What is the Difference Between Chinking & Caulking?

Caulking of log cabin seams with moss and mounting foam, Russian style country building house clear angle in paw exterior fragment closeup view on a summer dayHere at River to River Log Homes, log home and log cabin remodeling and restoration are our specialties. One question that frequently arises from our clients is: What sets chinking apart from caulking? While both serve similar functions, it’s crucial to grasp the distinctions between the two.

ChinkingThe wooden wall of the log house

This is a traditional method utilized in log home construction to seal the gaps between logs. Typically crafted from flexible materials such as mortar, cement, or synthetic chinking compounds, chinking not only seals out air and moisture but also lends structural support to the log walls. Moreover, it contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the home by creating a seamless and unified appearance.


Caulking & Chinking Logs for Log CabinConversely, caulking is a broader term encompassing the process of sealing joints and gaps in various construction materials, including wood, metal, and concrete. Usually applied with a caulking gun, caulking involves the use of flexible sealants like silicone or latex to fill in gaps and cracks. While caulking can be utilized on log homes, it’s not as prevalent as chinking due to its limited flexibility and durability.

So, what sets chinking and caulking apart?

Material Composition

casement window on an old log wall. window of the village hutChinking is typically crafted from specialized materials tailored for log home construction, while caulking can consist of a range of sealants suited for different applications.


Home mockup, cozy log cabin interior background, 3d renderChinking is engineered to be flexible to accommodate the natural movement of log walls, whereas caulking may lack the same level of flexibility, making it less suitable for use on log homes.

Aesthetic Appeal

Chinking is often favored for its ability to enhance the visual allure of log homes, whereas caulking may possess a more utilitarian appearance.

Application MethodSealant for sealing holes. The worker holds a caulk gun in hand. Vector illustration isometric design. Isolated on white background.

Chinking is typically applied by hand using a trowel or chinking gun, while caulking is dispensed using a caulking gun.

At River to River Log Homes, we recognize the significance of using proper chinking and caulking techniques to preserve the integrity and beauty of your log home or cabin. Whether you require chinking repair, caulking replacement, or a comprehensive log home restoration, our seasoned team is at your service. With our meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to quality craftsmanship, you can rely on us to ensure that your log home withstands the test of time.

About River to River Log Homes in Boise, Idaho; Reno, Nevada; and Bend, Oregon

Wooden mountain house built from wood logs on sunny day, Pieniny Mountains, PolandYou can count on a log home to last many generations with River to River Log Homes. Although we are not the biggest log home company, we are known as one of the best. At River to River Log Homes, we are committed to a high level of excellence in repairs and restoration, such as log replacement, epoxy repairs, sanding, washing, caulking, chinking, staining, sealing, and new construction. From the first time we meet, we start with the process all the way to the final touches on your dream log home or log cabin. This is why we have so many satisfied clients throughout the US and world. We look forward to working for you with your dream log home. For more information, contact us today!