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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    5

    Default Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    Hi Guys,

    I am working on finishing my basement. I started with paper tape then switched over to fiberglass mesh tape for the easy use. But now I am not sure. I feel like I made a mistake because I didn't use the fast setting compound. I used pre-mixed compound on the mesh tape. I have stopped the job temporarily and trying to figure out the best way to go. Should I just leave those portions with the mesh tape and pre-mixed compound and start the rest with paper tape? Or could I get away with mesh tape and regular compound for the whole job?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,195

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    The only time I use paper tape is on corners, all flat work is fiber mesh because it is faster and easier. Corners require the ability to make a sharp turn, something that mesh can't do, and technically, this is inside corners only. Outside corners should have a metal/plastic bead installed, then you use mesh or paper tape to join the bead to the drywall. Again, here I'd use mesh because it is faster and easier, but to a guy that is familiar with and loves using paper tape, then paper will be the product of choice.

    Basically, the advantage of mesh is that it's pre-stick, like actual tape, you stick it in place and then you mud over the top of it, as opposed to paper that requires you to lay mud first, then lay the tape, press out the excess mud, then overlay with more mud. You save yourself at least two steps with mesh over using paper.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    5

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    The only time I use paper tape is on corners, all flat work is fiber mesh because it is faster and easier. Corners require the ability to make a sharp turn, something that mesh can't do, and technically, this is inside corners only. Outside corners should have a metal/plastic bead installed, then you use mesh or paper tape to join the bead to the drywall. Again, here I'd use mesh because it is faster and easier, but to a guy that is familiar with and loves using paper tape, then paper will be the product of choice.

    Basically, the advantage of mesh is that it's pre-stick, like actual tape, you stick it in place and then you mud over the top of it, as opposed to paper that requires you to lay mud first, then lay the tape, press out the excess mud, then overlay with more mud. You save yourself at least two steps with mesh over using paper.

    Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    I only do plaster work but this is what my plaster Hand Book states.
    " USG does not recommend using fiber mesh tape with conventional ready-mixed , power or chemically setting compounds for general drywall joints finishing. "
    Paper tape has greater strenght.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence View Post
    I only do plaster work but this is what my plaster Hand Book states.
    " USG does not recommend using fiber mesh tape with conventional ready-mixed , power or chemically setting compounds for general drywall joints finishing. "
    Paper tape has greater strenght.
    I started to consider this after I started to use the mesh tape. It is so tempting to use it all over because of how easy it is to use with the ready mixed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,195

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    Quote Originally Posted by redtoolbox View Post
    I started to consider this after I started to use the mesh tape. It is so tempting to use it all over because of how easy it is to use with the ready mixed.
    Regardless of USG's statement, fiber tape is a viable option. I'm not sure what their bug-a-boo is about mesh tape, I've been using it for 20 years without any problems, my drywall subcontractor has used it even longer. Are there times when paper is warranted, you betcha, but for general interior flat work, mesh will be just fine.

    If a tape joint is going to fail due to improper application, it isn't the fault of the tape, it is the fault of the applicator. In my experience with mechanical failure of joints due to settling or shifting, BOTH forms of tape will fail, the difference is, paper tape creates a bubbled ridge, generally, where mesh may reveal a hairline crack. Either way, you've got an ugly spot to deal with if/when it happens.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    redtoolbox asked for the best method for taping.
    I recommened as stated by USG that he use the paper tape.
    This has been tested and approved by ASTM standards.
    As for using the fiber mesh a DIY'er can do as he would like.
    If you follow spec. you have to go by the manufactures recommened proceedure.
    If your drywall contractor has been using it for 20 years he should have it approved by the building code.
    The manufactures of book matches states that you should close the cover be for stricking but they don't give a dam if you follow these recommendations or not.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    With all my respect to paper tape, I prefer mesh too. Why do I get better results with mesh (except corners)?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,195

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence View Post
    redtoolbox asked for the best method for taping.
    I recommened as stated by USG that he use the paper tape.
    Put 100 licensed, professional drywall installers in a room and half will be paper users, half will be mesh users.

    As I said, there are definitely times and places that paper tape should be used, the majority of the time, however, it doesn't matter, it is more of a personal choice of the person doing the taping. The size of the job is also going to make a difference. A large job with thousands of square feet of drywall, the installer is going to be using a bazooka to tape with, which applies mud and paper tape at the same time. On a small job of less than 1000 square feet, out comes the fiber mesh because it's easier and faster - even for the pros to use.

    The only times I've ever seen inspectors get touchy about what you're taping with is if you're taping fire walls (house/garage shared walls ) or fire rated rooms, then they not only want to see paper tape, they want to see three layers of mud over the tape.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,836

    Default Re: Paper tape vs. Fiberglass mesh tape

    My experience has been that mesh tape with drywall ready mix cracks, paper tape doesn't. Mesh tape calls for quick set not ready mix.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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