Oatey plumber’s putty is a popular sealant used for sealing joints between drain pieces and fixtures. It creates waterproof seals that prevent leaks. Quartz has become a popular countertop material in kitchens and bathrooms due to its durability and appearance. When installing sinks and drains in quartz countertops, a common question arises – can Oatey plumber’s putty be used safely with quartz?
Below, we’ll discuss what plumber’s putty is, look at its compatibility with quartz, and offer some alternatives for installing sinks and drains.
What is Plumber’s Putty?
Plumber’s putty is an inexpensive, clay-like putty that has long been used by plumbers to seal joints in plumbing fixtures. It is soft and malleable when applied, allowing it to be pressed into gaps to create a watertight seal as it hardens over time.
Key features of Oatey plumber’s putty include:
- Made of clay, chalk, and linseed oil.
- Available in rope/cord or tub form.
- Softens for easy molding and application.
- Adheres to many surfaces.
- Harden over time to a cement-like consistency.
- Creates watertight seals on joints.
- Prevents leaks from joints and gaps.
Plumber’s putty provides an affordable, easy sealing option for installing sinks, toilet bases, faucets, and other fixtures. However, it may not work well with certain materials.
Is Plumber’s Putty Safe on Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz blended with resins and pigments. The resulting material is hard and non-porous. This makes quartz highly durable, scratch-resistant, and ideal for kitchen and bath surfaces.
However, plumber’s putty contains linseed oil, which can stain and discolor quartz. The oil may seep into the surface, leaving behind yellowish marks and damage. This means plumber’s putty is generally not recommended for use directly on quartz surfaces.
Using plumber’s putty in areas that contact quartz risks permanent stains and damage. The plasticity of the putty also makes it less ideal for bonding and sealing on a hard, non-porous surface like quartz.
Alternatives to Use with Quartz
While plumber’s putty isn’t suitable for quartz, there are several good alternatives:
Clear Silicone Sealant
- 100% silicone sealants bond well to non-porous surfaces like quartz. They provide a watertight seal.
- Most contain no oils that can stain quartz.
- Allow sealant to fully cure per directions before exposing to water.
- Specialty adhesives designed for quartz are available. These provide strong, resilient bonds.
- Use as directed by manufacturer for sinks and plumbing fixtures.
- Self-adhesive rubber gaskets can seal between quartz and plumbing fixtures.
- Provide watertight seal when properly installed.
- No adhesives needed that could harm quartz.
- Non-adhesive plumber’s tape wraps around pipe threads to seal joints.
- PTFE or Teflon tapes suitable for quartz. Avoid tape with adhesives.
- Creates tight fit to prevent leaks.
Oatey plumber’s putty is not the best choice for sealing sink drains, faucets, and other fixtures against quartz surfaces. The oils present a risk for permanent staining and damage. Luckily, there are several alternatives that work well with quartz. Silicone sealants, specialty quartz adhesives, rubber gaskets, and plumber’s tape provide secure, waterproof seals without harming quartz surfaces. With the right products, plumbing fixtures and drains can be safely installed on quartz countertops.