What Does "Tapped & Mudded" Mean
“Taped and mudded” is a familiar term for those who often work with drywalls, but it can be rather confusing for newbies to immediately understand what a taped or mudded drywall really means. Taping and mudding are steps that form the drywall finishing process, and when the drywall has been taped and mudded it’s then ready to be painted.
Essentially, the taping process is when you use tape to join the joints of the drywall sheets together. The mudding refers to the application of the drywall compound, which is also called the “mud”. It also includes the drying and curing time, along with the sanding process.
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Why Is Taping and Mudding Needed?
You’ll encounter the term “taped and mudded” as part of the code requirement for fire protection. It’s the bare minimum fire protection requirement to be precise, because you may also want to buy drywall or sheetrock with a particular fire resistance rating to increase the level of fire protection.
Besides, the taping and mudding process makes the drywall smooth, and so it would look so much better this way. When it comes to your living space, aesthetics is always a prime consideration.
Taping Your Drywall
You first need to make sure that you’re using the right tape. If you’re using air-drying “mud”, it is best if you use paper drywall tape. If you use mud cured by chemical reaction (also known as setting compounds), you’re better off with self-sticking fiberglass tape. When you’re applying the tape, you double-check that you don’t have tape bubbles trapped underneath the tape.
The point of applying the drywall tape is to properly bond together the adjacent sheets of drywall. You then get the continuity you want and you minimize the potential for motion or cracking. The joint compound can turn into powder if you forget to put on the tape to reinforce it.
If you do expect excessive movement, you may also have to use drywall mesh. However, this is a lot more expensive, and it’s also a lot harder to smooth out. So you should only reserve the use of drywall mesh for the more problematic areas.
Mudding Your Drywall
The drywall joint compound is what the term “mud” actually refers to. You use it to keep your drywall and drywall joints strong and smooth. Your options for your drywalling project are to use dry or premixed mud.
For the base coat, you’re better off with the so-called “all-purpose” mud. For the final finishing coat, you should use the lightweight “topping” mud. The first coat of mudding compound is essentially the “glue” which holds down the joint tape connecting the drywall sheets to each other.
You then apply other coats of mud to smooth out the areas over the tape and nail holes. Don’t forget to sand the mudded walls between your mud coat applications.
After the taping and the mudding, you can then texture the drywall if you wish. Finally, you can now paint the drywall.
Does it sound a bit challenging? It seems too much work or if you’re unsure of your ability to tape and mud your drywall, you’re probably better off to get a pro to do it for you. Compared to a DIY newbie, a pro can do the job faster, and it will be done right.