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Tub Drain Gasket Or Putty? [A Comparison Between Two Sealants]

You installed a new tub drain, and now you’re confused about which sealant to use.

Generally, people become confused between gasket and putty.

That’s alright; we’ve got you covered. 

What to choose to seal the tub drain gasket or putty? 

Both choices seem rational. Putty is ideal for plumbing fittings, whereas a gasket is used to seal overflow pipes. Whether you want to use putty or gasket depends on many factors. For example, if the fitting is a drain or pipe. Or if there’s a high water pressure or temperature.

We have a detailed discussion about these two in our article. You can figure out what’s suitable for you.

Read along to find out more about the two sealants!

Tub Drain Gasket or Putty: Quick Comparison

Tub Drain Gasket Or Putty? [A Comparison Between Two Sealants] 1

People often ask what’s the difference between gasket and putty. You need to know the insights to understand which is better for you. 

But before that, let’s give you a brief idea about these two:

ShapeSelf-adhesive rubber blend Moldable, made of clay
Location Suitable for all fits Not ideal for high water flow
Life-span5-20 years 6-12 months
PriceExpensive Cheap

Tub Drain Gasket or Putty: Detailed Comparison

The above information on the table may not be enough for you to pick one already. That’s why we have provided the detailed differences between gasket and putty for your convenience.


A plumber’s putty is moldable that may be shaped after being warmed in your hands. It’s made of clay and contains vegetable or mineral oils to keep it flexible. It will not harden, shrink, dry out, or break down. 

On the other hand, a gasket is self-adhesive and seals tightly in all drains. Gasket technology includes rubber extrusion that can be used to get rid of vent flapper noise.

Suitable for Fitting

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A plumber’s putty is ideal for sealing plumbing fittings but unsuitable for pipe threads. 

The gasket is suitable for all kinds of fittings. 


A tub wrench or pliers are used to attach the strainer insert. The plumber’s putty is squeezed into your drain opening of the tub (around the insert). And the strainer is tightened, producing a leak-free seal.

The tub overflow gasket is located behind the overflow plate and seals the bathtub’s overflow pipe. Like other rubber gaskets, the overflow gasket can dry up over time. An aged and dry gasket may no longer sustain a watertight seal due to compression. 


Plumber’s putty offers one benefit over sealants like silicone. It makes it easier to disassemble the plumbing components later. The putty maintains its flexibility.

A hefty rubber gasket accomplishes the seal on the underside of your tub and kitchen sink leakage. It threads the drain plug into the elbow part of the drain line before going over it.

Final Verdict

Although putty is suitable for preventing leaks, it’s better not to use it for a tub drain. Pipe threads should not be sealed with putty. It doesn’t have the right consistency. It should not be used to seal anything subjected to solid water pressure.

If the gasket is installed on top of your tub and is too hefty, it will create a barricade around your drain. This prevents water from draining.

On the top of the tub, use putty and under the tub, use the gasket. 

How to Use A Gasket and Putty? 

We’ve shown you the comparison between gasket and putty. Now it’s up to you whether you want to use putty or a gasket to seal your tub drain. 

We’ll show you both ways you can seal your tub drain. 

How To Use A Putty DIY Method?

To apply the plumber’s putty properly, begin loosening the drain lip by removing the nut. You’ll find it beneath the tub drain. The nut is connected to the drainpipe just beneath the bathtub.

Now, squeeze out some putty. Roll it into a thin roll with a diameter of approximately 14 inches after unscrewing the nut. Put the loose drain lip using the roll of putty. 

After that, reconnect the nut and tighten it. As the nut tightens, the drainage lip will be firmly pressed against the tub surface. This ensures a tight seal. It may take some time to dry, depending on your surface. Before the plumber’s putty dries, remove any excess. 

How to Install a Gasket?

Remove any existing caulking around the edge of the tub drain cover plate. Do this using a utility knife or scraping tool. Using a screwdriver, remove the overflow cover plate.

Here are some of our top-picked screwdrivers for your convenience- 

Product 1
Product 2

Place the replacement overflow gasket in the tub drain aperture and center it. To get the gasket into place, gently press back on the overflow pipe.

Return the tub drain trim plate to its original position by tightening the screws. Make sure the gasket is squeezed into place. To help prevent future leaks, caulk over the grout of the overflow plate.

The seal on top of the tub is mostly irrelevant. Its purpose is to ensure that water remains in the tub once the plug is fitted. Water does not seep into the ceiling because of the gasket under the tub. 

That’s all we had to offer on the tub drain gasket and putty. You can choose your preferred sealant based on our discussion and use it following our instructions.


Do you need a plumber’s putty on the tub drain? 

Answer: It’s good to apply putty on damp surfaces. A plumber’s putty works best because it forms a watertight barrier.

Is a plumber’s putty better than a gasket?

Answer: Even though a plumber’s putty is a less expensive alternative, the rubber gasket is recommended.

Where can I use the plumber’s putty?

Answer: Putty is an essential plumbing item that can be bought at any hardware shop. At least one kind is available at most stores.


We hope you’ve decided whether to buy a tub drain gasket or putty. 

Even though we showed you the DIY methods to use gaskets and putty, contact a certified plumber if you’re unsure how to seal your tub drain pipe. 

Take care!