I have a new stainless steel sink and installed a Kohler sink flange following their package instructions. The instructions for putty only stipulated "apply a ring of putty." However, subsequently, I find the instructions regarding the flange for the disposal I am installing on the other side stipulates a ring "half an inch thick." The ring in a flange installation online video shows a ring about that applied to the area in opening and the flange fit into that. Other online instructions show 1/8" (which mine probably was) to 1/4" thick. When I set the flange, putty came out pretty much all around...but not much.

Question: 1) if I got excess all around, is it set in "enough" and 2) if not and I have leakage underneath when water is run into new sink, is it set "permanent" or will it release fairly easily once I remove screws and tightened ring?

  • 1
    Enough to squeeze out all the way round when the sink tailrace is tightened into place was the general rule I was taught. Which is known by eyeballing the void to be filled and adding a little bit more. Jul 28, 2013 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


You only need a enough to cover the ring area and keep the flange from leaking. It really depends on the depth of the offset space and how your flange fits into it.

I think normally I would probably lay down 1/8 inch. However I have ran across some new modern bathroom sinks where I used 1/4 inch because the ring was deep.

  1. Yes. It sounds like your application was the perfect amount. You really should have a slight amount come out on tighten. If you don't then you don't know if you have enough. If a lot comes out then you run the chance of not being able to tighten enough and getting dribble leaks. If you have too little and there are no leaks then you will still have a "crack" around the flange where water pools. Might never leak but isn't attractive.

  2. You have to tighten the ring to test for leaks. Once the ring is tighten it is permanent. If you untighten the ring then you could cause the putty to move and introduce a leak. Often if you untighten you have to reputty.

Also I want to note two small things. #1 - Do not use rubber/plastic gaskets instead of plumber's putty. These are now included in a lot of kits. First sometimes they fail right away. Second the material can break down and it can fail in near future. Plumber's putty isn't perfect but it is much much more reliable (also don't mix plumber's putty with these gaskets). #2 When you apply your plumber's putty you want a little squeezing out - you should get a little squeezing out all around the circle. If you get a lot on one side and none on the other I would start over. The amounts squeezed out don't have to be perfectly symmetrical but you don't want to see none in an area.

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    While it is "permanent", putty is much easier to remove and reapply than a true sealant. If there were a leak, a reseating with new putty is pretty straightforward, even if no fun.
    – bib
    Jul 28, 2013 at 20:10
  • I never had issues removing plumber's putty. I have had to replace sinks from people using some form of silicone/glue. The big question that I have seen people argue about on applying plumber's putty is to put it on the sink or on the flange.
    – DMoore
    Jul 29, 2013 at 16:38

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