The term “taping and floating” is used to describe the way sheetrock is finished after it is hung on a wall or ceiling. After the sheetrock or drywall is hung on the wall or ceiling, the “tape” is applied to the joints where the sheetrock is joined with mud or joint compound. This helps hide the joints so that the wall or ceiling looks seamless and finished. “Floating” is done after the tape has been applied and simply means that there is another layer of mud or joint compound applied on top of the tape to smooth out the joint. Taping and floating walls and ceiling is part of any home building’s construction process and very crucial. If you are remodeling your home, the sheerocking process can the most messiest part of the process besides demo.
How to Tape and Float?
This is not an easy process and will take some practice if you have never done it, so be patient. If you can, go visit a construction site or home remodel where drywall is being installed and see if you can watch the process. Apply a thin layer (1/8-1/4″thick) of all purpose joint compound (you will want to use reg. or medium for taping, not lightweight!) to your sheetrock joint. Immediately while mud is still wet, apply a piece of joint tape centered over the joint. (the paper is a little more difficult to learn to use, but it will give you a stronger joint than the mesh) After you put the tape on top of the mud, drag a 6″ taping knife at 45 degree angle down the joint on top of the tape. You to apply enough pressure to embed the tape and squeeze out most of the mud underneath the tape. Be careful not to apply too much pressure because you want some mud left underneath the tape so the tape can stick to the drywall. Wait for the mud to dry and determine if you need to come back with another coat of joint compound. After it dries, you can come back and sand down the areas that were taped and floated. You will then be ready to texture the sheetrock and then paint afterwards.
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