How to Choose The Right Adhesive Tape
So you have an ongoing project at home or in the office and you don't want to use nuts and bolts. You want a fast, easy and cost effective way to mount or secure objects on a surface with the convenience of being able to remove it in the future without leaving any trace or damage. In short, you need an adhesive tape.
But with the multitude of adhesive tapes available in the market, how do you choose? Well, it's just a tape, right? What could go wrong? Pick the first one that your hands can get on. Wrong.
Statistics show that most shoppers end up being dissatisfied with their adhesive choice because of the lack of sufficient knowledge in tapes which ends up in buying an incompatible product for the job. Underestimating the market can end up in unsatisfactory results.
And that's why you are here. Chances are, you are also wondering as to whether you have purchased the right tape for your project. If you need to mount a router, shower curtain, carpet, mirror, stair treads or basically anything else, then read on to know the guidelines in choosing the right adhesive to buy for your project.
To Mount Or Fasten? Know The Difference on The Object's Orientation
The first thing which you need to consider is the orientation and location where you are installing an object. If you need to mount an object on a wall or on any surface that is elevated- then you would need a Mounting Tape. Mounting Tapes generally have a thicker form factor which resists gravity and other forces such as the object's weight which would pull it down over time.
There are two kinds of mounting tapes- a foam and an acrylic based adhesive. Each of these two types is effective depending on the surface's texture, which we would be discussing later. But as far as mounting objects on a wall or on an elevated vertical surface, mounting tapes are the ideal adhesive tapes to use.
However, if you are to fasten an object to a flat surface, then you would need a double sided tape. A double sided tape has a thin form factor which allows it to withstand shear stress, foot traffic and other forces which are directed at a horizontal vector. An example of this type of tape is the XFasten Double Sided Tape.
The XFasten Carpet Tape is also a specialized double sided tape that is designed for carpets, rugs, stair treads and other textile and nylon based objects. If you are looking for a double sided tape that is designed for clothes and dresses, then the XFasten Fashion Tape is the best choice since it is hypo-allergenic and is designed to not irritate the skin upon contact.
As a quick recap, if you are to opt for installing objects on the wall, then a mounting tape is the adhesive that you need. If you are looking for something that will secure your carpets, rugs, wood pieces on the CNC machine or any object on your floor or any flat surface, then a double sided tape is the best choice.
Consider The Material Build of Both The Surface and Object that is to be Mounted
The next thing which you would like to consider is the material build and texture of both the surface and the object that is to be installed. If either of them is textured, rough, contoured or uneven then you would want to grab a foam-based adhesive. Foam type adhesives are able to conform to the object's shape and texture which makes it an ideal choice for contoured surfaces.
However, if the surface which you are trying to mount is smooth and even, then the best choice would be an Acrylic based adhesive. Acrylic based tapes are gel-like silicone adhesives that adhere well to smooth and glossy surfaces such as ceramics, glass, marble and glossy wood.
On the other hand, if you are dealing with an organic material such as a piece of cloth, wood pieces (for guitar making or CNC machine processing), then the best adhesive choice would be a thin double sided duct tape.
Extra Functionality Such as Being Able to Attach and Detach The Object
There are times when you would need to have the extra feature of being able to attach and detach the object which you are installing. You may want to do this for your shower curtain, metal tools, school teaching materials or labels on your locker.
For this functionality, you can opt for either a Hook & Loop Tape or a Magnetic Tape. As its name suggests, a magnetic tape is able to mount metallic objects such as tools, clips, knives and other objects which you would like to organize but still have easy access to whenever you need them.
A Hook & Loop Tape is a much more heavy duty oriented tape that is meant for shower curtains and other much heavier and non-metallic or magnetic objects. Essentially, it is a velcro tape which secures the object to be installed and giving you the capability to attach and detach it anytime.
Classic Tapes for Packaging, Patching, and Ducting
If you are looking for a classic one-sided adhesive tape, then you may also want to consider your intended purpose.
For classic repairs that need a heavy duty bundling power, then you would want to opt for a Duct Tape that has a special threading. You can notice that strong duct tapes are not completely plain and are textured. They contain striations which are actual threads that serve as a backbone to the tape, giving it more strength and structural integrity.
On the other hand, if you would just want to patch documents and notes and wish to make such patching invisible on the photocopier, then you would need a frosted tape that stays subtle to the naked eye but is virtually invisible to photocopiers. These tapes are usually tougher, so you may want to use scissors or a dispenser that is specifically designed for it.
A frosted tape or invisible tape, however, should not be confused for a transparent tape. A transparent tape is a classic packaging tape. Although an invisible tape is sturdy, it lacks the flexibility and tensile stress limit that a transparent packaging tape can withstand. In choosing a good packaging tape, you must choose a tape that is UV resistant and one that resists yellowing. This is an indicator that the tape has a long shelf life and can withstand heat during transit which will keep it crystal clear and strong enough to keep even the bulkiest packages in one piece.
Masking, Cable Management and Gear Protection
On the other hand, if your goal is to simply mask some parts of your area, tape a lightweight paper note or create sharp paint lines, then what you would need is a masking tape. A blue painter's tape, on the other hand, is much more effective on painting with pigments that have contrasting colors.
On the other hand, if you want to protect your gear, creating markings on the floor, manage your cables at home, or simply provide a sleek solution to hiding wires in your church or office, then what you are looking for is a gaffers tape. A Gaffer Tape is a soft cloth tape that can be torn through your bare hands. It has a matte finish which blends perfectly to surfaces and gears.
Specialized Tapes for Temperature, Pressure and Voltage Control
On the other hand, there are tapes that are available for industrial use. If you need to insulate a heating or cooling pipe or just simply prevent your cooler from leaking, then an Aluminum Tape is the best choice. Silicone self-fusing tapes, on the other hand, exerts pressure on valves and water pipes to prevent leakage. Lastly, a Copper Tape is a double-sided conductive tape which can be used to create electrical circuits on tight and close spaces.
In essence, choosing the right adhesive for your project is simple if you follow the guidelines and suggestions above. For a complete list of the tapes from XFasten, you can visit our Amazon page here. However, if you have recurring questions regarding the application of various adhesive tapes, then you can reach out to us by sending us an email at [email protected]
Adhesive tapes are powerful tools that can replace conventional mounting gears. All you need is the right tape and installation process, and you are good to go. Which of the tapes above have you tried before? Be sure to comment below your questions so that we can start an informative discussion!