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RickT 03-04-2007 04:38 PM

Taping drywall joints - fiber glass mesh or paper?
I'm preparing to tape and mud some drywall joints. I've always used fiber glass mesh tape. This Old House had an article talking about how paper tape is stronger but that fiber glass mesh tape is easier for the non-professional. What do you like to use and why? Also, is there a difference between the white and blue fiber glass mesh tape?

slickshift 03-04-2007 04:43 PM

Anywhere and everywhere it's possible to (mostly I'm doing repairs)
Paper tape is stronger?....not sure on that one

Oh, my bro-in law the pro drywaller uses mesh

joewho 03-04-2007 10:01 PM

I don't know which is stronger, but from a diy stand point either has drawbacks and advantages.

For a diy, the fiberglass will show through if not completley covered or sanded too much. Paper is much easier to handle in that respect, but more difficult to apply. You have to make sure the tape is 100% embedded in wet compound to avoid bubbles and it takes more work to apply compound to the wall for paper. Fiberglass will stick to the wall and then apply the compound.

Sometimes you run into corners that are not tight to each other and you want to tape it now. So, you fill the void with mud apply the tape and mud that. Fiberglass tends to get pushed into the void, leaving a crooked corner. Paper is folded and makes the corner for you.

Hope this help.

AtlanticWBConst. 03-05-2007 05:03 PM

Well, I've got to say that we have seen redimix over mesh tape - flake and crack.

After doing drywall for 22 years, this is how we see it:

Paper tape for redimix compound - on the wallboard seams and corners.

Mesh tape for durabond - on the wallboard seams

Always use paper tape for the corners (regardless of if you use durabond or ready mix)

RickT 03-05-2007 06:50 PM

Thanks, guys. I'm using ready-mixed Sheetrock Lightweight Joint Compound from HomeDepot. What's durabond?

I bought paper tape because Tom Silva from This Old House uses it. An article in last month's Family Handyman says to use mesh tape if you're not a pro. They say paper tape can be difficult to apply. They also said that if you push too hard, you can squeeze out the joint compound and the tape will bubble and peel later. They also said the pros use paper because it provides a stronger joint.

Thanks again,

Nhrafan 03-11-2007 03:59 PM

Anyone see this stuff before?
I was wondering how it would work?

AtlanticWBConst. 03-11-2007 04:54 PM


Originally Posted by Nhrafan (Post 36622)
Anyone see this stuff before?
I was wondering how it would work?


That product has been on the market for at least 3 -4 years.

FWIW - The red ez tape is for firewall seam application. We just used it on an apartment complexe's draft walls - 2 weeks ago. We also used a spray adhesive with it.
Why the spray adhesive? : The reason why is because we used this red firewall tape 3 years ago and it 'fell' off the firewall seams. However, since then, they re-formulated their adhesives a bit, but it still was not sticking completely, and would not overlap another piece of the tape.

The other system for finished drywall - I watched the video - I didn't see any advantages in using it. It takes almost as much time to put on and coat as paper tape.
Realize that NO kind of tape will adhere well to a dusty surface. Unfortunately, sheetrock surfaces are usually quite dusty with sheetrock dust, after it is installed.
Using compound and paper tape = Will stick to even dusty sheetrock surfaces.

I cannot see that a product like that could ever be the equivalent in quality as mudding and paper tape (Much stronger adhesion to the drywall seams)
I know that no pros would ever consider using that in place of regular paper tape...tried and true.

- my 2 cents -

Nhrafan 03-11-2007 05:36 PM

Thanks for your usual wise-and-straightforward words!
That's pretty much what I thought...... seems too good it probably..... well you know.

I'm remodeling my bath and just got the new "mold and mildew resistant" board delivered along with the Durock this morning.
How do I treat the corners where the Durock meets the drywall??

Just tape and mud as normal or is there another way to do this?:huh:


AtlanticWBConst. 03-11-2007 06:26 PM


Originally Posted by Nhrafan (Post 36628)
How do I treat the corners where the Durock meets the drywall??
Just tape and mud as normal or is there another way to do this?:huh:

Exactly as you asked... Tape & mud like normal. (Treat the cement board as if it were sheetrock)

RippySkippy 03-12-2007 07:58 AM

First a bit from our sponsor....from page 58 on the USG Gypsum construction handbook

"Repeated joint strength tests conducted at the USG Research Center have shown that joints taped and finished with conventional fiberglass leno-weave mesh tape and conventional joint compounds are more prone to cracking than joints finished with paper tape and conventional joint compounds. This is because fiberglass mesh tapes tend to stretch under load, even after being covered with joint compounds"

I use fiberglass only when I have something deep to fill, embed it deep and top with paper. I've had best luck with paper taping when the mud is on the thinner side, and the base is well covered. Use a small knife to make sure it's bedded correctly.

When taping the corners, knock the sharp corner off the knife, don't ask me how easy it is to poke a knife corner through the paper.....don't ask.

Here's the taping how-to link from USG, hope it helps:


CMHbob 04-18-2011 07:02 PM

Better late than never
I just read this book: Drywall - Professional Techniques for Great Results by Myron R. Ferguson. The author states taped joints are stronger than mesh, although he doesn't explain why, and give a better finished appearance. Lots of other pro tips that I never would have learned on my own. My brief experience with mesh is the same as AtlanticWBConst. Now, I only use mesh with cement board.
Visit my blog for my latest rehab project and reno tips!

Brushjockey 04-18-2011 07:27 PM

I have found for a straight ahead sheetrock tape job, paper is better. For repairs, particularly plaster repairs, mesh is better, but should be set with hot mud ( powdered- sets chemically, not by evaporation )Aka durobond or powdered easy sand.

firehawkmph 04-18-2011 09:00 PM

It all depends on what you are used to working with. I have been using the mesh tape for over ten years now with no problems. I use easisand 45 and 90 for the first two coats and finish up with redi-mix dust control. I have been using the ultra thin mesh tape for the last couple of years. I used the mesh in my own basement when finishing it ten years ago, no cracks. If you do a good job with paper tape, use it. If you like the mesh, go with it. Either one is going to be a learning experience for a diy'er just getting started. Take your time, don't try to cover everything in one coat.
Mike Hawkins:)

CMHbob 04-19-2011 08:36 AM

Threads falling off mesh tape
Mike - I tried the ultra thin mesh with redimix joint compound on the last project. It seemed like the outside threads would easily come loose as I rolled out the tape, leaving long strands that I had to cut off. Also, when I applied the first mud coat, more strands would let go, messing up my mud job, and taking time to cut off. Do you have this problem? How can I prevent it?

Visit my blog for my latest project and reno tips!

firehawkmph 04-19-2011 06:17 PM

Sometimes that outer strand does come free from the roll while playing it out. I just cut the strand off with my razor knife. I haven't had any come free while taping. I use easisand for the initial coat. I mix it so it is not as thick as the redi mix. I use redi mix for the third coat (dust control). When you sand, the dust does drop right to the floor.
Mike Hawkins:)

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