Its all in the title but I am preparing to do some drywall work and I plan to use a self adhesive mesh tape for the job as I have always had trouble getting standard tape to work (just don't do it often enough).

Are there any performance differences that would make this a bad idea or are they pretty equivalent?

  • 1
    Have you worked with fiberglass mesh tape before?
    – Tester101
    Jun 26, 2015 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


paper tape:

  • stronger, less likely to crack
  • easier for inside corners because you can crease/fold it
  • easy to cover with first mud coat, lays nice and flat
  • must be bedded in initial layer of mud

mesh tape:

  • have seen cracks over time
  • drywall knife seems to catch on it easily, pulls it
  • easy to lay down without bedding in mud

Just my opinions formed over years of experience, others will have their own.

  • 1
    Excellent point about the edge of the drywall knife catching on the mesh. Jun 26, 2015 at 20:24

USG claims paper is stronger. (hmm- specifically with "drying type" joint compound).

With ready-mixed (drying-type) compounds, paper tape must be used to ensure good joint performance. With setting compounds, either paper tape or fiberglass mesh joint tape can be used; however, paper joint tape performs best.

Of course, if you can't get paper to work for you and you can get mesh to work for you, that won't really apply when you do it, just when somebody that can do paper successfully does it. Mesh can take a bit more mud to hide. But I'm strongly in favor of using what works for you (or my using what works for me.) Paper is also cheaper, but again, only if you don't buy a roll, have a frustrating time trying to make it work, tear it off and throw it in the trash, and buy mesh anyway....

So you should use a setting type (hot mud) compound for your initial tape work. I'd suggest the longer setting times (I think they have 20 to 90 minutes) as better suited to amateur mudding.

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