Whether you are finishing a basement in a new home or you only have to repair a damaged wall, it is important to know which type of drywall tape to choose.
You might have heard of different drywall tapes. However, if you are a newbie and going to do your first project with drywall tape, don’t worry! We are here to help by comparing every feature of two main tapes i.e. drywall tape vs mesh tape.
The main purpose of any drywall tape is to cover the joints between panels. So, it is important to consider different factors before making the right selection. Remember that both types have different advantages and disadvantages as well.
Let’s start this comparison with drywall tape!
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What is drywall tape?
Drywall is a paper tape consisting of different long strips. You probably have heard another name of paper tape as joint tape. This tape is usually available in rolls of 75 feet or bigger. Paper drywall tape is the most basic type and is very easy to use.
The main purpose of this tape is to cover joints in drywall. These tapes are designed to provide greater durability, water-resistance, and toughness. You can also fold this joint tape down the middle when using around corners.
This folding property gives you an advantage of speedy and easy work. Another benefit is that this joint tape is made up of paper and is not thick. So, you can easily cut this tape into your desired length by hand.
No doubt these tapes provide a strong cover for your drywall seams but if not installed properly, they will be of no use. So, it is important to know how to use it.
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We suggest you drip it into the water first. Don’t let it get soaked as it will become soft. Just drip it enough to get wet. This makes tape slicker and is easier to rub than dry tape. As it can be easily ripped, you can apply it by yourself and don’t need any helping hand.
- Now apply a layer of drywall compound/mud over a seam.
- Just cover the target area completely and don’t worry yourself about applying it evenly.
- Wait for the compound to dry completely.
- Now apply the tape into the compound.
- Use a taping knife along the paper tape to ooze out any excess compound from under the tape.
- Make sure there is a very small amount of compound that is left under the tape.
- Now, apply the compound over the tape in a thin layer to lightly cover it.
- For the best result let this layer dry before applying another.
- Before applying another layer, make sure to remove any big bumps along the joint with the help of a knife.
- Also smooth it by using a rag and then apply one or two layers over the tape.
An important point to remember is that though paper drywall adhesive can be placed around edges, this procedure could be a bit tricky. if applying paper drywall binding for the initial stage, novice drywallers may have a relatively high learning slope, because a tape needs mud onto the walls for even stay.
It can be hard to understand what to do, as the taping would also happen relatively rapidly when the person knows the procedure and receives the sense of it. Even if you’ve had some experience with drywall tape, this can spray, catch dust particles, and slide off the edge you ‘re going to cover.
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Advantages of Drywall Tape
- Easily available.
- Easily ripped.
- Air bubbles can appear.
- Less effective on corners.
What is Mesh tape?
If you want an incredible strong drywall tape, then there is no better option other than mesh tape. This is because it is nearly impossible to tear due to strong fiberglass material. It is also available in rolls just like paper drywall. It is very effective for sealing the seams between drywall panels.
This tape is called as fiberglass mesh tape because it is made up of neatly woven, and crisscross pattern of fiberglass. Fiberglass is a type of fiber-reinforced plastic consisting.
After its invention, this type is more common among drywall finishers. Many people prefer this mesh tape over paper tape due to its durability and strength. It doesn’t need you to have a previous layer of any wet drywall compound as It is consisted of fiberglass and has adhesive support.
If you are working with a seam having a lot of stress, you should choose this fiberglass tape. For example, installing tape over a seam near a door requires a fiberglass mesh tape to avoid any crack and stand up to use.
- The first step is to place the end of mesh tape at the edge of the joint.
- Start unrolling a small section of mesh tape. You can do it by applying 2 feet of it.
- Now press it over the joint seam with a taping knife or with your hands.
- Keep applying the tape and then pressing it to make a smoother surface until you reach the end.
- Use a utility knife and trim it.
- Keep your work steady and avoid any overlapping. Any overlapping will create a raised section.
- After completely applying the mesh tape, apply drywall compound/mud with a mud pan.
- For best application, use a 6inch knife and dab it into the compound.
- Apply it to cover the whole tape and wait for 24 hours to dry.
- Now you can apply one- or two layers of mud over it as desired.
- After applying the final layer, sand it by using 120 grit sandpaper.
Advantages of Mesh tape
- Great strength.
- Resistance against Air bubble.
- Has its adhesive support.
- Too sticky that makes it difficult to work with.
- It can create a budge due to thickness.
Drywall Tape vs. Mesh – What you should know about both?
When applying a drywall tape with all the effort, it is important to know the moisture resistance of that specific tape. Moisture resistance determines the durability of the material.
In high moisture areas, such as bathrooms or kitchen, you need a tape that is stickier and cannot be easily ripped. Mesh tape provides a greater moisture resistance as it is a thicker material and is made up of fiberglass.
Comparatively, paper tape is thinner and can be easily teared up when exposing to excessive water. So, to avoid mold growth, prefer a mesh tape over paper one. Another bonus tip is to always choose a standard mesh tape on the backer board for installing tiles.
It depends on where you want to apply your drywall tape. For paper tapes, they can be easily bent around corners and are more flexible. In addition to its flexibility, it does an incredible job when applied over the mud layer.
However, mesh fiberglass tape is durable when it comes to tearing resistance. Made up of fine threaded fiberglass, this tape provides a hardcover over seams. The weakness of mesh tape is that it cannot be applied inside corners.
As you already know that mesh tape has its adhesive support so it doesn’t require any extra layer of adhesive compounds. This property makes mesh drywall tape to be self-stuck material. This also provides an easier installation.
On the other hand, paper tape is designed in such a way that they can easily be bend to cover inside of the corners forming right angles. However, the paper tape needs to be set in between the layer of joint compounds.
Remember that if you want to use a mesh tape around the corner for resilient covering, use an applicator and install it with proper care.
Drywall itself provides a slight resistance against fire. However, adding a coat of mesh tape increase its resistance. This is because this tape is made up of fiberglass. Any fiberglass insulation is indeed a fire-resistant.
However, different things can be attached to this tape so it is necessary to be careful and consider all the facts. There is no discussion while comparing drywall joint tape vs mesh for fire resistance as the paper tape isn’t a fire-resistant tape.
We say that due to thickness and greater durability it is tempting to use mesh tape for all kinds of applications. But many professionals still prefer paper tape over it. The main reason is when the paper tape is combined with a drywall compound or mud, it makes a strong cover for any joint.
Form our comparison between drywall tape vs mesh tape, it is obvious that both materials have their pros and cons. You know that paper tape is foldable while the mesh is not. And keep in mind that usually mesh tapes are not manufactured for regular joint compounds.
We suggest that inside corners always use paper tape and for joints subjected to stress, prefer a mesh fiberglass tape. However, the decision is completely yours and we hope that our comparison helped you in making the right choice.