I'm going to be doing some drywalling shortly and was wondering what experiences other have had with the self adhesive fiberglass mesh tape.

Is it a good choice or am I going to regret using it?

16 Answers 16


I've found that it works OK, but it's more difficult to get the surface smooth than paper tape -- as the mud dries, it shrinks, so the mesh starts to show through. Obviously this is not a problem if you're going to be doing some heavy texturing afterwards.

  • 4
    I find using setting joint compound for the first coat over mesh tape has a couple of benefits.. It sets within an hour, so a second coat can be done quickly. It also shrinks much less than premix.
    – HerrBag
    Mar 2, 2013 at 22:05

I like it since it generally goes on quite a bit faster. The only place I don't like it is for inside corners. It's much easier to get a nice clean corner with paper tape since it has that convenient seam down the middle for folding it.


I was warned by several people to not use fiberglass tape when finishing drywall. The fiberglass mesh tape is more likely to allow cracks to form over time because it is not as strong as paper tape.

  • 2
    I've observed this myself and switched to paper. Oct 19, 2011 at 3:03

Fiber glass mesh is designed to be used with fast setting mud. This is dry stuff that is mixed with water and contains plaster of paris. I use it all the time. they have a product at Home Depot that will dry in 5 minutes (usually takes 15). then put another coat on top of that. The final coat should be regualr mud which is a bit easier to sand.

  • This is the correct answer, not the one the OP selected. Jan 10, 2019 at 21:17

I have used it for patching areas, but not for an entire drywall installation. It made patching in a tight space much easier. You just needed several coats of mud on top to compensate for the shrinking.


The two advantages I know of for fiberglass tape are that it's mold resistant and it won't bubble up like paper can if you do a bad mudding job. But I think others have already pointed out many of the advantages of paper, which is my preference.


I added a new office area to my basement in early 2009. All the walls were installed with new wallboard. I tried using conventional drywall tape but ran into problems with putting it on and getting it to go on the right way. It came loose when sanding and parts of the tape would start to appear after I began to sand---this is because with mud under the tape, the tape is raised higher and is closer to the surface. I switched over to the fiber glass mesh tape and I immediately began to have better results. I mudded over the tape and the tape stayed in place. I used the fiber glass tape for all the seams throughout the entire room and everything worked flawlessly! I can say this with authority because it is now 2013 (4 years later) and there are no imperfections anywhere-none. No cracking, loose mud or whatever. The entire room is in flawless condition except in those areas where the walls have been hit by moving furniture. I used pre-mixed mud out of the bucket but it was stirred first until it was the same consistency throughout. I am not a professional drywall installer but I took the time to be very precise and careful with all the steps of the job and the results continue to show to this day.


The fiberglass tape is all I use. It doesn't stick very well, though.


I've used it but, given a choice, I'll always opt for paper. I've seen mesh "shift" right where the seam is. It doesn't seem to be as strong as a tape joint when it comes to keeping pieces of sheetrock from shifting.


I've used both with good results but it largely depends on the application. Long straight joints, in the middle where drywall bevel edges meet is fine for mesh because usually more mud applied due to the bevel.
A tip I've used to over 30 years with excellent results...mud the joint and soak the length of paper in water before applying it. The wetted paper allows the mud to make better adhesion but don't apply too much pressure with the knife to make the paper buckle or shred. I always use paper for inside corners.


Either way is good, paper or tape. I finished my basement and garage and have done a lot of drywall in the past. I use paper in the corners mostly for sure, and mesh/fiberglass tape or paper tape over the flat spots and metal corners. I used normal joint mud (All Purpose) with the mesh tape and some joints have cracked, but only a few. Those had to be repaired by cutting out the old tape a little wider to accommodate mud and paper tape to fix the crack. I will start using the fast setting or hot mud that dries quick and prevents that cracking (first coat) than use normal mud to finish. Always make sure your drywall is tight to the structure (screwed in) so there isn't any play or movement. Also on new drywall you may want to put a few squirts of panel adhesive or even construction adhesive on spots close to the seam (where two pieces meet) to keep it from moving.


