In any drywall installation job, you need mud or joint compound to finish corners and joints. Drywall mud can also be used to fill holes and repair cracks.
There are different types of drywall mud. But today our main focus will be on the quick-setting compound, which is also known as hot mud.
It’s called hot mud because a chemical reaction occurs when you mix it, which causes it to warm up. This type of mud also sets pretty fast and is an excellent choice if you prefer quicker drying times.
When it comes to applying hot mud, you need tape to bond joining pieces of drywall. The tape also minimizes motion within the joints and prevents cracking.
In the guide below, we will take you through a comprehensive guide on how to tape with hot mud and everything else you may need to know.
What Type of Tape is Compatible with Hot Mud?
Before we get much deeper into how to tape drywall with hot mud, I should mention the best type of tape that is compatible with a quick-setting joint compound.
For those who are familiar with drywall installation, you are aware that there are different types of tape. The two most popular options are paper tape and mesh tape.
Mesh tape is more compatible with hot mud. This type of tape doesn’t need a bed coat as is the case with paper tape.
It’s also self-adhesive, which means that you can apply it directly to drywall joints. Therefore, if you have decided to use hot mud for drywall installation, strictly stick to mesh tape.
How to Tape with Hot Mud?
Taping with hot mud is a relatively easy and quick process. That’s because of the unique properties of both mesh tape and hot mud. Here is how you can apply tape and hot mud on drywall seams.
Step 1: Cut and Apply Mesh Tape
Since you don’t need a bed coat with mesh tape, cut and apply it directly over the drywall seams. Mesh tape has self-adhesive which will allow it to bond with adjoining drywall pieces.
When applying mesh tape, ensure it touches both sides of the seam. This will guarantee a much stronger bond.
Step 2: Apply the First Coat of Hot Mud
Prepare a small batch of hot mud and apply it using a wide knife. You need to mix small amounts of hot mud to avoid wastage due to the quick setting time.
As you apply the first coat, make sure that you push the hot mud deeper into the tape and seam. This will prevent the formation of bubbles. Feather it out so that the transition appears seamless and uniform.
Step 3: Wait for an Hour or Two Before Laying the Second Coat
Because hot mud sets pretty fast, you don’t have to wait overnight to lay a second coat. Give it an hour or two and apply your second coat of joint compound. And that’s it. Your drywall joints will be properly finished within a pretty short duration.
Step 4: Clean Your Tools ASAP
When hot mud dries on your tools, cleaning them can be extremely difficult. So, once you are done with taping and mudding, clean the tools as soon as possible.
Is Taping with Hot Mud Challenging for Newbies?
Hot mud is popular amongst professional drywallers because of its quick setting time. Even though this is an advantage, it can be a drawback to newbies.
Most DIY drywallers prefer to take their time when taping with hot mud. It can, therefore, be a bit challenging for such individuals to use a quick-setting compound.
A pro tip when taping with hot mud: Always mix small amounts of joint compound and work in smaller areas. This will ensure you don’t run out of time when applying the hot mud.
Does the Floor Need Protection When Taping with Hot Mud?
Unlike regular drywall mud whose splatters can be easily cleaned from the floor, hot mud stains can be challenging to get rid of.
Therefore, it’s good practice to always have a rag or canvas on the floor to prevent stains. As you make preparations on how to tape with hot mud, be mindful of the floor.
How Many Coats of Hot Mud Can You Apply Over Mesh Tape?
Two or three coats of hot mud are enough to create a smooth transition between drywall joints. The tape which goes first creates a surface for the mud to adhere to.
Therefore, with two or three coats, you should successfully seal any drywall seams and achieve a uniform finish. You must give each coat of hot mud enough time to cure. Feathering out the coats also helps eliminate bubbles.
What are the Benefits of Taping with Hot Mud?
If you inquire from various DIY enthusiasts, there are conflicting opinions about taping with hot mud. Some like this method and others have a different opinion. So, why would you consider taping with hot mud? Here are a couple of benefits worth noting.
• It’s the perfect solution for finishing drywall joints quickly – Thanks to hot mud’s quick setting time, you can finish drywall seams within a day.
A few years back, finishing drywall joints would take several days. But today, you can complete this step in a few hours. This is highly beneficial to commercial builders.
• It’s suitable for areas with high humidity – Traditional mud which relies on evaporation to set and cure would take forever to dry in highly humid areas.
But with hot mud, the setting process relies on a chemical reaction and not evaporation. Therefore, the level of humidity won’t matter at all.
• It’s accessible to sand – Several hot mud formulas are lightweight. This makes them easier to sand and smoothen the finish.
• Mesh tape is mold resistant – Are you installing drywall in the bathroom, kitchen, or any high-moisture room? You should choose mesh tape because it is mold resistant. Therefore, it’s a safer option compared to other tapes.
• Mesh tape comes with its adhesive – Taping hot mud using mesh tape makes application easy because it doesn’t need a bed coat. It’s self-adhesive.
Can You Use Paper Tape with Hot Mud?
Earlier, I mentioned that hot mud is more compatible with mesh tape. But can you use it with paper tape? Well, the answer is no.
Combining paper tape is unacceptable because bubbles may develop and there is a huge chance that the bond will be weak.
Therefore, it won’t last very long. Don’t forget that paper tape lacks an adhesive. Therefore, you can’t apply it directly over drywall seams.
To avoid all of the above problems, always stick to the recommended products. If it’s hot mud, use it with mesh tape. But if you are installing traditional drywall mud, you will be okay with paper tape.
Do You Need to Sand Hot Mud After Applying It?
There are many good things about hot mud. However, it doesn’t always create the smoothest finish. Also, because it sets pretty quickly, drywallers usually have little time to fix errors.
This is why hot mud should always be sanded after it cures. Sanding helps remove any minor imperfections on the surface. If there are bumps, sanding should create a flat and uniform finish.
Instead of sanding, you can also apply an all-purpose mud as the final coat. This will conceal grainy surfaces.