I've been using fiberglass mesh tape for most of my mud joints over
the past hundred years or so (maybe a hundred or two sheets total -
strictly DIY), and was wondering - lacking a banjo, bazooka, or
whatever that thing is called, what kind of tape would a pro use? I
understand that the mesh tape does not work in these machines, so
that would be a no-brainer on the job. But when the situation calls
for manual application, which is preferred? Is the preference based
on ease of application? performance? both? I've never gotten the
hang of paper (I *always* get bubbles) - that's why I use mesh.
Should I try to perfect my paper technique, or is mesh ok? FWIW,
I've had very few cracks over the years - would paper make that even
My method is mesh on fields and paper in corners. You get a much more
defined corner with paper. I use a corner trowel to set the tape; mesh
could never make as straight a line as paper, I think. And its easier
to avoid bubbles in corners, since, with a corner trowel, all the air
is being pushed out each side of the fold. Try it using about 5 feet
at a time, no banjo, just a corner trowel. Overlap the next section and
continue that way around room. If you've ever had problems in corners
with the mesh being exposed after sanding, you'll appreciate the ease
of a sanding block over a straight paper corner.
Paper for all. I've been around some mesh tape, never used it for
actual taping...just repairs and large gaps that need filling.
It seams pun intended ;-) to me that I can achieve a smoother finish
using paper tape, no banjo, just the spool hanging from my belt. I
find bubbles can be greatly dimished by using thinned mud, and making
sure there's a decent bed when laying the tape.
To each there own...use what works for you.
Back when I first attempted drywall, USG was warning that fiberglass
tape worked only with setting compounds like Durabond, and that only
paper tape was to be used with regular joint compounds to avoid
All I've ever used was paper, and no cracking so far.
When I moved into my house I encountered a bunch of cracked areas in
the basement. All of them were mesh tape. I interpreted this as a
sign that you should follow the USG rules and I have always used the
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