Finishing up drywall can be an easy job if you have some experience with it.
Even if you don’t, you can get it done easily with the right set of instructions.
Having said that, it is very easy to miss out on little things while finishing up drywall. One thing that needs to be taken close care of is the application of drywall tape.
Now, it won’t be that much of a trouble if you don’t apply the tape on the corners. Your walls will not fall apart, but the seams between them may become visible.
And after working hard on applying the joint compound, which would be a disappointment. So the wise choice is to not miss out on the drywall tape, whenever you are working with those walls.
Once the tape is in place, you can cover them up with mud, and it’ll be invisible. But this is not always the case with every kind of tape. While a paper tape may be easy to cover up, a mesh tape may need some extra work to get it hidden. But with the correct type of tape, your drywall finishing experience can be a smooth one.
There are a lot of different manufacturers offering a long list of drywall tapes. Let’s see which of the tapes have made it to the top five best drywall tapes.
What is Drywall Tape?
Drywall tape is a long roll non-sticky fiber mesh or paper that is used for joining the seams of drywall. You’ll see sticky drywall joint tape too but those do not work as good as the one that is not sticky. Conventional drywall tape requires joint compound to hold the surface.
Our Best Drywall Tape For Cracks Reviews:
Mid-Flex 300 by Strait-Flex is a high-performance composite drywall tape. It is 3 inches wide and covers corners perfectly. It also covers off-angle corners seamlessly. The Mid-Flex 300 comes with a pre-finished surface and PURlaminated nose, which ensures perfect corners and prevents paper fuzz-up while finishing and sanding.
Since it is a paper tape, it is really easy to cut and use. It comes with a diamond punch pattern that allows a stronger bond, faster drying, and zero blisters.
YIKAI Fibreglass cloth tape is a 4 inches wide drywall tape made of fiberglass. It can be used for both inner corners and outer corners.
Unlike most of the fiberglass tapes, this one does not come with an adhesive. You can either use resin or drywall mud to put it in place.
It is very thin and easily foldable. However, because of its textured finish, it may be a little difficult to get a smooth finish after applying drywall mud.
It can also be easily cut but requires a clean-cut, or you will see strands of fiberglass coming out of the strip.
Manufactured with Strait-Flex’s composite material, Crack Tape is one of the strongest tapes available in the market.
Just like the Mid-Flex 300, Crack Tape is also a high-performance drywall tape that stands true to its purpose. It is a paper tape and very easy to use. You can easily cut it with scissors or a knife.
It is 2 inches wide and can be used to cover the outer as well as inner corners. It is highly durable and resists blisters, tears, wrinkles, and shrinkage. It can also be used for high humidity applications.
FibaFuse is probably one of the top drywall tapes that can attract you. With a ton of benefits, it may even give paper tapes a run for their money.
FibaFuse is 70% stronger than conventional fiberglass and paper tapes. It offers an open fibered texture for ensuring stronger bonds with drywall mud, and also creates 76% stronger bonds than paper tape. FibaFuse is mold and mildew resistant.
It scores full points on the Fungal Resistance Test under the ASTM D3273 standard. It is also certified GREENGUARD Gold for low chemical emissions. And It eliminates bubbles and blisters even after applying drywall mud.
Red Devil Fibre Mesh Crack Patch is a strong, self-adhesive crack repair tape. It is mainly used in repairing and reinforcing minor cracks in drywalls.
It is also strong enough to fix a hole in the wall. You can use this for minor damages and also for drywall finishing. Since it is self-adhesive, you can directly paste it to the wall joints before applying the drywall mud. The adhesive will ensure the tape does not come off or tear easily.
However, it is prone to having wrinkles if not applied correctly. It is 6 inches wide and can also be used on inside corners. You can use it for both interior and exterior repairs.
Making Your Decision
Drywall tapes may only have one purpose, but it is an important one, and they serve it perfectly. The tussle between fiberglass tapes and paper tapes is never-ending, but choosing from either of these entirely depends on preference and your needs. There are also a mix and match of both the types available. You can find a non-adhesive fiberglass tape, and also an adhesive paper tape. The choice is completely yours to make.
In paper tapes, the best product so far is the Strait-Flex Mid-Flex 300. It may be a little pricey than the others, but it is extremely versatile. It covers the joints perfectly, does not show any signs of it being there after drywall mud is applied, and it is wide enough to cover off-angle corners a well.
