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Old 10-19-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
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Is dry wall tape needed?


I'm putting up drywall and I'm wondering if seam tape is needed. What's the purpose of it? In the past it's only caused me trouble and if I don't need to use it I would rather not.

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Old 10-19-2009, 09:30 AM   #2
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Is dry wall tape needed?


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I'm putting up drywall and I'm wondering if seam tape is needed. What's the purpose of it? In the past it's only caused me trouble and if I don't need to use it I would rather not.
Yes, tape is needed. The tape joins the panels together and helps reinforce the joint compound which is somewhat brittle. If you just apply joint compound by itself the seems will crack.

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Old 10-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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Is dry wall tape needed?


that was my guess. I don't have a banjo since I'm just a DIY guy. Would it be better for me to use the paper tape of the plastic mesh tape. Before I used the paper tape and didn't have much luck. I found it rather difficult to work with.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:46 AM   #4
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Is dry wall tape needed?


practice, practice, practice.

a banjo would only cause you problems unless you have experience using it.


what kind of problems are you having. In reality, applying tape is not difficult once you get the hang of it. Explain what you are doing and I am sure somebody here will help you correct the problems that are making it difficult.


and I have been told by many many tapers that paper tape is much better than mesh. The paper actually helps prevent movement between the two sheets of rock so that method is less prone to settling cracks.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Is dry wall tape needed?


i got fed up with papertaping one section that just kept giving me grief and yanked the paper off and just mudded it.
2 years later, i still haven't painted it, but there's not ONE hairline crack anywhere all up and down the seam.
so idunno.... i'll keep watching it....

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Old 10-19-2009, 09:59 AM   #6
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Is dry wall tape needed?


My main problem is I have difficulty getting it to lie flat. It often wrinkles on me or I get a portion that doesn't get pushed into the mud properly so when I paint it shows up as a large bubble.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:20 AM   #7
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Is dry wall tape needed?


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My main problem is I have difficulty getting it to lie flat. It often wrinkles on me or I get a portion that doesn't get pushed into the mud properly so when I paint it shows up as a large bubble.
Use a little less mud when applying the tape. Pull firmly with the knife starting from the center and pull towards the edge. If it does wrinkle or bubble remove the tape and start over. Follow this sequence when taping:
Tapered edges
Butt seams
Inside corners
Outside corners.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:19 PM   #8
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Is dry wall tape needed?


If tape wasn't a necessary part of the process, nobody would use it. The situation DangerMouse describes is a rarity for sure. You can use mesh tape on the flat joints as long as you use a setting type compound for at least the first coat of mud. You'll still need to use paper in the angles though. Thinning the mud will help also making it easier to wipe down.......
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:13 PM   #9
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Is dry wall tape needed?


We use the mesh tape, it is fibreglass so it is quite strong and less finicky to apply but I can see the earlier point about the paper being continuous and avoiding movement. For the corners we have always used the steel reinforced paper tape that you get from the box stores. I know the professionals don't use it but it gives you a head start on getting that perfect corner. For the last job we did we broke down and bought a cornerbead dimpler, this can make your outside 90s a lot easier and stronger.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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Is dry wall tape needed?


i think it helped my situation that the 2 pieces are tightly screwed every 6 inches or so all down the length into double studs behind. not much room for movement that way.

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Old 10-19-2009, 06:51 PM   #11
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Is dry wall tape needed?


Salem747, I'm guessing you use the metal/paper tape for the inside corners?? That will work, but overkill and kind of expensive. If you're using a "clinch on" tool for metal outside corner beads, remember they still need some fasteners (nails or screws) to keep them from being knocked off. You'd be better off using the metal/paper outside corners and "mudding" them on rather than using regular metal bead. I've been in the business for 35 years and it's all I use any more for new work. Way fewer callbacks for bead "pops". An "old dog" can still learn a few new tricks I guess........
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:10 PM   #12
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Is dry wall tape needed?


Yeah the metal paper stuff does cost "more" but for my purposes as a DIY type it's worth the extra $15 for the project. I figure spend an extra 1% on a project to make up for as much as possible of the skill that years of doing something I lack is money well spent.

It's funny because hanging board actually was one of my former occupations (and packin it and cleaning up, workin with my stepdad in the summers for $10/hr under the table) the nice thing about the old bead is the DEEP gap that it gives you when you whack it in for mud and the SUPER strong corner.


You know when you see it where a corner has been bashed and the paint is off but you can see that steel, all it needs is a bit of paint to be good as new.

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