Drywall tape – sometimes referred to as drywall joint tape – works in conjunction with joint compound to conceal every single joint, seam and corner in a wall. This ensures that the surface is smooth enough to finish, prime and paint. Consider the main types of tape available before starting your project.
Types of Drywall Tape
While numerous specialty tapes are on the market, there are two types of drywall tape that are the most prominent: paper and fiberglass mesh.
Benefits of Paper Drywall Tape
This drywall joint tape is widely available, and it’s the most budget-friendly option out there. Paper drywall tape can also be ripped by hand "rather than cut" with scissors. When it comes to inside corners, paper is a better drywall corner tape than fiberglass mesh due to its middle crease.
Since paper tape is non-adhesive, you first "need to apply" a thin layer of joint compound to the drywall for it to stick to the surface. Wait a few hours for the drywall joint tape to dry and then apply another layer of joint compound. Be sure to firmly press the drywall tape to remove any air bubbles.
Benefits of Fiberglass Mesh Tape
This type of drywall joint tape is made up of woven fiberglass threads, making it extremely strong and nearly impossible to tear. Drywall mesh tape is a self-adhesive, which means you don’t have to apply an initial layer of joint compound like paper drywall tape. This helps speed up the taping process.
Unlike paper tape, fiberglass mesh tape is not susceptible to air bubbles, since it has holes in it. But be aware that fiberglass mesh tape can make your fingers and scissors sticky due to its gummy adhesive.
Other Tips for Drywall Tape
If you choose fiberglass mesh tape, make sure to cover it with setting-type joint compound. When using fiberglass mesh tape, joints might develop cracks due to the tape’s elasticity. The setting-type joint compound can help make up for that.
Know what size to get when searching for taping drywall knives. Try using 4- to 8-inch knives for taping, as well as patching holes.
No matter what type of drywall tape you choose for your remodeling project, it’s a crucial component to give your wall a seamless look. If you’re looking for drywall sheets, our How to Choose Drywall guide can help steer you in the right direction.