No one in a country with a winter season should use mesh tape EVER! If you are going over steel studded walls you may use a mesh tape for flats and butts only due to the limited movement in the metal but is still not recommended. Paper all the way.

If you insist on using mesh tape, you must use quick set compounds for your first coat. This will give the inferior mesh application a marginal amount of strength.

  • 1
    Why, why, why? Why shouldn't a person in a country with winter use mesh tape? Why can it be used with steel studs? Why must you use quick set compounds?
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2015 at 11:16
  • Because wood studs move slightly in climates with extreme temperature humidity shifts
    – user47642
    Jan 11, 2016 at 17:14
  • Maybe it's just me, but I only install drywall inside a house, where there are no extreme temperature shifts. Feb 10, 2020 at 13:48

I agree with the answers that recommend using "quick set" cement on the first coat of mesh tape else the joint will develop hairline crack. I've tried it without the quickset and had nothing but bad luck. Maybe it depends on the climate? I live in Montana where especially it can get cold in basements during the winter.


It can be a pain if you get the cheapest stuff. Those rolls are rolls of remnants & you constantly have to re-find the edge since there will be even just 2' long sections included. I learned my lesson with that stuff the first time.

But yes, it's vastly superior than paper for 1 simple reason. Mesh embeds into the mud, tape just sticks to the mud.

If you've done any demolition for a patch or a whole house you'll find tape peels up & the mud just flakes right off. With Mesh however, you'll find that it's completely filled & often won't peel off & if it does that the mud stays mostly attached it. Mesh can also be put in mud for the full embedding treatment & I haven't found a single failure of a meshed seam I've done yet.


Like many aspects of drywall, it's all depends on your skill & knowledge. I've been in drywall over 30 years, and have run my own business for about 15 of those years. I specialize in drywall repairs and mesh tape is absolutely the best tape to use, for my application. And I've NEVER had a call back because of tape failure, joint cracks, etc. Does that mean it can never crack, of course not, any tape can crack, and I've fixed THOUSANDS of cracks, and have seen both types of tape crack.

The big advantages to Mesh tape are you can apply it to the joint, and immediately coat it, which brings it to the taped, then coated step when using paper. With paper, it takes 2 days to get to that same point. If you use fast setting joint compound, (ie hotmud), you gain the added benefit of almost no shrinkage, allowing you to finish the work faster, plus you can apply multiple coats in one day with hotmud. The other big advantage is you can't get blisters with hotmud, something that plagues MOST all amateurs.

I have no problem whatsoever in coating it and making it not show, but again, that's because I'm the best at what I do, with tons of experience. You as an amateur will not be able to achieve the same quality I can, BUT, with a little extra work, you can get close enough to suit you in most cases.

I recommend checking out my YouTube channel at www.thatkiltedguy.com where I actually have a video discussing just this subject, as well as numerous others that should help you all out a lot. Seeing a video is often more helpful than a verbal discussion of the subject.

Thanks, Guy, That Kilted Guy.com

  • 1
    I disagree that an amature cannot do as good a job as a professional. I have seen a few jobs where amateurs made pros look like crap. Can they do it as quickly with the same results not usually but the ability to have a perfect result is a possibility even for a first timer.
    – Ed Beal
    May 16, 2017 at 13:18

I've worked with drywall plaster and stucco for 20yrs anybody who says nylon with premixed compound worked is living in an area with little to no humidity and got lucky.First off compound is basically playdough it dries but never sets or cures it is an awful product and without using stronger products such as durabond 90 (best drywall product ever but not used because it is to hard to sand) or a sandable setting product in the first coat is asking for trouble. But any drywall job has a 10 year lifespan max before joints and screws emerge,personally I prefer plaster with paper tape and durabond 90 on butt joints

  • How does this answer the question? Seems to be more appropriate as a comment on an existing answer?
    – mmathis
    Aug 16, 2017 at 14:25

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