Putty Tape vs Butyl Tape: What Is The Difference?

Some RVs have problems with their seals. The caulking used does not have the right stuff and sometimes dries out too quickly. Then you can always use the cheaper putty tape brands, but you run into the same problem as well as others you had not thought of.

What is the difference between putty tape and butyl tape? Price is one difference as Butyl tape is more expensive than regular putty tape. Also, the purpose of both vary to some degree and while they can be used for some of the same issues, putty tape’s purpose is more for plumbing than RV seals.

To learn more differences between these two types of sealing tape options, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about. take a few minutes to see the difference and make up your own mind.

Butyl Tape vs. Putty Tape Comparison Chart

If you are in a rush, this chart will save you some time. Then when you get more time, sit down and read the rest of the article. It has important information for when you have leaks.

Category Butyl Tape Putty tape
Expense can be quite expensive priced reasonably
Stretch stretches very well and does not break for along time does not stretch very well and can break on you sooner than you want
Applications RVs, plumbing, home repair, windows, vehicles and so on mostly for plumbing but can be used in other situations as well
Longevity not supposed to dry out can dry out fairly easily and quickly
Works with EPDM rubber roofs yes not recommended
Availability you can find it almost anywhere, however some store clerks use Butyl tape interchangeably with putty tape. make sure to get the right one available anywhere and often sold as Butyl tape when it is not.

What is The Putty Tape For?


This type of tape is used to seal leak openings. It works on a variety of locations, including roofs and windows. Its primary purpose was to seal plumbing fixtures and pipes, making sure the joints did not leak on you.

People use it for other applications because it is the cheaper of the two options. It comes in a roll that can be unrolled quickly. However, this type of tape dries out very quickly. That means you may have to replace it within a few years or even less time.

One of the other drawbacks is that this kind of tape is supposed to emit many petroleum products or chemicals. That fact, if true, will ruin most EPDM rubber roofs. That is something to take into consideration.

Also, when pulling the tape to fit, it can break fairly easily, leaving a rough edge behind. All in all, it does a good job sealing the leaks. It is just not the best option you have available.

What is Butyl Putty Tape?


This tape type does the same job as putty tape, only better. That application superiority is reflected in the price of this product. It is at least double the cost of regular putty tape. But it is very effective.

The advantage this tape has over the previous product is that it can stretch to a fine hair’s width and still not break. This allows you to really get into those tiny holes and cracks that you need to seal.

Also, it is said to withstand all heat levels and not dry out on you. It remains flexible for many years. Application is the same as this tape does come in rolls, and those rolls are straightforward to unwind.

Then the different application options are many. From household fixes to RVs to vehicles and windows, this tape is your friend. You can keep the water out of those expensive RVs with a little Butyl tape.

Then this material can be applied to rubber, glass, galvanized metal, plastic, wood, and aluminum surfaces. That makes it a convenient product to have around when you are traveling.

What is the Difference Between Butyl Tape and Putty Tape?


Many people make a big thing about petroleum products in regular putty tape. That product doe shave some harsh chemicals added to it in order to get it to stick to your windows or RV. That makes it fairly dangerous to use.

But, Butyl tape is also known for having toxic chemicals in it. It is said that long-term exposure to this tape can cause cancer. This may be one reason people use the two names interchangeably. They are essentially the same product with different quality levels.

That will be the key difference between the two tapes, except for the cost, of course. But the cost difference here is reflecting the level of quality between the two products. You are paying more for the Butyl tape because it is better and of higher quality than the putty tape.

The latter is still a good product and works well for those people on a limited budget. It is just not as good or as effective as Butyl tape. Also, Butyl tape-like products are large enough to help with insulating your home.

They are long and wide enough to cover fiberglass insulation and seal off any leaks the insulation fails to cover.

Putty Tape vs Butyl Tape


The former competitor in this competition has been around for a long time. It works fairly well when you are screwing down vents, etc. The tape will distort a little and fill in the grooves of the screw. The tape is also fairly stiff.

In comparison, the putty tape is a little easier to work with, but it does dry out relatively fast and can ruin any seal you have created. Butyl tape may be harder to work with, but it does not dry out on you, and you get a great seal every time. And for years to come.

The problem here is that many hardware and other stores that sell these kinds of tape do not claim any difference. They will sell you putty tape, calling it the same as Butyl tape even though the two products are not necessarily the same thing or of the same quality.

If you want to get the good stuff, you have to insist on it in some circumstances. You will know you are getting the top-quality product when you stretch a little piece of tape a long way, and it does not break.

What is Butyl Tape Used For?


The quick answer is ‘sealing leaks.’ That can be a frustrating answer as it doesn’t tell you exactly where you can seal those leaks. The good news is that you have many applications where that tape will do an excellent job in stopping leaks.

You can use it in your home around plumbing pipes and fixtures, windows, and other areas where leaks come in. Since it will adhere to wood, you can stop many leaks coming through paneling or siding.

For RVs, you can use them for sealing windows, vents, doorways, and more. The pliable tape will go around RV pipes, seals, and valves. It is also good to attach to your rubber roof.

Cars are not excluded here. You can use it on your tow vehicle or other cars to prevent moisture from getting into areas it shouldn’t. There are probably a thousand and one places you can use this product.

The drawback is that it is not as easy to use as any other tape you have around your home.

What is Better Than Butyl Tape?


One product that may be a little better at bonding to rubber is acrylic tape. This tape is as good as Butyl tape when it comes to cold weather as well. Silicone-based tape may handle higher temperatures than Butyl tape can, but it remains to be seen if it’s actually a better product or not.

All of this says that it will be very difficult to beat this type of tape. Acrylic does give it a run for its money and can be superior in certain situations, but overall, Butyl tape is hard to beat.

Rubber-based tape does not even come close as it does not work well in extreme temperatures at either end of the scale. One reason it is used is that, like other putty tapes, it can be inexpensive to purchase.

Some Final Words

When you have leaks that won’t go away, or you are replacing a vent or window, the best option may be Butyl tape. It is flexible, stretched far, and can adhere to many different surfaces with ease.

You may pay more initially, but you may also see a reduced cost in years to come as the product is long-lasting and won’t dry out at the wrong time.

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