In construction, tape is a versatile resource and problem solving tool manufactured to be useful for multiple areas of the construction process. Tape may behave as a barrier, a fire retardant, a tool for repairing plastic sheeting, and more. Choosing the best construction tape for your project is crucial to producing the desired result for your project.
Americover is a premier supplier of polyethylene solutions, including construction tape, serving businesses and consumers across the United States. When customers ask us for help finding the best tape solution for their project, we begin by informing them that not all tapes are created equal.
How is Construction Tape Used?
“Contractors use construction tape for various applications, but each application has different needs. That’s why at Americover, our specialty construction tapes meet a wide range of application specifications from fire retardant to vapor resistant.”
—Lisa Richards, Senior Account Manager, Americover
Builders commonly use construction tape to bundle wiring, but also to seam panels of plastic sheeting together such as in the case of crawl space encapsulation. Tape is a fast and convenient way to repair plastic sheeting barriers, covers, and liners. Additionally, tape is a popular choice for hanging plastic sheeting.
However you use construction tape, knowing how a tape behaves in specific environments, adheres to different substrates, and how long you plan to leave the tape in place are factors you should consider before deciding what type of tape you need.
Types of Construction Tape
Choosing the best tape for your application starts with understanding the different types of tape. Construction tape is typically categorized by its composition and structure. Generally tape can be classified in the following categories:
One of the most common types of tape is coated with adhesive on only one side. Common single-sided tapes include duct tape, electrical tape, and school tape.
This tape is defined by a carrier layer with two adhesive layers on either side, typically with a release liner on one side for application purposes. In construction, double-sided tape is used between surfaces to adhere plastic sheeting together or to another surface.
These tapes provide higher bond strength, oftentimes strong enough to replace metal components. These tapes accomplish this by creating a carrier layer that doubles as the adhesive layer.
How Do You Choose Which Construction Tape to Use for Your Application?
When choosing the best tape for your construction project, consider these factors:
Tack – How does the tape stick to a surface?
Most construction tape is rubber, acrylic, or silicon adhesive based, which all perform differently based on its formulation and the conditions of the installation environment, such as the temperature and the substrate you are adhering the tape to. Here are the 3 types of tape tack we commonly see:
Pressure-sensitive tapes adhere once they are pressed down and gain strength over time, meaning you can reposition it during initial installation, but eventually, it will create a permanent bond.
Permanent tapes have an aggressive tack that bonds instantly to any substrate. They are difficult to remove, which makes them perfect for long-term applications.
Clean-release tapes can be applied and removed without leaving adhesive transfer when you remove it within the specified timeframe. This type of tape is ideal for temporary applications.
Double-Sided vs. Single-Sided:
Construction double-sided tape is designed great for affixing materials together or mounting objects, while single-sided tape repairs and adheres to a wide range of materials. Choose a tape construction that meets the needs of your project.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
If your construction tape will be exposed to outdoor elements, consider purchasing UV resistant tapes that can withstand sunlight and temperature changes without deteriorating.
Fire Retardant Tapes
For construction projects that are required to meet fire safety codes, fire retardant tape is designed to inhibit the spread of flames, adds a layer of protection and may be necessary to meet compliance standards.
In damp environments like crawl spaces, choose a tape with moisture resistance that will not lose its adhesive properties or expand when exposed to moisture. A moisture-resistant tape will ensure that your project stays in place.
Best Tapes for Construction Projects
There are a variety of products to use for your product applications. Our top-selling options are listed below. You can also find our full listing of specialty tapes by downloading our line card.
2-Sided Butyl Tape has an aggressive adhesive that sticks on contact. Use it to adhere plastic sheeting to porous surfaces like concrete, create a waterproof seal between panels of poly sheeting, and patch vapor barriers.
White Vapor Tape is designed with a pressure-sensitive adhesion system. This tape is weather resistant and ideal for use with vapor retarders, crawl space liners, and heavy-duty builder applications.
Trusted by Builders, Growers, and Distributors
Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across the construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation.
As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or start a chat.