11 Types of Tape Every DIYer Should Know
Learn more about these 11 types of tape so you’ll be ready for the next project.
There are a wide range of tape types in use across an incredibly diverse number of industries, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, shipping, lighting, computer technology, and more. It’s likely that you have used several different kinds of tape for tasks around the house, but do you know which are best suited for specific home-related tasks?
Keep reading to find out which types of tape are designed for specific jobs so you have a better idea of how you can use the different tapes.
1. Duct Tape
One of the most well-known kinds of tape, duct tape, began as a durable, cloth-backed tape to waterproof ammunition cases, but soon developed into the popular silver-colored duct tape that is intended for sealing heating and air ducts.
Currently, duct tape is a widely used product that is just as useful for HVAC work as it is for making emergency outdoor repairs. There are differences among products, but most duct tape can adhere to metal, tile, wood, glass, cement, brick, plastic, cardboard, and more, though it often leaves behind a sticky residue.
Best For: Use duct tape for quick fixes and sturdy repairs.
Our Recommendation: Gorilla Black Duct Tape on Amazon for $9.20
Gorilla’s duct tape features highly concentrated rubber adhesive glue that’s designed for both indoor and outdoor use.
2. Painter’s Tape
Many different types of tape can be used to prevent an unpainted surface from being painted. However, when the tape is pulled away, many kinds can tear drywall, damage brick or mortar, and leave sticky adhesive behind.
The purpose of painter’s tape is to protect unpainted surfaces when you are painting or staining. In order to do this, the tape must be able to adhere to a variety of different materials without leaving behind a sticky residue or damaging the surface when the tape is removed.
Best For: Painter’s tape can be essential for protecting unpainted surfaces during a paint or stain project.
Our Recommendation: Scotch Exterior Surface Painter’s Tape on Amazon for $10.10
Wait up to 10 days after painting to remove this painter’s tape from exterior surfaces without leaving residue. Plus, it can withstand sun, wind, and rain without peeling.
3. Packing Tape
This type of tape is made to keep your belongings safe during a move, while being shipped, or when they are in storage. However, it’s important to pay attention to the specific product features to find a packing tape with the right adhesive and activators for your needs. Carton-sealing packing tape is the most common type, but cold temperature packing tape is a better choice if the items will be kept in a refrigerated space.
Best For: Made specifically for securing boxes during moving and storage.
Our Recommendation: Scotch Heavy Duty Packaging Tape on Amazon for $19.05
Get six rolls of heavy duty packing tape that uses a solvent-free hot-melt adhesive to create a strong seal on all box types.
4. Electrical Tape
Another common type of tape to have around the house is electrical tape, though this type of tape isn’t as useful for general purpose applications. Electrical tape is made with an elastic backing that stretches and contracts to create a tight seal around electrical wires. The backing can be rubber, vinyl, varnished cambric, or mastic, and it works as an insulator for the electrical current traveling through the wires. It’s a good idea to have multiple rolls of electrical tape in a variety of colors that can be used for quick, effective labeling.
Best For: Designed for wrapping, insulating, and securing electrical wires.
Our Recommendation: 3M Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape on Amazon for $9.24
Rated for use with a current of up to 1,150 volts, this electrical tape is a great choice for insulating and securing electrical wires.
5. Masking Tape
While it is often referred to as a separate type of tape, masking tape actually falls into the packing tape category. However, masking tape is a specialized type of packing tape that is designed for easy application and removal.
This means that masking tape is often used in the same way as painter’s tape to protect an unpainted surface, like baseboards or a doorframe, during a painting project. However, masking tape does not peel away as easily after the paint job is done. It can be used for securing lightweight packages or taping furniture doors or drawers closed during a move.
Best For: Masking tape is an excellent option for light-duty packing.
Our Recommendation: Lichamp Masking Tape on Amazon for $18.99
This masking tape has a crepe paper backing that’s easy to tear and apply, with a light adhesive that won’t leave behind a sticky residue like most other tapes.
6. Drywall Tape
Interior walls are typically made with pieces of drywall that need to be small enough to fit through a home’s door frames. Since standard drywall sheets aren’t nearly large enough to cover an entire wall or ceiling, there will almost always be cracks, joints, and crevices that need to be filled with drywall compound secured with drywall tape. .