And the FibaFuse Paperless tape is the best when it comes to fiberglass tapes. It is a lot stronger than other fiberglass and paper tapes and is also GREENGUARD certified, unlike any other product on the list.
Best Drywall Tape For Cracks & Joints Buying Guide
How To Choose Drywall Tape?
Picking up the right drywall tape is a tricky task to do for the people who are not so acquainted with drywall stuff. So, we have come up with the exact formula that we used for picking up the top products for this buying guide. Here are the steps to follow-
1. Fiber Glass Mesh vs Paper Tape: What to Pick?
Drywall tapes are two types, i.e. Fiberglass mesh and paper. Both types have some advantages and disadvantages that require your attention before making the purchase decision.
For using in the drywall corners and uneven surfaces, paper tape is what you need to pick for their easy to fold nature. When mixed with a setting compound, the paper tape makes perfect adhesion to the drywall surface making the joint stronger.
On the other hand, fiberglass mesh tape is not so good for corners and edges as you can’t easily fold and set those on the surface. This type works great on even and smooth surfaces. A great advantage of using mesh tape is that it is water-resistant thus protects mold from growing on the surface.
2. Durability of Drywall Tape
Durability is the second thing you need to check in the drywall tape for cracks and joints. The tape is for holding the drywall surface tight as well as making the surface smooth and seamless. So, you need a product that is highly long-lasting and requires no maintenance after application.
Modern manufacturers use great raw materials for making the tape for drywall joints. But make sure you get the right one that can withstand ordinary wear and tear for a long time.
3. Moisture and Heat resistance
As the drywall panel is a great material for interior decoration, splashes can make the surface wet sometimes. And during monsoon, humid weather triggers mold and mildew in corners and moisture surfaces. So, it is mandatory to have protection in place.
That’s why we recommend getting a tape that can resist moisture and heat resulting in no mold growth on the drywall joints.
4. Ease of use
When you are doing a task for the first time, it is always a great advantage to have a product that is easy to install. Drywall tapes are not so hard to install but some cheap drywall tape can crack and peel off while applying to make the task difficult and tiresome for the newbies. For this reason, make sure to get a product that is easy to install. If you are worried about using a joint compound with tape, you can go for tacky tapes that give you more control over the surface.
Why Drywall Tape?
Drywall tapes ensure a durable joint in the interior within a matter of time. As a versatile product, you can use drywall tapes for repairing other household products as well.
The joints you patch with tape will become stronger than the joints without tape. If you know about concrete reinforcement, you will understand this better. Tape works as a support to the mud to make the seam stronger and durable enough to hold tight.
While bare mud can crack within a few years, using tape along with mud eliminates the risk of a further crack in the joint compound. So, you’ll not see hairline cracks on your drywall seam after using tape on it.
Most importantly, the value drywall tape provides is more than the price of it. A roll costing 5 bucks can save hundred dollars of future maintenance cost.
How to Use the best Drywall Tape?
Drywall tape installation is easy and effortless if you follow the installation process carefully. Get all the ingredients in hand and start working. You’ll need a drywall taping knife, joint compound, water, and tape.
1. Clean the Surface
The first step is surface cleaning. You must clean the surface where you intend to apply the tape. Ensure that there remains no dust for a better bond. Using a vacuum cleaner is recommended, but you can do it with a scrubber or cleaning brush as well.
2. Apply a Coat of Mud
Now apply a coat of drywall joint compound on the surface. You need to ensure an even and smooth coat of mud so that no bubble remains in it.
Apply a standard coat. Make sure to cover the surface but not in a thick layer.
3. Apply the Tape
Now you need to apply the tape on the surface. Soak the drywall tape in water before installing it on the surface. Doing so will eliminate the risk of having bubbles and blisters on the taped surface.
Apply slowly with hand and use a taping knife to press it on the surface evenly. Do not press hard, it will make the tape uneven. If you are not confident, divide the surface into different portions and apply one after another. But avoid cutting the tape in half rather get the help of a friend to hold the tape for you.
4. Finish it Up
After properly applying the tape on the surface, look for any dent, blister or bubble on the surface. If you see any, carefully remove those or make the surface as even as possible.
After doing that, apply another coat of mud on the surface with the taping knife and leave the surface for drying.
