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What is plasterboard joint tape made of?

         
         
  Shop for Plasterboard Joint Tape      
         
         
  Paper jointing tape and fibreglass tape   Plasterboard joint tape can be made out of paper or a fibreglass weave.  
         
     

Fibreglass

 
  Fibreglass mesh tape for plasterboard joints  

Fibreglass is a type of plastic that has been reinforced with very small fibres of glass. 

 

These fibres are woven together to create a strong, but lightweight material. 

 
         
  Applying fibreglass tape to plasterboard joint  

Fibreglass tape is waterproof and, unlike paper tape, is not prone to developing bubbles.

 

This is because, as mentioned earlier, the mesh allows the jointing compound to bleed through, and effectively become part of, the tape. 

 
         
  Elastic bands; elasticity; rubber bands  

Despite its strength, fibreglass mesh is elastic and tends to stretch under load. 

 

When plasterboard settles into position, it sometimes moves very slightly. Unless it is used correctly, the pliability of fibreglass tape means that joints are more likely to develop cracks than those reinforced with paper tape.

 
         
     

Paper

 
  Paper jointing tape  

Paper tape is not quite as strong as fibreglass tape. This is partly because it is non-elastic so will tear, rather than warp or stretch, under load.

 

However, the smooth surface of paper is an advantage as it can be more easily concealed with jointing compound to make plasterboard joints invisible and provide a better finish.

 
      Wonkee Donkee says: 'Because paper is able to be folded in half, paper tape is especially useful for taping corner joints.'  
         
  Paper tape being covered with jointing compound  

It is important to note that, when using paper tape, there can be a risk of air bubbles forming if an inadequate amount of jointing compound is applied between the joint and the tape.

 

An even layer of mud is critical to prevent this from happening.