I’ve always enjoyed the drywall taping part of a project. It’s lot like the eye of a storm. A nice calm from the back-breaking heavy lifting that takes place while securing drywall panels, but, soon after taping the dusty, back-and-forth sanding process that no one enjoys takes place.
Nevertheless, taping is an extremely important step and requires skill and patience. Done right, taping joints should be as strong and durable as the panel itself.
We have two paths to following while taping – hand taping or using mechanical taping tools. Both of these methods have pros and cons – I’ll touch on each here.
Is Drywall Taping Necessary?
Paper and mesh tape is used to strengthen joint compound, because if the joint between two panels were filled using only compound, the joint would surely crumble or crack. That’s why every drywall contractor uses tape – it’s an unavoidable step.
Drywall taping joins two panels together; turning two surfaces into a single seamless one. That allows the drywall compound to do its job by acting as an adhesive and when feathered out properly from the joint point, will allow for a smooth look and feel.
No matter if you’re fixing drywall cracks, holes or dents – treat them the same way with the use of paper or mesh drywall tape before applying compound.
What needs to be taped?
All joints need to be taped to ensure strength, longevity and to avoid any surface cracks – that includes all room corners and ceiling joints. Paper tape should be placed in corners and later covered with multiple coats of drywall compound, but remember that tape needs to be smooth and free of bubbles or bums to give a smooth finished look after compound and sanding.
Fasteners, dents and small blemishes can be filled with drywall compound without the need of tape since the surface area is still strong and unbroken.
Drywall Taping Methods
The first time I did professional drywall installations was in 1999. At that time, I preferred hand taping over using drywall taping machines, because I believed it was easier and gave a better finished product. But, times have changed and mechanical taping tools have as well.
I’ve become addicted to drywall taping machines in the past few years, because they produce consistent fast-paced work that even skilled hand taping methods cannot beat.
Nevertheless, hand taping drywall is still used by a lot of industry professionals and homeowners since it requires no extra tools and will always still get the job done. No matter which method you end up choosing, remember that all good work requires time and patience.