35 Different Types of Tape and Their Uses

Different types of tape may see underrated and insignificant, but when you think about it, tape is one of the most essential tools used in virtually every store, household, company, and office in the world. Tape has been in use for more than 200 years, and before this, people used extracted tree sap to bandage and seal things.

Today, various types of tape have become more in demand, especially when it comes to packaging items, including outdoor items to store in your shed or garage. However, you can’t apply all types of tape to different materials as some are very niche. For example, you can get specific types of tape for use on paper, cloth, electrical pipes, wood, and more. So, we’re going to highlight 35 popular types of tape that you may not know, and we’ll touch on what you use them for below.

1 Tape Rolls
Many people don’t realize that there are so many types of tape available, and they’re more effective if you put them on their intended surfaces.

1. Aluminum Foil Tape

As the name suggests, this type of tape comes made out of an aluminum material, and you use them to get a waterproof seal and to stop air from leaking out. This tape comes covered with a very sturdy pressure-sensitive adhesive, and this works to barricade the moisture and vapor from getting in or escaping. As a bonus, it works very well on irregular or rough surfaces.

2. Cloth Tape

Cloth tape is very resistant to water, and it works as a heavy-duty protective tape that you use with rough surfaces. The flexibility and durability of this type of tape makes it useful for sealing walls or as bandages, and it also works well on electrical fixtures. It comes in a range of colors, and you can easily write on it using a pen or marker to label your boxes or items.

3. Double-Sided Tape

This type of tape works well to attach two items to each other since it’s very strong. Also, as the name suggests, the adhesive is on both sides, and it will give you the strength and support you need to ensure that your items don’t peel apart. It works very well to lend stability to foam, and it works great when you need to die-cut a product. It makes sure that you don’t have to worry about any unwanted movement or slippage. When you use it correctly, this type of tape won’t be visible, and it comes in several different thicknesses to choose from to ensure you get a good match.

4. Drywall Tape

You’ll use this type of tape to ensure that the seams between your sheets of drywall aren’t visible as you finish it. There are several different kinds of drywall tape on the market, and they vary in how challenging they are to use correctly and how well they hide your seams. Generally speaking, this tape should be around two inches wide, and this is the most common size available that is relatively easy to use. In turn, you shouldn’t get any very obvious seams in your wall. Flexible drywall tape allows the walls to move a little or stretch when you use a door without allowing any chips or cracks to form in the finished product.

5. Duct Tape

Also referred to as duck tape, this is a very strong adhesive type of tape that you find used in a range of household projects or in electrical, construction, or plumbing. You can easily strip off the duct tape if you don’t need it anymore, and you can use it on a huge range of tasks. The beauty of duct tape is that it can stick to dry and rough surfaces without a problem, outdoors or indoors, including stone, metal, brick, and wood.

6. Electrical Tape

Electrical tape is also called insulation tape, and you use this type of tape to insulate wires that will conduct electricity. Generally, you’ll use a black electrical tape to insulate cables. You can choose from a range of colors, and these are known as phasing tapes. Each colored tape will indicate the phase of electrical wiring and voltage, and it comes tied around a ring that describes how to best safely use it.

2 Electrical Tape
Electrical tape can help to seal off wires or cords to make them safer for you to use. Electrical Tape by Michael Mol / CC BY 2.0

7. Fashion Tape

Also known as lingerie tape, this is a double-sided type of tape that comes designed to keep your clothing in place. It works to secure the edges of a strapless dress or to prevent bra straps from slipping. They come designed in a way that allows them to attach directly to your skin or in between two pieces of fabric. The adhesive on this type of tape is medical-grade and hypoallergenic, and it can hold heavy fabrics in place. However, if you should apply it to your skin, you’re supposed to slowly peel it off to prevent irritation.

8. Filament Tape

If you order wood for a construction project, like building an extension, and it gets shipped to your home, this is the type of tape used to secure it during the shipping process. You usually use it to tie two or more loads securely in place, or it works well to seal cardboard boxes or cartons so the contents don’t retain any damage during transit.

9. Flagging Tape

This is a non-adhesive tape that you can find used around the world, and you can choose from a broad range of colors when you shop. This tape is very popular in a medical setting, and you’ll also find it used by firefighters, miners, and campers. It’s used in forestry to help mark trees that are hazardous to the surrounding area or unhealthy. You also find them used by hikers or campers to mark trails, and this makes the route very easy to follow on the way back.  Along with forestry, this colorful and water-resistant type of tape is used to mark land or territory to keep unwanted people from trespassing on it. This is most commonly used during a new, ongoing project. The color stays the same for a long time with it, which is another bonus.

Flagging tapes are popularly used during emergency situations resulting from natural disasters. In this case, using a red tape will denote life-threatening or serious injuries, yellow marks serious but non life-threatening injuries, and green tape signals non-emergent injuries that can wait a while for treatment. The same is said for firefighters and miners. They can mark places that may be hazardous or use this tape for directions to help find their way back.

