Tape Types for Household Projects

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Sometimes a job calls for tape, but what type of tape do you need to answer that call? Believe it or not, there is a surprising array of tapes on the market these days and it is no longer as simple as picking up a one-size-fits-all tape. With specific formulations for different tasks, picking out the right tape for the job has become a lot more complicated.


Duct tape is probably the most widely recognized and used type of tape. It is intended for use as a general purpose tape and has been said to be good for just about anything. It is made of a fabric base and coated with plastic that makes it water resistant and able to handle abrasion well, but it does dry out over time and become brittle. While it has many uses, including making craft projects such as bags and purses, it ironically is not very good for use on actual duct work.
One type of tape that has been around for many years is masking tape. The purpose of masking tape is to 'mask' surfaces for projects such as painting. Masking tape is paper-like in consistency which makes it easier to tear and remove than other more adhesive tapes. If you have temporary projects that require tape, call upon masking type, but be sure to remove it in a reasonable amount of time or it can dry out and become brittle and once that happens may leave residue behind when removed.


Painters tape is much like masking tape in composition and purpose. It has enhancements such as being easier to remove when applied to painted surfaces so it will not pull paint off with it when pulled off. It is also UV resistant and if you purchase automotive grade, it is also resistant to solvents and can be stretched and shaped around oddly shaped surfaces.

Packaging tape is also very popular around the house and while its intent is for packaging, it is used for a lot of different household tasks. It can be sticky enough to pull paint off of surfaces, so use it carefully on painted areas, especially if you purchase a variety intended to be permanent.

Foam weather stripping tape is good for use on uneven surfaces and can be used to create insulative seals around openings. It is cushioned and multi-colored and comes in many different widths and thicknesses as well as two types: open cell (more pliable but fails when wet) and closed cell (less pliable but resists water). Neoprene versions are flexible and durable although they have been known to compress overtime and this compression does become permanent. It is a great for use on gaskets or sealing jobs.


Electrical tape was designed with the purpose of insulating electrical components in mind. Typically available in black, it is available in more colors which offer different adhesives capable of withstanding varying temperatures and levels of corrosion.


Double stick tape is intended for carpet and mounting purposes. It is much less messy than using glue would be and its cloth backing gives it a lot of strength. It is also available with thermal qualities that are activated by heat.

Regardless of the type of tape you need or use, be sure to store it carefully between uses to get more life out of the roll. This includes keeping it at room temperature and not opening seals until it is needed for use. Don't forget to store it in a place where the edges will stay clean, such as in a hanging position. Also be sure to use tape on clean, flat, dry surfaces for the best results and any tape jobs you conduct are sure to be a success instead of a sticky mess.

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