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Old 08-23-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
handy_guy
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Alkali resistant tape worth the expense?

Hi all;

Is there really any difference between regular drywall joint fibreglass mesh tape and the alkali resistant stuff for CBU? It would seem to me that the main component is glass fibre in both, and the tack used to hold it together and to the joint is only for temporary purposes only. Glass fibre should be resistant to thinset and joint compound, no? The CBU stuff costs more.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

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Old 08-23-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
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Hi Barry,
I'm no chemist but it seems to me that if the industry, every manufacturer and the TCNa all call for it, then there's got to be at least a little something to it. Of course, it all might be bunk, but do you really want to risk a failed installation because you wanted to save a nickel per foot?
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
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Hi Shaughnn;

I would think so too, but you know how things in life generally get more complicated over time, sometimes with no good reason. The CBU tape is probably 5x the cost of regular tape. I'm not necessarily cheap :-) but I am inquisitive.

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Barry
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #4
Shaughnn
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Barry,
I just did the math. There's no "probably" about it. The CBU tape is exactly $0.0515 more expensive per linear foot than normal self-adhering drywall web tape.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:04 PM   #5
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Hi Barry, also the CBU tape is stronger than regular drywall tape.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:07 PM   #6
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We try to go by industry standards here.........I also know someone who has never used the alkali tape and has never had a call about it.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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The fiberglass base material is the same, but the alkali resistance comes in the form of a latex polymer coating. Thinset has much higher alkalinity than joint compound, which can adversely affect the microscopic glass strands over time.

That said, I kinda strongly suspect people been skipping it all along and never had problems. But I'm not gonna test in my house...

I would be curious to see where the higher strength of the CBU tape is documented. Not that I don't suspect it to be true, I just kinda figure it's either gotta be due to bigger strands (doubtful?) or the presence of that same latex coating.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:19 PM   #8
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I just use TEC tripleflex part C. Similar to the Laticrete 9235 mesh. Nice stuff.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:57 PM   #9
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What Ed said. Regular mesh tape deteriorates in the presence of high alkalinity. The alkalinity of the thinset rises and falls a bit with the moisture content. So it's higher when the thinset is fresh and lowers as the entire tile assembly dries out. If the assembly stays dry, the thinset is less corrosive. But if the slab/walls are exposed to moisture, the alkalinity and rate of deterioration to the mesh rises.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:59 PM   #10
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Barry, don't buy it at the big box stores. Its way more expensive per foot than going to a reputable tile specialty store and buying a big roll.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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Old thread, but it fits my new problem:
Big box stores don't sell the wide alkali-resist tape, so I went to a real tile store that sells only tile and tiling accessories and asked for the 6" wide alkali-resist tape. The sales guy brought a roll from the warehouse and rang it up for about $17. After I got home, I took it out of the bag and did not see any labeling on it. I looked at the sales slip which described it as "fiberglass tape - suitable for redgard" and the word "TOLTAPERG". Is this really alkali-resist tape? It is white colored, but the 2" stuff is grey colored. That store does not sell drywall so that somewhat reassures me that it is not drywall tape.

I intend to use this tape to embed in thinset in the corners where CBU sheets meet, and to wrap it over the CBU that wraps over the vinyl liner over the curb and stick the tape down with thinset.

Use it or loose it?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:50 PM   #12
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Randy,

My personal opinion - fiberglass tape = fiberglass tape no matter what color it is.

Now we can argue over coatings and if they make any difference.

Since the pH of thinset runs about 11.4 I took some drywall tape and soaked it in bleach for a week. After a spell the glue which holds the tape to the wall fell off, but nothing seemed to happen to the fiberglass tape. It stayed a mesh, stuck together with the same apparent strength as when I cut it from the roll.

The manufacturers make all sorts of tests on the products they sell.

You decide.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #13
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Randy,

Every big box store in my neck of the woods (Menards, Home Burrito, and sLowes) sells alkali-resistant mesh tape. They get pretty creative where they stash it in the store.
-Sometimes located along with the tile setting material,
-Sometime located by the drywall tape supplies, and
-Sometimes located by the cement board....which is located miles from either of the other two.
By the way: from what I understand about the rate of deterioration, you'd need to perform a high alkalinity test for at least a few years to get a measurable result. 2 cents, anyways.

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Old 05-07-2013, 05:41 AM   #14
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Thinset will "eat" (for lack of better words) regular drywall tape. Saw it recently on a cement board claim.

Use recommended tape.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:51 PM   #15
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Angry

I opened the shrink wrap on this roll of tape that I got at the tile store. It does not have an adhesive, and the fiber strands do not seem to be coated very thick. I really suspect that this is not alkali-resist tape. A little cryptography to decode the TOLTAPERG description yields TOL TAPE RG = TOL Tape Red Gard. It was meant for embedding in RedGard at change of planes. So it can be used because I am going to RedGard waterproof. But I will not be buying anything from that tile dealer again; I expected more expertise from the sales guy.
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