I am interviewing drywall finishers and one guy told me he wants to use mesh tape for all butted joint and paper only for inner corners. I am skeptical because all my previous finishers used paper for butted joints (in addition to corners) and used mesh only basically for special situations, such as bigger holes. I hear that mesh is less strong.

Is it okay to use mesh tape for butted joints and will it result in a weaker joint?

  • What's your line of work?
    – Caius Jard
    Oct 9, 2020 at 23:10
  • Originally a software engineer but right now a builder/developer, I guess. I do almost all construction disciplines except for drywall finish and tile work. I know 95% of constructions jobs
    – amphibient
    Oct 9, 2020 at 23:13
  • @CaiusJard I don't like division of labor LOL
    – amphibient
    Oct 9, 2020 at 23:14

5 Answers 5


Mesh tape is all I've used for this century and I've never had a failure. Tape is nothing but a scab. Strength means nothing and to depend upon tape to do any other work means that your other work is flawed garbage.

The ONLY thing you MUST INSIST, is that ANY and ALL installers and/or finishers locate butt joints only over studs or equally sized blocking. If you install drywall right, then it quite literally doesn't matter what tape or mud is used. FACT.

  • Thanks but I don't understand what you mean in your second paragraph
    – amphibient
    Oct 9, 2020 at 23:10
  • Not surprising, considering the literal buffoons out there laughably calling themselves experts and professionals. Including the lazy nincompoop inspectors. I mean, no edge nor any portion of any edge should ever be unsupported. In fact, Yes, if you run your panels perpendicular to studs, rafters or joists then blocking needs to be installed in the voids between those structural members. But, no pro does it and no inspector enforces it.
    – Iggy
    Oct 9, 2020 at 23:40
  • The only edges I have without studs directly behind is where the edge is perpendicular to studs and the studs are no more than 14.5" apart
    – amphibient
    Oct 9, 2020 at 23:45
  • 7
    @Iggy, your answer and your comments seem unnecessarily condescending and aggressive. Also, you say "locate butt joints only over studs or equally sized blocking", but then go on to say "no pro does it"... implying that you also are not a pro, because you do it, yes? FACT- I built my home 25 years ago and hung the drywall perpendicular to the studs, with no blocking behind the butt joints spanning the stud bays; guess what: not a single crack at those joints! Oct 10, 2020 at 1:18
  • 1
    Food for thought: A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. Good/correct advise said badly, or with an acerbic attitude, is often ignored or discounted as baseless ranting.
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 10, 2020 at 18:32

Here's my 2 cents. I have seen many many jobs done in tract shacks coming up in the trade, I have been on multi-million dollar jobs that I have run, and there has never been any joint failure on any mud work regarding the use of paper tape. I have seen it fail when it came to truss roof systems, when the drywall was not fastened properly, but that is the installers, not the mud work.

The only time I have seen issues with tape joints, is using fiber mesh. No it wasn't failure but just a fine hairline crack that would appear in the but joints. The joint is sound, the drywall tight, but at the joint on very close inspection, you can see the mesh exposed, bridging that fine hairline crack. It does not happen everywhere, but it does. With that I do not use the fiber tape on drywall, but only in tile work with thinset.


Drywaller for 45 years. Use paper tape on end butt joints and inside corners, and mesh tape to factory edges,because it's slightly indented, and it saves the step of "pre-mudding",e.g.,your 1st mud coat goes over the joint with a 8 inch taping knife, then let dry, sand edges only, and then top coat with a thin layer of mud,striking nearly flat, and,most importantly, feathering the edges.Let dry and sand LIGHTLY .🙂


Mesh is totally acceptable as long as it's set with hot mud, according to manufacturers.

USG white paper


Now, I'm certain that people will (perhaps justifiably) say that they use mesh and all purpose mud all the time and they've never had problems.

Probably the reason most pros don't use mesh is that it's just more efficient to stick to paper and AP mud. Plus, paper and AP work fine the vast majority of the time.


Bottom line, pros use paper tape. There is a small but Growing trend to use fibafuse in certain circumstances. I honestly can’t think of any reason why a pro would ever use mesh tape over paper or fibafuse. Some guys like mesh tape on patch work but hands down I’d use fibafuse, especially when patching plaster walls. The only time I would use mesh tape on anything is the grey mesh tape for cement board... that’s it. I seriously would question this guyS skill wanting to use mesh tape on fresh drywall install.

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