Monday, September 25, 2023

What to consider when choosing a plate tape (screen and paper)

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In a previous article we discussed the two main types of tapes used for the taking of plasterboard joints or drywall. Both paper ribbons like the hatched ribbons Fiberglass tapes have their advantages and disadvantages and, although there is not a great variety of each of them that makes it difficult for us to make the right choice, there may well be some tips to keep in mind when we must acquire rolls of these tapes for our work. dry construction.

Before we begin, however, let’s briefly review the most relevant characteristics of each type of tape.

Paper or woven tape, which one to choose?

Although the final decision will depend on each user, it is important to have certain knowledge that will help us to choose the appropriate joint tape.

With the information provided by the figure above, we can already have a prior idea of ​​the tape that is best suited for the work we want to do.

for corners

Thus, for example, if we have to take joints in a room with many internal corners (the figure below shows a typical internal corner) the paper tape It will be the most suitable, given the ease of its placement in the corners thanks to its preformed fold.

for corners

The external corners, on the other hand, do not require any type of tape, since they are treated with metal or plastic moldings fixed to the joint with screws to drywall.

For joints with and without recess

The design of the plates drywall includes two rabbet and two butt edges, or no rabbet. Therefore, the joints with recess They are formed when the long, tapered edges of two gypsum boards meet, creating a small “valley” between the two edges. For their part, the butt joints or without recess They are formed when two square edges meet. For clarity, the figure below shows the location of the recessed and non-recessed edges of a gypsum board.

Edge with or without recess

Now, how does the type of joint influence the selection of the tape?

Butt or non-recessed joints: in this case, as the edges of the plasterboards are flat (or square), the joint that forms the union of two plates is not lowered, so any layer intended to cover said joint, be it putty or tape hatched, it will protrude slightly from the surface of the plates. This makes it difficult to close and mask the joint and therefore, the thinner that layer is on the joint, the more concealed it will be. For this purpose, paper tape, being thinner, is recommended for butt joints of gypsum boards, since the thicker woven tape would create an even more pronounced bulge in the joint.

Joints with recess: As a result of the small “valley” created by the rabbets, which allows enough space to be filled with tape and putty, these joints can be more easily hidden. Therefore, we can use paper or woven tapes indistinctly, although the latter, due to their thicker structure, better cover the “valley” formed by the joined plates, allow filling with a greater amount of putty and, in this way, provide more strength to the board.

For the same reason, woven tapes are also the most suitable for taking joints that are going to be subjected to stress, for example, those near a door.

Recommendations when choosing a joint tape

Let’s first see in general, what we should prioritize, regardless of the type of tape. All jointing tape is available in rolls ranging in width from 1-7/8 inches to 6 inches and lengths from 250 to 500 feet, or metric equivalents.

Required amount of tape

To make sure we have the right number of rolls, so we don’t have to interrupt our task to go out and buy more tape, or finish the job with too much leftover, it’s always a good idea to estimate the approximate amount we’ll need. To do this, we must measure all the joints and corners that we want to tape and for this we can use a meter, a tape measure or a laser level. Once we have the total result, we multiply it by approximately 1.5. Why? Because we must always contemplate the waste of tape due to mistakes, breaks, improper cutting, etc. Adding a little more tape to the calculated amount will allow us enough room for maneuver to work in peace.

tape width

Depending on our ability to work with joints of drywall, we may need a wider tape. Tapes 2 or 3 inches wide are the most used, but if we are professionals or very experienced we can choose a narrower tape. If we are going to make repairs instead of taping joints, it is convenient to choose a tape 4 to 6 inches wide, since this way we will be able to cover a greater surface of the area to be repaired without having to spend a large amount of putty.

Tape Holding/Dispensing Devices

Although some users hold the tape with one hand while placing it with the other, many others, even professionals, use some device that makes this task easier. As we indicated in a previous article, there are not only tools of fastening of the tapes -some models even incorporate a tank for the putty- but also automatic dispensing guns specially designed for hatched ribbons.

In the following figures we see some examples.

Dispenser for woven tapes

If our work is going to be extensive, or if we are professionals, it will be very convenient to consider one of these devices with which we will surely save time and practicality.

Now, if we have already made a decision about a certain type of tape, let’s think about the following when we go to buy the rolls.

Paper tapes: let’s try to choose the tapes that come with micro-perforations. There are various techniques for performing microperforations and each manufacturer may adopt one or the other, with their corresponding advantages. But the important thing is to know that the perforations try to give the paper tape the properties that the woven tapes have. In other words, they allow the passage of air, and therefore not only minimize the formation of bubbles once placed (which is the great drawback of common paper tapes) but also contribute to better cohesion with the putty, reinforcing the Council.

Woven ribbons: Let’s remember that if we opt for these tapes, we should look for a setting putty instead of the conventional putty for joints. This type of putty does not shrink when it dries, a property that cannot be overlooked due to the elastic nature of the woven tapes. Otherwise, we would end up with a bad looking and cracked joint. Hairline cracks are the most frequently cited reason by professionals for not applying engineered tape, but the wrong caulk is usually the culprit.

In summary, if we make the right choices based on the suggestions that we have just presented, even with little practice in making plasterboard joints, we will obtain, in the long run, satisfactory and stable results over time.

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