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Plumbers Putty vs Silicone: Know the Actual Difference

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Plumbers Putty vs Silicone: Know the Actual Difference: Maintaining both the inside and exterior of your house is important if you would like to take care of the standard around your living area and keep the worth of your home up if you ever want to sell. This includes updating appliances, floors, solving any plumbing or electrical issues, and regularly cleaning up to rid the house of any dust or decay. it’s vital to seem at issues directly because the longer you set them off, and therefore the more you consider other things, the more severe it’ll get.

Nowadays, many of us want to repair things themselves around the house, instead of hire knowledgeable to try to to it. We strongly recommend learning the way to do things yourself because it’s getting to save tons of cash as professional electricians and plumbers can cost you an excellent deal.

When doing plumbing jobs around the home, you’re getting to come to some extent where you’re getting to need putty or silicone caulking. for several of you, these might sound like foreign words that you’ve never heard of before, but that’s okay. We are getting to review them both for you and solve the age-old question: Which is better—plumber putty or silicone caulking?

Plumbers Putty

Plumber’s putty because the name reveals it’s a compulsory item in any plumber’s toolbox. it’s a sort of putty that works as a sealant in plumbing work. it’s a really soft material mainly made from flaxseed oil and clay. However, it is often prepared by different methods and from various materials.

It is a proven fact that plumbers use this sealant for wide purposes including the pipes linked to sinks and along the bottom of the faucet. the most reason is that this specific sealant is capable of remaining elastic for an extended period and strongly seal bulky water.

Why Use Plumber’s Putty?


Plumber’s putty is during one among the fundamentals tools in a plumber’s bag. Plumbers use it because it remains soft for an extended time and maintains a watertight seal, but unlike silicone and other sorts of caulk, plumber’s putty isn’t adhesive, so a fixture or drain part sealed with putty remains easy to get rid of if you ever got to replace it. Also, silicone isn’t as easy you’re employed with and isn’t as dense as plumber’s putty, so it isn’t nearly as good at filling wide gaps, and plumbers don’t need time to dry a bit as caulk does.

Where to Use Plumber’s Putty?

Plumber’s putty is usually wont to seal along the bottom of faucets and other sink fixtures before setting them onto the sink. it is also applied to the undersides of sink strainers and pop-up drain fittings for sinks and tubs. altogether of those common applications, the putty is hidden under a flange, lip, or edge and isn’t visible when the part is installed. If caulk were used rather than putty, it might be difficult to access these areas to chop through the caulk to get rid of the part.

  • Remains soft over time
  • No need to dry
  • Easy application
  • Easy to get rid of
  • Not gives an adhesive strength
  • Don’t apply on exposed areas
  • Not for plastic pipes
  • Doesn’t seal the space between the wall and sink
  • it’s not recommended for metal threaded pipes or joints.

Silicone Caulking

Caulking is extremely almost like plumber putty and may bring an excellent alternative, mind you, with vast differences. Caulking is typically placed on to seal cracks around the home and stop any moisture from build up.

It is sometimes mentioned as rubberized silicone caulk, due to its extremely rubbery texture. this enables it, a bit like putty, to be flexible for an extended time with none cracking or distortion. this enables it to take care of a water-proof seal, which is why it’s also used around bathtubs, sinks, and showers. Just a warning—there is additionally acrylic caulk available, but it’s to not be used around moist areas because it will crack and break over time.

Why Use Silicone Caulking?

While silicone hardens when it dries out, it’s still fragile to use. you’ll rarely see a silicone caulking fitting cracking or wearing out. This keeps a water-proof seal that forestalls leaking and works wonders alongside acrylic and ceramics. And surely, it lasts an extended time.

When to Use Silicone Caulking?

Silicone works well altogether sorts of materials, but it works better in woodworking, walls, and ceilings. But being hard instead of soft, it often ensures a more durable seal. this might affect how you replace it or modify it.

