Do You Need Plumbers Putty For Kitchen Faucet (Explained)

Usually, a plumber’s putty is used for many plumbing projects. However, if you are not a plumber or a DIYer, you might not have a plumber’s putty available in your home.

Now if you had gone through the faucet installation guide and noticed that the guide mentioned “Plumber’s putty”.

So there could be a question in your mind “do I really need plumber’s putty for the kitchen faucet”. Well, the answer depends on what you’re doing.

So let’s talk about whether your project requires a plumber’s putty or in which condition it is necessary.

Is Plumber’s Putty Necessary For Kitchen Faucet?

Basically, there are two answers to this question: yes and no. if you are installing a kitchen faucet, it may be required, but you also might not need it in some cases.

The reason is that some faucets come with rubber or plastic gaskets near the faucet deck plate that fits over the faucet holes in the sink. If this is the case, a plumber’s putty is not necessary but doesn’t hurt.

Now, if your new faucet doesn’t have a rubber gasket, plumber’s putty is a go-to option. Once you applied the plumber’s putty on the faucet, it will help to create a watertight seal around the base of the faucet and also block any unwanted leaks.

So if you are going to the store for purchasing items for faucet installation then buy a basin wrench (great for installing the faucet), and get some plumber’s putty when you are there. These things will help in the installation process and make your job much easier.

How To Use Plumber’s Putty On Kitchen Faucet

Plumber’s putty is a very low-cost material that is sold in small plastic tubs. First of all, you have to shape it with your hand before you applied it to any plumbing part. Follow these simple steps to apply the plumber’s putty on the kitchen faucet.

Step 1: Make A Putty Rope

Scoop out some putty from the tub with your finger. Roll a golf ball-sized piece of plumber’s putty between your palms to soften it and shape it into a rope (much like making a snake out of Play-Doh).

Make the rope of any length according to your need and of a consistent diameter that should be a bit larger than the gap you need to fill.

Step 2: Place The Putty Rope

Now place the putty rope to the bottom of the faucet deck plate, start at any point and work in a continuous loop. Press it all around the perimeter of the plate.

If the rope is too short, it’s better to roll a longer rope. Once you apply it tear off the excess putty at the end of the rope.

Step 3: Press The Rope Into The Place

After applying the putty on the deck plate. Now gently press the rope without deforming it. This is just to keep it from coming to loose when you turn the deck plate upside down. It will fall down when you install the deck plate. This step helps to keep the putty in place.

Step 4: Install The Part

Now install the kitchen faucet at the place. When you will tighten the faucet, putty will likely squeeze out from the edges, this indicated that you used plenty of putty which is good.

Once you tighten the faucet, wipe any excess putty from the faucet deck plate with your finger. If the remaining putty is clean, you can put it back into the tub for future use.

Tips For Using Plumber’s Putty

It is recommended not to use plumber’s putty where you need adhesive strength (to bond materials or stop them from moving). And also do not use them on water-tight seals that are in exposed areas. Follow these other tips for good results.

  • When you are using a plumber’s putty, it should be pliable and easy to roll. But if it cracks when you try to shape them or it is too hard to roll or maybe it is too old and dried out. If any of these situations come, you should get a new tub of putty.


  • The putty can become hard if don’t tight the seal cap, you should keep the tub of putty sealed tight so the putty will last as long as possible. It may dry out in the tub, but this can take years.


  • Before using it on porous surfaces, you should read the label of the plumber’s putty. Basically, plumbers’ putty is petroleum-based and can discolor or stain some materials such as granite. The direction of use is already mentioned on the container to let you know what surface it can be used on.

Which Is Better To Use Silicon Caulk or Plumber’s Putty

Both plumber’s putty and Silicon caulk are variations of sealing compounds. They both are designed to provide a watertight seal for faucets, sink drains, showers and fittings. Plumber’s putty and silicone caulk both are great for sealing various plumbing projects.

The plumber’s putty stays malleable, so it’s easier to work with. If the putty is off the position, all you need to do is pull it off and reapply it. It will last for long years and if you are removing the faucet after years then it is easy to remove the old plumber’s putty with little effort.

However, a plumber’s putty is not an adhesive and won’t fix cracks or hold parts together. Also if you’re working in an area where gravity is against you, it would be difficult to stay the putty on the surface. They are also not designed to seal off a large area.

On the other side, silicone caulk is very good for large areas. It can be used as an adhesive and is often used to fill breaks or splits. It hardens when it dried out and isn’t easy to crack or break.

Silicone can be difficult to remove. For this, you’ll require some sort of scraping tool to remove all of the bits of the silicone. This tool is only required when you are removing the old fixture and want to get a good seal on the replacement fixture.

Remember that once you applied, it will be difficult to manipulate or change the position, so you need to be careful when you use it the first time.

What can be Used Instead Of Plumber’s Putty

There are other options if you don’t have a plumber’s putty. So, before you go to the store, check these alternative materials in your cabinet.

1. Silicone

When you are working on sealing projects, noting can beat silicone. If you want a reliable alternative to putty, consider silicone as your first priority.

It is long-lasting and durable as compared to traditional adhesive. Also, silicone last 40% longer.

Along with that, it provides protection against mold and mildew. These two are the main culprits that damage plumbing projects.

You can stay away from those two for long while with the silicone. Additionally, the seal is waterproof, which adds more benefits.

2. Adhesive

There is various type of adhesive that will create a watertight seal. You can buy it from your nearest store. They are great for using on plastic instead of using plumber’s putty.

They work perfectly in high moisture or extreme temperature areas. However, it takes some time to dry, so keep that in mind. Basically, the adhesive comes in a tub, so you can easily use it at any angle and in any direction.

3. Aquarium putty

While aquarium putty may not be an appropriate choice, it is excellent for plumbing. It will create a watertight seal and can handle water pressure up to 1000 PSI.

It generally takes 25 minutes to an hour to cure. Along with that, it is also suitable for metal, glass, and plastic.

4. Plumbers chalk

Plumbers chalk is considered one of the best alternatives to plumber’s putty. Most of the plumber’s chalks are weather-resistant and water-resistant as well. And they are easy to use in various scenarios.

Generally, most plumber’s chalks come in a tube, so you can easily use it from any angle. Additionally, the chalk is resistant to mold and mildew. At last, this could be a great alternative to putty for durability, longevity, and easy use.

Can We Use Too Much Plumber’s Putty

It is fine to use an excessive amount of plumber’s putty. Because once you tighten the parts together the excess putty will squeeze out.

However, it shows that you have gone a little bit overboard. No need to worry, if you used too much, peel it off or scrap the excess putty with a knife.

When Not To Use Plumber’s Putty

Plumber’s putty is excellent in most situations. But you should not use it in areas where you need adhesive strength. Also, it is not recommended to use in exposed areas needing a watertight seal.

Plumber’s putty is basically used to create watertight seals between surfaces around faucets, sinks, and drains.


Here we had answered all the questions related to plumber’s putty. The main question was “do you need plumber’s putty for the kitchen faucet”.

So the answer is very simple if your kitchen faucet has rubber or plastic gaskets then you don’t need to use a plumber’s putty. But some faucets don’t come with a rubber gasket, here plumber’s putty is a go-to option.