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Thread: Drywall - Paper Tape vs. Self Adhesive Mesh

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member CTWeekendWarrior's Avatar
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    Default Drywall - Paper Tape vs. Self Adhesive Mesh

    Hello all,
    Just hung all my drywall and I'm about to start the dreaded taping portion of the project. My question today is in regards to which type of tape to use, the paper kind or the mesh type which is self-adhesive. I have finished drywall maybe two or three times, and I can't say I'm very proud of the finished products. Which of these tapes will make my life easier? Any insight is much appreciated!

    -CTWW

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tape

    One advantage of the self stick tapes, because they are colored, is that you can tell when you are starting to sand too deeply.

  3. #3

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    100% personal choice. I use paper.

    I recommend that you buy both and tape 2 joints, one with each at the same height so you can compare apples to apples and see which one you prefer. Make your decision once the taping and spackling is done and you have your finished product.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tape

    I use an professional taper. Taping is one trade that you have to do a lot of it before you become proficient, and I do not want my walls and ceiling to be a learning laboratory.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    The understanding I have always had was that the paper tape is for drywall and the mesh is for plaster...that said I know that the mesh is used on a regular basis for drywall but if it surfaces into the sanding area it can't really be sanded as it frays...this is why it is not supposed to be used on drywall...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    I use an professional taper. Taping is one trade that you have to do a lot of it before you become proficient, and I do not want my walls and ceiling to be a learning laboratory.
    I also do the same. I can usually get a room done for about $150 once the drywall is up properly. If the drywall is hung wrong they will usually walk away or bid it so high they won't do it. That means minimal seams and square corners.

    If you're determined use the paper tape. Takes a little getting used to but get better results. Not to mention you don't want to do the corners with the mesh.

    Tom

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    DIY Senior Member burleymike's Avatar
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    I have done enough sheetrock to know I hate the fiberglass crap. There is a reason the pros don't use it. It makes a mess of the mud so you have to sand a bunch. You can always see the joints where somebody used the mesh.

    I have used the mesh two times and decided I hated it, I found it to be harder to work with than paper. Cut a sheet of drywall in half and do some practice with the paper tape. If you are doing a ceiling get a pole sander to make life easier.

    When I did drywall I always used the setting mud, easy sand 90 which will give you 2 hours working time. That way I could do an entire room in one day. The premix takes way too long to dry and it will grow mold in the bucket.

    Here is a picture of my bedroom wall that I cut open to replace some zurn pex fittings. You can see how with paper tape it will be invisible when I paint it. If I used mesh you would be able to see the joints because I would have to build them up three times as high to hide the tape.
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    DIY Member econguy's Avatar
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    I've used both, but don't really have a preference. With the mesh, you can skip the bedding coat of mud. I normally feather my butt/tapered joints out pretty wide (~14"), so either type of tape blended in well.

    Remember to use setting-type mud, not the pre-mixed stuff, if you use mesh tape. I've made that mistake, and had to re-do a bunch of seams that ended up with hairline cracks.

    Mesh tape comes in handy if there are large gaps between walls and ceilings, or in inside corners. I'll cover the gap with a strip of mesh, then apply the bedding coat and paper tape.
    Will

  9. #9
    In the Trades maintenanceguy's Avatar
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    Hate the mesh.

    I've tried it and it always bunches up when I slide my spackle knife over it. It's too soft, doesn't have the rigidity of paper tape.

    If you really screw up and end up having to sand down to the level of the tape, neither is very nice to deal with but paper tape is a lot better.

    For big jobs and ceilings, I've got a banjo for laying tape on the joints with the mud already applied. Can't run mesh through that.

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    DIY Junior Member CTWeekendWarrior's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, all! I think I'll give the paper tape a whirl. In doing my research, it seems that the people giving advice recommend the paper and stores selling products recommend the mesh. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

  11. #11
    DIY Member chrisexv6's Avatar
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    Just did my first (successful, anyway) taping job in my bathroom remodel.

    What worked best was mesh for the straight joints and paper tape for the corners. It took a while, but it came out nice. The mesh is too "thick" in the corners, and I even tried the aluminum reinforced/paper pre-fabbed corner bead and all that did was create a bigger mess. The paper tape for the corners was the ticket.

    -Chris

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tape

    If you are talking about outside corners, you will find out the reason for the metal reinforcement, the first few times you hit them with somethin.

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    DIY Member chrisexv6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    If you are talking about outside corners, you will find out the reason for the metal reinforcement, the first few times you hit them with somethin.
    Yeah Ive used it for outside corners, they actually make it for inside corners too (HD carries it). Definitely required for outside corners, but it just made inside corners a PITA to tape.

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    DIY Member rburt5's Avatar
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    I'm very much a beginner who has been teaching myself to plaster/drywall on my first house. I just finished building a closet in my basement. I had partial rolls of paper and mesh tape left over from other jobs. I found the mesh harder to use on the inside corners. It is less flexible and bunched up more. In the future I will probably stick with the paper.

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