What is the Best tape to use for drywall?
It depends on the surface position. Paper tape is good for corners and edges. This is because you can easily fold the tape to fit in the surface.
On the other hand, a fiberglass mesh tape is great for plain and smooth surfaces. This type is not so great for folding or bending. If you are looking for a tape to use on moisture or heated surface, then we recommend mesh tape for that purpose too.
Should you wet drywall tape before applying it?
Yes! Soaking the tape in the water ensures that there remains no bubble under the tape after the application. And a soaked tape is easier to apply than a dry drywall tape. So, it is good to make the tape wet before application. Remove any excess water before application, of course. Don’t apply a tape that is dripping water.
Why is my drywall tape peeling?
Drywall tape becomes loose for various reasons. If you see the tape is coming off the surface, it can be for inadequate application of mud in the installation, excessive moisture, or heat on the surface.
How do you fix peeling tape on drywall?
Loose tape on the drywall diminishes the beauty and smoothness of the interior. Here are some quick tips to restore the peeled drywall tape.
Take a razor blade or sharp knife to cut the loose tape. Use mud on the surface from where you have removed the tape and apply a full coat on the surrounding surface to make it blend in the surface.
Now use a piece of sandpaper or sanding sponge to polish the surface and apply paint to get the perfectly patched surface.
Can you mud drywall without tape?
You can! But we don’t recommend doing so. Drywall tape ensures a durable bond for a long time without building up of hairline cracks. If you apply only mud on the surface, you’ll see cracks appearing on the joints within weeks.
What can I use instead of drywall tape?
Don’t look for an alternative to drywall tape. Some people use masking or duct tape on the drywall seams instead of drywall tape. But that does not work at all. You might see the surface is covered perfectly but that won’t last long.
Is mesh or paper tape better for drywall?
Both work great on drywall joints. Use mesh tape on plain surfaces and paper tape in the edges and corners.
Will primer cover drywall tape?
Yes, in most of the instances.
What happens if you don't tape drywall joints?
You should see hairline cracks appearing on the joints within a few weeks of installation if you don’t tape drywall joints.
Can I use masking tape instead of drywall tape?
No, you can’t.
Do you have to tape all drywall joints?
Yes, you need to apply tape on all drywall joints along with mud. Otherwise, the surfaces will look different and won’t be durable.
How do you finish drywall without sanding?
Using a taping knife, you can finish the surface without sanding. But that requires a lot of experience and still, the surface will not look the same as a sanded surface. So, apply these tips for tiny drywall repairs, not for whole-house work.
How do you hide drywall seams?
Using drywall tape will make drywall seams invisible. Ensure that you apply that properly without any bubble or blister. Otherwise, it will be easily noticeable where the seams are.
How do you prevent bubbles in drywall tape?
Preventing bubbles in drywall tape is easy. Soak the tape in the water, remove any excess water, and have the tape in place using a taping knife. Apply slowly so that you can make up for any unwanted bubble under the tape.
Can you use an all-purpose joint compound with mesh tape?
Yes, you can. Make sure the compound is powerful enough to hold the tape on the surface.
How do you fix a hole in the drywall with mesh tape?
A hole in the drywall that is more than an inch in diameter requires tape reinforcement before putting spackle in it. Use a small piece of tape and put it in the hole. Now apply drywall spackle on the hole till the surface is even and smooth. Wait a night for drying out before you sand and paint the patched surface.
Can you fix drywall cracks without tape?
Yes, if the crack is not more than half an inch wide. But we recommend using tape on such cracks also so that it does not appear again after a few months.
Do you tape corners or seams first?
For an efficient drywall taping, apply tape on the flat seams first and then apply on the corners. This will make the corner tapes stronger and more durable.
How much does it cost to tape and mud drywall?
Drywall repair is one of the cheapest repair work you’ll do in your lifetime. Tape and mud both come at a very cheap price point. So, you should get away with a pack of mud and a roll of tape in most of your repair works. So, that will cost you around 15 to 30 US dollars.
If you are looking for an overview of taping the whole house, you need to assess the depth of the joints and many more factors. Generally, you’ll need a dollar for a linear foot taping with mud.
How long does it take to tape and mud drywall?
In case you are repairing a foot of a cracked joint, it should take 10 to 20 minutes depending on your expertise. For a whole-house application, a day or two is what you’ll require to do the job.