How Drywall Joint Tape Works

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  • 1-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 15-40

Drywall joint tape brings together drywall pieces during construction. The tape is applied over seams caused when drywall is attached to the frame of a building, such as a home. Drywall joint tape covers the seams to create a smooth surface and help prepare the wall for finishing and painting.

Types of Drywall Joint Tape

The most common types of drywall joint tape are paper, fiberglass mesh, and veneer self-adhesive tape. Paper drywall joint tape is made of paper with no adhesive backing. Fiberglass mesh tape has an open mesh area that allows air to flow as it is applied. The veneer self-adhesive drywall joint tape is applied to the seam without plaster and is easy to use.

How Drywall Joint Tape Is Applied

person applying drywall tape

Paper drywall joint tape is applied to the seam with a plaster. As the tape is placed on the seam, plaster is applied on the tape with the use of a putty knife. This allows the tape to adhere to the seam and provide a seal. The putty knife is used to smooth the paper tape and eliminate any air bubbles that have occurred.

Fiberglass mesh tape does not bubble up since the mesh allows air to escape. It is placed on the seam with a joint compound that holds the tape in place.

The veneer self-adhesive drywall tape has a paper backing that is pulled off as the tape is placed on the drywall seams. The putty knife blade, which is flat, is drawn down the tape to affix it to the seam. A joint or setting compound is used to finish the seal.