Drywall taping is a critical step in the construction or renovation process, seamlessly joining two pieces of drywall together, and choosing the right tape can significantly impact the outcome. Mesh tape and paper tape are the two primary contenders in this arena, each with its unique characteristics.
Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or a DIY enthusiast tackling a home improvement project, understanding the differences between these drywall tapes is crucial for a seamless finish.
What is drywall mesh tape?
Mesh tape, composed of fiberglass threads, mesh tape is known for its ease of application and durability. Its open weave allows joint compounds to penetrate, creating a strong bond with the drywall surface.
What is drywall paper tape?
Paper tape, when used with drywall mud, provides an extremely strong bond and smooth finish. Its non-elastic nature makes it a preferred choice for seaming together sheets of drywall.
What can drywall tape be used for?
Mesh tape is excellent for repairing damaged drywall. Because it is self-adhesive, it can be installed quickly and easily without the need to mud the joints first. Combined with a setting compound, it creates a strong bond, quickly. Mesh tape is also resistant to mold and can be used in areas where moisture is a concern, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Paper tape is versatile because it can be easily folded into and over corner joints. Many manufacturers include a crease in the middle to make the tape even easier to fold. Because it is nonelastic, it should be used for butt joints and corners, where a strong bond is necessary.
Advantages of Mesh Tape
- Self-Adhesive: Mesh drywall tape doesn’t need joint compound added before applying, making application quicker than paper tape.
- Resistant to mold: Mesh tape is ideal for moist environments where mold can grow.
Advantages of Paper Tape
- Stronger: While fiberglass may seem like the tougher material, paper tape’s inelastic nature makes it a stronger choice for seaming sheets of drywall together.
- Easier to use in corners: Because of the middle crease, paper tape is easy to fold into inside corners.
Use Surface Protection When Drywalling
Installing drywall can be a messy business. Drywall dust gets everywhere, joint compound can spill – and while you may never expect this sort of thing to happen, it can make cleanup difficult or even damage the finished floors.
Using surface protection to protect the floor is a great way to make cleanup easier and prevent any damage. Floor protection board, carpet film, drop cloths and dust containment poles are a great way to cover your surfaces and your investment.
Mesh Tape vs. Paper Tape: Which is Better?
While there are some big differences between the two types of drywall tape, each tape has its strengths. Mesh tape is great for quick repairs or to avoid mold remediation in the future. Paper tape creates a stronger bond, making it more resistant to cracking in the future. Choosing which one to use ultimately depends on your project requirements and personal preferences.