The extensive range of Gyproc tapes will cover every eventuality in either plastering or taping and jointing jobs. Artex Technical Product Manager, Ted Elliott talks to Professional Builder’s Lee Jones about what’s available.
In recent years the benefits of fibreglass jointing tapes have gained significant traction with the trades, but paper-based products still have a place. Indeed, whatever the project, or type of board a builder might be confronted with, they can be confident that there is a Gyproc solution to hand.
So just what differences are there in application and performance between the options? “Within the tapes range there are two broad categories – fibreglass and paper,” Ted explains, “whilst we also supply a Gyproc Corner Tape in the latter material that features two strips of metal in order to fit either side of a corner. Generally speaking, fibreglass tends to be plaster orientated but, with reference to plasterboard joints, paper remains a popular specification for taping and jointing.”
When it comes to any of the Gyproc self-adhesive fibreglass tapes it’s the fast and straight-forward application process that has made them such a popular proposition. Simply place the product over a joint of no more the 2mm width, cut to length with either a taping knife or the edge of a finishing trowel, and apply Gyproc Joint Filler or Gyproc EasiFill over the top. Once the filler has set, it’s ready for the next coat of jointing material, which can be applied using either taping knife, trowel, finishing boxes or using an increasingly popular spray-applied finish coat system. The primary purpose of the tape is to give the joint strength, which is why, when taping and jointing by hand, it should always be ‘bedded in’ using a setting compound. The mesh construction of the fibre tape works rather like a traditional timber lath, where the filler is effectively pushed through the gaps to the substrate behind, thereby forming one single, solid, and reliable joint.
Unlike its fibre counterpart, the paper-based Gyproc Joint Tape is not self-adhesive. As a result, a joint filler is first applied over the joint, with the tape then embedded in that material. Using a taping knife or trowel, apply pressure when running down the tape to squeeze out any excess material from behind before applying a second coat over the top to a width of approx. 125mm, effectively creating a sandwich construction.
“Gyproc Joint Tape is often still in evidence in larger commercial applications”, continues Ted, “where a large expanse of taping and jointing is undertaken. Although it can also be fixed by hand, in these instances, it is generally applied via an automatic taping tool, where the tape and jointing compound is run onto the boards in one continuous action, with the machine then cutting the tape to the required length. As a result, paper rolls tend to be longer at 180m, compared to 90m for most fibre tapes.”
At the same time, whilst plasterers will make use of metal beads to create a perfect straight edge on external corners, taping and jointing systems often still utilise a paper corner tape. The two corrosion resistant steel strips offer suitable protection for the external corners and, as with Gyproc Joint Tape, it is embedded into the joint filler.
It would be fair to say, however, that the faster application times of hand-applied fibre tapes, particularly on jobs where there’s smaller areas of joint to cover, have won favour with the trades. As a result, Gyproc has utilised its expertise to develop the concept still further with the offer of a full range of products for specific applications, each of which can be easily identified by their colour, as Ted explains.
“Gyproc FibaTape Classic Drywall Tape is a general-purpose product that’s blue in colour and can be used on either taper edge, for when taping and jointing, or square edge boards when skimming. Gyproc FibaTape Mold-X is green in colour and has a micro-bacterial coating, which makes it ideal for being specified for use with moisture resistant boards and, as the name suggests, is intended to inhibit mould growth in areas of high moisture.”
“One product where we’re beginning to see increasing levels of interest is in our Gyproc FibaTape Xtreme product,” enthuses the Artex technical expert. “Atmospheric conditions can have a part to play in how well a tape will stick, particularly in winter months when the boards are cold. The additional adhesive properties of Xtreme will provide greater peace of mind for tradespeople at either end of the temperature spectrum, providing a reliable joint from 5 up to 30ºC. Once builders get this product in their hands, they realise its value, and we’ve recently launched a wider option with a further benefit. Across the range Gyproc fibreglass tapes are 90m in length and 48mm in width, whilst the latest Xtreme version is 100mm wide and 75mm long. Plasterers are finding a use for the wider product, because it will cover both the fixing that’s been used to attach the plasterboard to the wall, as well as the joint, thereby reducing the risk on joints even further.”
Elsewhere in the range, the white in colour, Gyproc FibaTape Perfect Finish Tape is approx. 30 per cent thinner than the other fibre tapes available, and is particularly adept at disguising butt joints in plasterboard. If, for instance, there’s a job where one tapered edge board sits on top of another, and the abutting edges top and bottom will not, therefore, be tapered, the thinner tape means less jointing material to cover, yet still allowing a much smoother finish. “This is a really useful product and, because the mesh is slightly tighter, there’s plenty of glue on the back of it, so it has the added advantage of being a very tacky adhesive solution.”
The advantages of fibre tape in terms of speed and user-friendliness have rapidly converted contractors, and it is a testament to their success that there is now a whole range available. “There was a time when we only produced one type of fibreglass tape,” concludes Ted, “but their popularity, together with the recognition that we need to accommodate different performance parameters, means we can cover just about any job.”
For further information on the range of the Gyproc tapes visit https://www.artexltd.com/our-brands/gyproc