7th Dec 2022 -

When the plasterboard is fixed to a wall or ceiling, the boards need to be joined to prevent any cracks from appearing. This is a process known as ‘tape and jointing’ and the most common type of tape used is called scrim tape. 

It is used to secure joints between plasterboard sheets and is all but essential to any plasterboarding project, joining your boards and providing a smooth finish.

What is Scrim Tape?

Scrim tape is a relatively recent innovation in the world of plasterboard. It is made of woven fibreglass threads in a mesh, and is adhesive on one side, meaning it can be stuck directly to the joints between plasterboards without a jointing compound. The mesh of the tape allows it to contain the jointing compound during plastering, creating a strong joint. 

Without applying the tape, the joints between plasterboards will have weak spots during the plastering process, leading to cracking. It is important therefore to properly tape the joints, and scrim tape is an easy material to create a secure join. Wider scrim tapes and double-sided scrim tape are also available but are not relevant for joining the plasterboard.

Scrim Tape vs. Jointing Tape

Prior to scrim tape, jointing tape was the standard material for joining plasterboard gaps, and it remains used by many professionals within the plastering industry. Jointing tape is made out of paper and is produced with a crease along its centre, allowing it to be used on corner joints. Jointing tape isn’t adhesive and requires an initial layer of jointing compound beneath it before being applied. 

The reason that jointing tape is favoured by tradespeople is probably due to two factors, its cost, and its ease of use in corners. Jointing tape comes in longer rolls and is cheaper than scrim tape. Its centre fold also makes it easy to use in corner joints.

Scrim tape is quicker to use as you do not need to apply a base layer of jointing compound, as it sticks to joints. While it is very possible to use the tape on corner joints, the process is a little more complicated than with jointing tape.

Both scrim tape and jointing tape have their own benefits and drawbacks, with some in the industry choosing to use scrim tape on straight joints and jointing tape on corners. 

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How To Apply Scrim Tape To a Flat Joint 

A flat joint between two plasterboard panels needs to be joined with the tape to prevent cracking once plastered. Scrim tape is not super sticky, which makes it easy to adjust before the plaster has been added, but also means you should carefully check that it is secured when using it. Smooth the tape over along the joints, ensuring that it is equally spaced on both sides of the plasterboard. Then cut the end using a sharp knife. Scrim tape can be run over itself at the borders between four plasterboard panels. Make sure your tape is properly and neatly applied, as once you apply a layer of plasterboard it will be impossible to remove. 

How To Apply Scrim Tape to an Internal Corner Joint 

Internal corners in plasterboard walls will also need taping to prevent cracking. An easy method to use scrim tape is to first securely insert the end of the scrim tape into the top of the corner join, then run the blunt end of a pair of scissors along the seam, to properly push the whole of the tape into the corner. After doing this, you can smooth either side of the corner down by hand. As with flat joints, the tape needs to be equally spaced on both sides, and it is also important for the tape to be properly fitted into the corner. While this isn’t as easy as taping flat joints, it is easy enough for non-professionals.

Can You Use Scrim Tape on an External Corner Joint?

Neither scrim tape nor jointing tape can be used on an external corner joint. Instead, you will need to use an angle bead on an external joint before plastering.

Scrim tape available for all your project needs

We are proud to be your premier destination for high-quality scrim tape, a crucial component in achieving seamless and durable finishes in plastering and drywall projects. Our excellent range is designed to meet your specific needs and includes various widths and materials, all crafted for excellent adhesion, flexibility, and resistance to cracking. With Building Materials Nationwide's scrim tape, you can ensure that your plasterboard joints and corners remain sturdy and flawlessly finished.

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