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I noticed that there is a debate about using a paper tape or fiberglass mesh tape for drywall seams taping. In general professionals seem to prefer paper tape. However, I have read that in a place where there is a lot of humidity, such as a bathroom with a shower, it is necessary to use a fiberglass mesh tape and setting type joint compound (chemical bound), instead of paper tape and ready-mixed all purpose compound, the latter being soluble in water.

Being a novice I would like to know if it is true that the paper tape and ready-mixed all purpose compound are to proscribe for drywall seams taping in a bathroom. Could not we use rather a primer and a moisture-resistant paint to protect the seams ?

Thank you.

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Could not we use... a primer and a moisture-resistant paint to protect the seams ?

YES, either tape will work fine and you should use the joint compound you are most comfortable with. When covered properly with a high quality primer and paint then the moisture should not be an issue for either.

P.S.- I do not use mesh tape because I have had experience with cracking that does not seem to happen as much with paper. Many folks will likely have suggestions and anecdotes both pro and con for both.

  • Jimmy - did you use mesh with all purpose (AP)? I'm not a drywall guy, so just going on advice, but mesh and AP seem to be bad because of the shrinking. Mesh and setting compound has never failed me. – Aloysius Defenestrate Sep 26 '18 at 3:30
  • I use pre-mix joint compound for setting and covering the tape, then topping compound for successive coats. The cracking I'm referring to happened later (months), exposing the mesh. It may be wrong-headed thinking but I feel that the paper tape adds some tensile strength to the joint thereby helping to resist stress cracks, or maybe allows some "slip" under the tape so cracks don't appear? I dunno. – Jimmy Fix-it Sep 26 '18 at 4:26

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