Drywall or joint tape is what covers seams and, with joint compound, bonds drywall sheets together. But are all drywall tapes the same? When choosing drywall tape you have the option of metal, paper, and fiberglass mesh available to you. Let’s look at the details:
Paper tape is applied over a thin amount of any type of joint compound. Push any air bubbles out with a putty knife as you press the tape onto the joint compound. The nature of the paper does not allow for much flexibility; this is an asset when taping corners and butt joints because the non-flexibility means more security. The down side of paper material is that it is susceptible to moisture and mold - so it’s best to avoid areas with a lot of moisture like a bathroom or basement.
- Use with any joint compound
- Non-flexible: great for corners and butt joints
- Susceptible to moisture: not ideal in bathrooms and basements
- Additional steps of a first coat of joint compound, and of squeezing out air bubbles
Use for: dry rooms, corners, and butt joints.
Fiberglass mesh tape is self-adhesive and can be applied to drywall without a first coat of joint compound. It holds up to moisture and resists mold. Mesh tape lays flat so you won’t have to worry about air bubbles. While the fiberglass itself is strong, its flexibility means that joints will be less secure; this is not a problem when fixing patches and joint strength isn’t top priority, but it might eventually cause problems with cracks.
- Self-adhesive and time saving
- Resists moisture and mold
- Strong but flexible: might cause cracks and less secure than paper but good for patches
Use for: bathrooms, basements, and patches.
This is a steel-reinforced paper tape. Metal strips on either side of the middle make it easy to fold and fit perfectly into corners. The tricky part comes to feathering it out as this tape can be challenging to hide. Use snips for cutting.
- Folds and fits easily into corners
- Harder to feather out
- Cut length with snips
Use for: inside and outside corners.
Knowing now what these 3 types of drywall type are best suited for, what combination will you try for your next project?
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