Drywall tape is made to help hold the wet joint compound in place while it dries, and some manufacturers even create drywall products that can be used in place of joint compound.
Best For: Make drywall repairs or use drywall tape to seal joints and crevices for a smooth, flat finish.
Our Recommendation: Duck Brand Drywall Tape on Amazon for $9.99
The self-adhesive fiberglass drywall tape is ideal for sealing joints or repairing holes and cracks in drywall.
7. Aluminum Vent Tape
Similar to duct tape, aluminum vent tape is made for sealing vents, refrigerated appliances, and electrical equipment. It provides a waterproof seal and protects against air or water vapor leakage.
Aluminum vent tape is also flame-resistant, capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, and it retains its adhesive strength in high humidity environments. The seal created by this type of tape is so effective that some people even use it to improve the ventilation and airflow in an enclosed or partially enclosed space.
Best For: The heat- and flame-resistant tape is ideal for creating strong, waterproof and airtight seals.
Our Recommendation: TapePlus Aluminum Foil Tape on Amazon for $18.99
This professional grade aluminum vent tape resists moisture, UV rays, flames, temperature fluctuations, and a range of chemicals.
8. Carpet Tape
Tile, hardwood, and vinyl offer a smooth walking surface that is relatively easy to sweep or wash, making these materials a preferred flooring option in many homes. However, the drawback is that they can feel cold and hard under their feet. Adding an area rug can improve the aesthetic design of the home while adding a soft, comfortable surface to walk on, but these rugs and carpets can slide if they are not secured.
Carpet tape is the product used to secure area rugs and carpet to a variety of flooring materials. It is a type of double-sided tape with medium-strength adhesion that can prevent the rugs from shifting, but it won’t leave behind a sticky adhesive residue.
Best For: Prevent rugs and carpets from sliding on smooth surfaces with double-sided carpet tape.
Our Recommendation: XFasten Double Sided Carpet Tape on Amazon for $14.99
Apply to hardwood, tile, carpet, or vinyl floor surfaces to hold items like area rugs or runners in place.
9. Filament Tape
Filament tape is called strapping tape, and it’s another specialized type of packing tape. This heavy-duty tape has glass filaments or fiberglass reinforcing the liner, making it a great choice for storing heavy or bulky items. Filament tape comes in a range of widths and strengths, so it’s important to take your time when deciding on the right product for closing boxes, bundling items, or reinforcing your packages.
Best For: Provide heavy-duty support to sealed packages with the glass filament and fiberglass reinforced tape liner.
Our Recommendation: Superhesive Fiberglass Tape on Amazon for $23.90
Keep packages safe and secure with this tear- and temperature-resistant fiberglass tape that bonds to glass, polished wood, plastic, metal, cardboard, and more.
10. Mounting Tape
As the name suggests, mounting tape is intended for mounting objects to a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, wood, glass, brick, ceramic, stone, and drywall. In order to successfully mount picture frames, spice racks, or mirrors, the tape needs to be very strong, and most mounting tape products will have a weight rating.
If you exceed the tape’s weight rating, then it could cause heavier objects to fall to the floor. Additionally, mounting tape can damage the surface to which it’s adhered due to its incredibly strong adhesive.
Best For: Mount lightweight objects, like picture frames, to the wall with mounting tape.
Our Recommendation: Gorilla Tough & Clear Double Sided Mounting Tape on Amazon for $12.36
Capable of holding up to 15 pounds, this double-sided mounting tape is an excellent choice for mounting lightweight mirrors, artwork, and decorative picture frames.
11. Plumber’s Tape
There are actually two different types of tape that can be referred to as plumber’s tape. The first type is also known as pipe tape, and it doesn’t actually use an adhesive at all. Pipe tape wraps around the threads of a pipe to help create a tight seal between two joints.
The second type of plumber’s tape is also known as self-fusing silicone tape. This type of tape is designed for emergency pipeline repairs, including leaks that are already underwater. Wrap the tape tightly around a leak and it will fuse to itself, creating a watertight seal.
Best For: Improve joint seals or repair leaks in emergency situations with plumber’s tape.
Our Recommendation: CLAVICHORD Self Fusing Silicone Tape on Amazon for $9.99
Apply this self-fusing silicone tape underwater for fast, effective emergency water pipe leak repairs.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on May 26, 2022.