Drywall (aka gypsum wallboard) is used in the interior walls and ceilings of most houses. As with any other material though, drywall inevitably gets dents, cracks, and holes. These damages need to be fixed before you can apply a fresh coat of paint.
But, how exactly does drywall get damaged? Well, it can be due to water accumulation, blunt force (such as from a doorknob hitting the wall), or accidents involving heavy furniture. Natural phenomena, particularly earthquakes, are also likely to cause damage to any wall material.
One material that is often used in fixing drywall is tape. There are different types of tape that professionals use though. These are:
Paper Drywall Tape
These are long strips of paper, usually in rolls of 75 feet and with a slight lengthwise factory-made crease. This crease helps fold the tape down in the middle for inside corner fixes.
Paper drywall tape is one of the most used tapes as it resembles drywall and is widely available. And, there is no need for cutting tools since the tape can easily be ripped. This particular tape, however, is not resistant to air bubbles. It also requires a mud layer for adhering.
Fiberglass Mesh Drywall Tape
Fiberglass threads woven together make this tape nearly impossible to tear. It is much thicker than paper-joint tape. Fiberglass mesh is actually a favorite among drywall repair companies as it is self-adhering and air-bubble resistant. The downside though, is that it can leave bulges.
Ultra-Thin Fiberglass Drywall Tape
This is a thinner version of the fiberglass mesh tape. However, it doesn’t have the thread qualities of traditional mesh tape. This type of mesh tape is similar to fabric and has more intersections between the threads, making it stronger.
Professionals use this tape on the butt joints of drywalls. It also works well for single-spot fixes. It is durable, strong, and self-adhering, though a little bit more costly than the other drywall tapes.
Metal Drywall Tape
The metal drywall tape is most often used in an inside corner bead. It comes with a crease that helps fold it over. And, compared to ordinary paper drywall tape, it is easier to crease.
This is a strong inside corner tape, but some drywall repair companies don’t use it since it’s difficult to hide with the drywall compound. It also requires tin snips and is rather costly compared to most other types available.
Paper or Mesh—which one’s Better?
Most of the time, companies choose to rely on paper drywall tape. This isn’t surprising at all, given that the tape works well enough in many applications. It also dries harder and is quite resistant with cracks (when used with setting compound).
Despite that, a different kind of tape may be required depending on the damage that needs fixing and on the nature of the part that’s been damaged. Remember though, that while it’s possible to fix drywall on your own, the best results can only be achieved with help from the pros.