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Creating Tapered Joints

How to turn a "butt" joint into a "tapered edge" joint -- creating a valley for compound and tape.

Why bother? This technique allows for a wall or ceiling that would normally have a "tape bump" to be perfectly flat. That could be important under certain lighting conditions, or when a straight edge like a counter will expose even the most flared out butt tape joint.

What I show in the video is the old and very labour intensive method.  Take a look at the BLOG below to see two other ways to make a tapered joint easier -- one a commercial product Trim-Tex and the other how to do what Trim-Tex does in a DIY manner with scrap wood.  Thanks for the comments guys.


Learning Curve 17

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Ulrik Magana on May 10, 2023 19:33

Once the sheetrock dries it will expand and defeat the purpose of assimilating a tapered edge. This process, while time consuming, can save time since coating butt joints by hand can take even longer, maybe using a proper shrinking adhesive could make this work. Please refer to trim-tex butt board for a faster and more effective system of creating tapered joints.

Thank you Ulrick,
I have never seen the swelling problem with Sheetrock 90, but your suggestion to look at Trim-Tex is a great new product with much less work -- an OSB strip that looks to be about 6" wide which tapers towards the centre used as a backer board for the square butt joint. No messing around like in my video.

The end result is similar to the good suggestion by Charles listed below. Trim-Tex you pay for, Charles' method is made out of scrap.

Ulrick offers drywalling services to the Greater Toronto Area and a visit to his website is worthwhile. In fact you can learn about levels of drywalling finishes and pricing!


Bruce Anderson on September 15, 2021 05:31

That's definitely a great tutorial on how to create drywall tapered joints. Thanks for sharing!

Charles Rupert on October 20, 2020 22:08

What a giant PIA. Waaay too many steps. You can accomplish the EXACT same thing by backing the two pieces of drywall with a piece of 1/2" plywood or OSB. 6 to 9" is wide is enough--it does not need to span the entire bay. Staple some 1" wide strips of poster board (about 1/16" thick) along the edges that run parallel to the joists. They will be sandwiched between the plywood and drywall and create a small void between the two. Screw one piece of drywall to the joists. Install the plywood (strips down) into the joist bay, centered over the joint. Screw the drywall to the plywood about an inch from the joint. Install the other piece sheetrock in the same order. As you screw the drywall to the backer, you will notice it pulls the joint into the small void created by the poster board strips. You have a shallow mud valley with about 1/3 the effort. (No installing scabs on the joists; no laminating; no cutting braces; no installing and uninstalling braces; no brace holes to patch; same exact effect!)

John H on March 05, 2018 12:48

Very stupid!! This will never ever work!! If you want to do something like this you need a piece of plywood instead so the two pieces of drywall can be fastened.

Hello John,
The fact is that this does work and in fact is a documented standard procedure. It falls into the category of laminating drywall layers to create various curves. Note that I said that you needed the stronger mix-with-water chemically setting compound, not regular pre-mixed joint compound that would not be strong enough to hold. The moisture in the compound actually softens the drywall which then quickly looses its tendency to spring back while the plaster-as-adhesive holds it very nicely. The thick ridges I created before bending it squeezes out where the two edges bend up, but remain thick away from the joint -- creating a permanent rigid basis for this curve inward.

jon on December 13, 2013 13:20

Joint compound and even hard plasters have very little strength so the slightest vibration or movement of the panels would create a crack in the joint. The taping is what prevents the cracking and the compound only glues the tape into place and allows for smoothing it out flat. Look at the video to the left: Taping Joints / Paper or Fiberglass Tape?

Michael on August 22, 2013 17:40

Why bother taping butt joints at all? What does tape add that you really need? why not just mud the joint?

Hello Michael,
Like it or not, walls move. Drywall compound alone has almost no strength and shows minor to major cracks immediately with movement. Tape bridges the high stress fracture line and basically hides the crack below, preventing it from telescoping up to the painted surface. Embedding tape in drywall compound is an essential part of the drywall system. As its name implies, it replaced the "wet wall" system of lathe and plaster, which was much more complicated than tapping a few joints.


Wim on September 18, 2010 18:55

This was an very handy tip never would have though about doing it this way.thanks

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