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What is plasterboard joint tape used for?

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Plasterboard sheets, drywall Because it is lightweight and can be installed relatively quickly and easily, using plasterboard is one of the most popular ways of lining a wall.

It is usually fixed to the studwork of a wall using a combination of plasterboard adhesive and nails or screws.

Plasterer's joint tape; taping knife; jointing compound Plasterboard joint tape is used in the finishing stages of plasterboard installation.

It is applied to the plasterboard seams, using a taping knife and jointing compound, to bridge the gaps between the sheets and strengthen the joints.

Cracked plasterboard joint As buildings settle, materials like timber and plasterboard shrink as water absorbed during construction evaporates.

When this happens, small cracks can appear along plasterboard joints on walls and ceilings.

Reinforcing plasterboard joint with fibreglass scrim tape Reinforcing plasterboard joints with jointing tape provides a strong bond between the sheets and is one way in which these cracks can be prevented.

There are two ways in which plasterboard can be finished: skim-coating and taping and jointing. Jointing tape is used in each of these processes.

  Wonkee Donkee says: 'If plasterboard joints are not reinforced by joint tape, they are likely to crack in the future. '

Taping and jointing

Scrim tape used to reinforce a tapered plasterboard joint In addition to providing strength, jointing tape helps to conceal the plasterboard joints and create a smooth surface that can be painted. This process is known as taping and jointing.

For more information, see What is taping and jointing? 

Skim-coating

Skimming, applying a skim coat to a wall Plasterboard joint tape can also be used to reinforce plasterboard joints before a wall is skim-coated.

After tape and a layer of jointing compound have been applied to the plasterboard joints as well as to any exposed screw heads, the entire face of the wall is covered with a thin layer of plaster (i.e. it is skimmed), to produce a smooth, seamless finish.

Applying second layer of jointing compound to plasterboard joint In the process of taping and jointing, great care is taken to conceal the plasterboard joint, with multiple layers of jointing compound applied.

On the other hand, if you are preparing a wall for a skim coat, because the plasterboard will be eventually be completely covered, only one layer of compound is applied.

For more information see, How to prepare a wall for skim-coating with plasterboard joint tape.

Repairing plasterboard

Repairing plasterboard with scrim tape and compound Joint tape can be also be used to repair holes in plasterboard.

In a similar way to how it bridges the gap between sheets of plasterboard, small lengths of tape can be used along with jointing compound to make the seam between the new patch of plasterboard and the existing sheet appear invisible.

Dividing a wall

Plastering a wall Without the aid of jointing compound, self-adhesive scrim tape will not stick permanently to a wall.

Because it can be easily removed, using the tape is an effective way of dividing up a large wall into manageable sections prior to plastering. When removed, the tape will provide a clear edge up to which the next section of the wall can be plastered.