Difference Between Plumbers Putty vs Silicone

Drying Time

The drying of both materials completely depends on chemical compositions. Silicone has differing types mostly containing both organic and inorganic compounds. The synthetic polymers in silicone are comprised of both silicone and oxygen making joined C-Si bonds. that’s why they need to dry.

On the opposite hand, a plumber’s putty is predicated on oils and clays having a really expandable texture. thanks to this, it doesn’t require any drying. Plumber’s putty has versatile uses thanks to its flexibility and drying it doesn’t make any sense. If putty gets hard and dry thanks to any extra exposure, it can’t be used again.

Water Resistance

Waterproofing a crucial consideration while comparing both of them as both serve mainly as a water sealant. Silicone features a rubbery gel-like material that creates a robust waterproof seal. It means it can affect heavy water pressure. Though, it’s its limits with greater pressure.

On the opposite hand, a plumber’s putty is additionally a 100% water-proof material but thanks to its flexible nature, it doesn’t get hard. So, it’s more useful for drainage pipes and joint sealants where water pressure is smooth. Typically, plumber’s putty lasts for nearly 10-15 years. Both plumber’s putty and silicone sealant accompany a guaranty mentioned by their manufactures.


Plumber’s putty is best to figure with if you would like to use sealant during a small area. However, if you’re working with bigger projects which require tons of sealant material, accompany a silicon adhesive. Silicon dries up into a tough form while a putty remains soft and doesn’t require drying.

While putty is merely for plumbing work. And it’s also mainly for sealing leakages and cracks within the system. it’s a limited application, for instance, it can’t be wont to refill any space between pipes thanks to non-glueyness. Silicone caulk is that the perfect choice if you’ve got to figure on different sorts of projects but if you’re only performing on plumbing, use plumber’s putty thanks to its easy usage.

Colour and Odor

Silicone caulking comes in varieties and thus has various colors. it’s also present in clear, no color, or different 23 light shades. A plumber’s putty isn’t visible after applying and isn’t utilized in exposed areas. So, color doesn’t matter that much. It comes in off-white rubber material.

Silicone features a really strong bad odor. Sometimes it can smell as bad as an old ethanoic acid (vinegar). However, this smell only lasts for 2-3 days and disappear. The plumber’s putty doesn’t have any strong smell.


Both sealants are highly durable when it involves bathroom fittings and different drain pipes. But as we all know that plumbers’ putty is soft compared to silicone caulk. this is often the rationale that silicon durability is a smaller amount than a plumber’s putty.

A silicone caulk hardens after drying and loses all its flexibility. It can break by heavy exposure to water or after an extended has passed. On the opposite hand, a plumber’s putty keeps its elasticity and doesn’t get hard after drying. It also can be easily removed and replaced.


You can easily remove a plumber’s putty from a fitting or a joint and reshape it or reapply it again. Silicone caulk can’t be maintained after applying. the rationale is its hardness and less material flexibility. Silicone caulk is stronger than plumber putting, so it doesn’t require it to switch or reapply it again. While a plumber putting must fix and maintained after a while thanks to its ability to switch.

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If the plumber’s putty gets hard after removing, then it can’t be applied again. to see it simply attempt to roll it in your hand. If it’s difficult to roll, it simply means it’s too old and dries out completely.

Price Difference

If you’re low on budget, a plumber putty may be a great choice. it’s far less costly than silicone caulk. But never underestimate the strength and adhesiveness of silicone caulking. you ought to also consider if you would like to try to work yourself otherwise you are willing to pay labor costs.

Conclusion: Plumbers Putty vs Silicone

We have tried best to clear all the similarities and differences between plumber’s putty and silicone caulk by comparison. Now it’s completely up to you to settle on the right one for yourself. it’s so obvious that they’re useful for various purposes. If you’ve got read all the knowledge that on silicone caulk vs plumber’s putty, then you’ll be ready to choose the perfect material for you. We are sure that you simply won’t regret selecting one after considering all the facts.