy and breathable while the close cell is much denser. Both varieties do the same function of allowing building materials to move and bend. While sealants remain flexible and stick to the materials being joined, they won’t be on the backer rod, making the foam also known as the bond breaker.       

Given their differences in characteristics, each of the backer rod types has to be considered carefully and it’s best to consult with the professionals of Alcot Plastics. With our expertise in this industry, we will provide you the right sealant material for your project.