Fiberglass Vs Paper - Revisited - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 03-16-2009, 04:13 PM   #1
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fiberglass vs paper - revisited

hi all - reading through many of the threads here I see most of the pro's recommend paper vs fiberglass tape especially in corners. I haven't seen as much discussion on the nitty gritty details of why.

is this because the paper makes a cleaner corner? is there some real inherent problem with fiberglass if you take the time to make a neat corner? realizing that the operative word here might be "time" - but assuming I want to go slow anyway, is the fiberglass going to come back and bite me later - is there something really wrong with the finished product?

reason I ask is I'm all thumbs - the couple of very small jobs Ive done using the fiberglass tape seemed to be pretty easy - whereas I get tangled up in the paper tape and make a real mess, get frustrated, etc. - just not sure why fiberglass getting such a bad rap - what am I missing?

any thoughts appreciated - thanks


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Old 03-25-2009, 12:33 PM   #2
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fiberglass vs paper - revisited

I've heard from pros that fiberglass tape is more flexible than paper tape, so when it's used on seams (ie, flat joints of either tapered or butt joints), it can crack over time as wood framed walls expand and contract through the seasons (and paper tape tends to crack much less). Same pros say it's okay to use fiberglass for small patch jobs since you're not running it across the length of a wall. I hear you on the messiness of using paper tape, but once I learned that the first layer of mud (that you embed the tape in) can be super thin (just enough to get the tape to stick to the wall), it was a little easier to work with. Also, it helps to thin out the mud (including pre-mix stuff) with a little water and scrape your tapes knives constantly. Personally, I don't understand why manufacturers don't combine the best of both worlds and sell an adhesive-backed paper tape.....assuming my intel on the advantages over fiberglass is true....hope this helps.


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Old 03-25-2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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Besides the greater tendency to crack, the fiberglass tape is just plain harder to finish in a corner. You're running your knife against the rough surface of the tape on the opposite side of the angle. Hard to get a smooth finish without extra coats and sanding. On a flat joint you don't run into the problem so much due to the tapered edge on the drywall. I guess you COULD use fiberglass in a corner. No matter where you use it, it is necessary to use a setting type compound on at least the first coat of mud. This will help to some extent with the cracking as it dries harder.
Toocheap, there is a paper tape that is "wet and stick". Saw it in a trade magazine somewhere. Have never tried it so couldn't recommend it. Not sure who makes it either, but a little searching on the web would probably get a result or two....
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bjbatlanta View Post
........... there is a paper tape that is "wet and stick".......
Looks like great stuff
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
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