Is Silicone better than Putty?

In the realm of DIY and home improvement, the eternal tussle between silicone and putty has been the subject of many a heated debate. As versatile, pliable substances, both hold their own merits and shortcomings. However, discerning which is the superior choice for a particular task can be rather perplexing. In this article, we shall undertake an erudite examination of these two venerable sealants, delving into their properties and applications, in order to provide a well-rounded verdict on whether silicone truly trumps putty.


Silicone, a synthetic polymer derived from silicon, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen, is lauded for its remarkable resilience and flexibility. This elastomeric material boasts excellent adhesion to a plethora of surfaces, including glass, metal, and plastic. Moreover, silicone is impervious to ultraviolet radiation, enabling it to maintain its integrity when exposed to sunlight for protracted periods.

In addition, silicone sealants exhibit commendable resistance to temperature fluctuations and moisture ingress, rendering them particularly suitable for use in damp, humid environments. Due to their low shrinkage and anti-microbial properties, silicone sealants have become the go-to option for numerous applications in construction, automotive, and electronics industries.


The Tenacious Traditionalist Putty, on the other hand, is an amalgamation of whiting (calcium carbonate) and linseed oil, which together form a malleable, dough-like compound. Having stood the test of time, putty has been an indispensable component in the craftsman’s arsenal for centuries. Owing to its tenacious grip and ease of manipulation, putty is particularly adept at sealing and securing glass panes within window frames.

Moreover, putty is a cost-effective alternative to silicone, often employed in temporary repairs and quick fixes. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that putty is more susceptible to drying out, cracking, and succumbing to the effects of ultraviolet radiation, which may reduce its longevity in comparison to silicone.


When it comes to selecting the appropriate sealant, the intended application plays a pivotal role. For instance, silicone excels in sealing joints and gaps, as well as in bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture resistance is of paramount importance. In contrast, putty is a formidable choice for glazing, and its reworkable nature makes it a popular choice for more traditional applications.

Ultimately, the choice between these two stalwarts of the sealant world boils down to the desired outcome, budget, and personal preference. A sagacious DIY enthusiast would be well-advised to keep both silicone and putty in their toolkit, ready to be wielded when the situation demands.

Abbie Wilson
Abbie Wilson has years of experience in the DIY & construction field having covered roofing, plumbing, and general DIY for various award-winning publications.

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