Do you have to use tape on drywall joints?

All drywall seams need to have tape embedded in joint compound. The tape strengthens the joint, and the joint compound, or mud, is the adhesive that holds the tape in place. Paper tape is the tape used most often by professionals.

A common query we ran across in our research was “Do you need to use drywall tape?”.

Yes you need tape. Otherwise the joints will crack. You should also scrape away the existing drywall around the joint to make room to bed the tape and make a flush, smooth repair. If it’s just the paper surface you can cut it with a utility knife and peel it away. You just need slightly more than the thickness of the tape.

This of course begs the query “Do you have to use tape when mudding drywall?”

We learned this task of how to tape drywall creates a smooth surface for mudding the joints. Place a piece of paper drywall tape over the mud in the joint, pushing it in every foot or so to hold the tape in place. Pull the utility knife along the tape, embedding it into the mud and pushing out air bubbles along the way.

One of the next things we asked ourselves was what happens if you use joint compound instead of drywall tape?

Drywall tape does not offer an mechanical strength at all. If you skipped the drywall tape and just used joint compound to fill in the seams, the seams would become visible again after the compound dried. Joint compound shrinks!

The most common answer is: in almost all cases, you need to apply drywall tape to the seams to reinforce the compound and keep it from crumbling out when dry. Drywall pros use paper tape, because it’s fast and offers the smoothest finish, but it can be difficult to work with.

Another popular inquiry is “Do I need to tape drywall behind cabinets?”.

Yes, you should prime the whole surface. Sealing/priming helps prevent penetration of vapors and moisture from the air into the drywall. If you don’t seal the entire surface, even though it’s behind cabinets, penetration can happen – mind you it’s not going to be significant but it can happen.

Why do you have to use tape on drywall seams?

To Tape or not to Tape

Quick and Durable Connection. Perhaps the most important benefit of using the tape is that it can provide additional support to the most vulnerable part of the drywall. The drywall compound that glues the panels together and covers the seams is strong once solidified. Cheap and Flexible.

Drywall tape serves a single purpose: To help make the seams invisible. If you skipped the drywall tape and just used joint compound to fill in the seams, the seams would become visible again after the compound dried. Joint compound shrinks! Tape does not shrink! Explore further detail here.

The choices of drywall tape come down to paper, fiberglass mesh and preformed. A couple additional ideas to examine are 5 apply and smooth the tape, 3 prepare to mud and tape drywall, 8 apply a final coat of mud, 6 apply mud and tape the corners and edges, 4 mud the joints and screw spots, or 9 sand the taped and mudded drywall.

You should be thinking “What is drywall taper and why is it important?”

Many times, it is not at all related to the drywall installation process. The seam where two sheets of drywall meet is a weak point in the wall. Drywall tapers use mud and tape to give strength to the joint.

Is paper tape or mesh tape better for drywall?

Most drywall tradesmen will say that paper tape is stronger than mesh drywall tape. Paper tape is better at preventing cracking along drywall seams. Paper tape folds easily and therefore is easily applied to corners to allow for crisp inside 90° corners. Paper tape can be applied with all purpose drywall compounds . It can also be used with quick-setting or hot mud.

Fiberglass-mesh tape is self-adhesive, so it doesn’t need to be embedded in a layer of compound. This speeds up the taping process and ensures that the tape will lie flat on the drywall surface. It also means that you can apply the tape to all seams in a room before putting on the first coat of compound.

How to tape drywall like a pro?

, measure carefully Measure from the end of the ceiling to the middle of a joist and cut the sheet to length. Pro tip: End cuts should split framing members. Mark fastening guidelines every 16 inches from the end of the sheet with a drywall square. Cut overall lengths 1/4 inch shorter for easier fitting.

Does drywall tape shrink over time?

My experience is tape is for bridging gaps. All purpose drywall mud does shrink over time and a thin coat over tape is going to shrink less than a thick coat filling a loose joint. Hot set mud of the type I have used doesn’t shrink.