10. Flash Tape

Flash tape is a very strong adhesive that you use to secure materials in place inside of a vacuum bag. Along with this, you also find this type of tape used by builders to stop unwanted air or moisture from entering structures. By applying this tape to rough openings and seams, it stops water from entering and also improves the interior air quality. You use holographic tape to keep birds away from garden crops too.

11. Floor Marking Tape

You use this colorful type of tape to divide spaces or aisles, mark hazards, or show the direction by sticking them right to the floor. This is an extremely durable type of tape that will last for years under high-stress situations. You’ll find this tape on floors in warehouses, factories, retail areas, and in transportation terminals. They come in a range of colors, and they are useful for providing important benefits to the workers in manufacturing companies and factories.

For example, this tape is a great way to mark off a biohazard area if you use a red floor tape to let people know that they have to wear PPE or personal protective equipment before entering the taped area. You can also find various designs on these tapes to help tell people about the hazard.

3 Floor Tape
Floor tape is what you see in supermarkets or in factories when you need to have directions on teh floor that are easy to see. Floor Tape by Rob Blatt / CC BY-NC 2.0

12. Freezer Tape

As the name suggests, you’ll use this type of tape in your kitchen to label frozen items and foods. They are designed in a way that they specifically hold to whatever you stick them to down to -40-degrees F. It features an acrylic adhesive that can stick to freezer bags, paper, aluminum foils, and plastic wraps. It makes storing and sealing frozen foods a lot easier.

13. Friction Tape

This type of tape is very popularly used to insulate splices in electrical wires or cables. It’s sticky on each side, and this makes it slightly more challenging to use, but it works fantastic as an insulator to protect against liquid and corrosion. You can also use it around a hockey stick to help control the puck better, and you’ll also see people wrapping this type of tape around baseball bats or bicycle handles to improve the grip.

14. Gaffer Tape

Gaffer tape is made from cotton cloth, and you generally find it used in film, theater, or photography. It’s strong enough to help fix broken equipment, secure cables, or show the stage layout, but you can tear it by hand. You’ll be able to find this type of tape in a range of colors that allows it to stand out or blend in, depending on what you need it for when you’re using it.

15. Garden Tie Tape

This tape comes in several sizes, is stretchable, and it’s also non-adhesive. You use it to tie the stems of your plants, and it’ll stretch as your plant grows. It’s durable and strong enough that you won’t need to re-tie it. So, you can use it to landscape your front yard and support your plants.

16. Gorilla Tape

This is duct tape that comes in many different sizes, shapes, and colors, and you can use it for a range of things. Just like duct tape, you can use it on virtually any surface. It’s strong enough to adhere without sliding around or peeling off once you apply it. Gorilla tape is nice to use to repair things outside like a coat, and it won’t stretch out or let the fabric you attach it to become even more compromised once you apply it.

17. Grip Tape

As the name suggests, this type of tape helps you keep a good grip on the item, and this tape comes in a range of colors to help brighten up whatever you apply it to. It’s durable and strong, and it comes designed to last so that you won’t have to repeatedly tape your items over and over. The small amount of grip you get from this tape reduces the risk of dropping anything while improving performance levels.

4 Grip Tape
Grip tape is commonly found on sport’s equipment to help increase your grip as you use your racket, bat, or whatever it may be.

18. Hockey Tape

Some hockey players will put friction tape on their sticks to give them better puck control as they play, but there are actually two dedicated types of tape they can use. Stick tape is what they put on the handle to help improve their grip, on the blade of the stick to help it grip the puck and prevent the stick from wearing out prematurely, and on the lower section of the shaft to keep the sticks from damaging it. It also goes on the blade to increase the players’ accuracy levels. Shin tape is another type of tape used with hockey that goes on shin pads or socks to keep them in position during play. This keeps them from sliding down and out of position and risking an injury. Since these things are elastic, the players won’t have to worry about cutting off the circulation during play.

19. Invisible Tape

In the office setting, invisible tape is the one most often used. They have a plastic transparent backing, and you use them to seal documents or mend paper tears. It’s also possible to use this type of tape to mend books, photographs, and magazines. You can cut this tape type using scissors or any sharp-toothed tools you have on-hand, and you can write on it using a marker or pen.

20. Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology is a term that refers to the treatment and science of tendons, muscles, joints, connective tissues, and ligaments. You may hear it called therapeutic tape, and this type of tape reduces and helps relieve joint or muscle pains while enhancing movement. These tapes are specially designed with a cotton, stretchable material that gives the patients adequate room to breathe while helping increase and support mobility by putting just enough pressure on the tissues and joints.

21. Labeling Tape

Labeling types of tape are used to label products, as the name suggests. You can use it on various types of surfaces like wood, glass, bricks, and more. They’re very popular to use in shopping centers to label the price and product descriptions of items on the shelves.

22. Magnetic Tape

Even though this type of tape is not presently available for mass consumers, you’ve most likely touched or at least seen it before. If you ever come across these rectangular, small cassettes that people used to record and play music, you know that these cassettes had narrow, long strips of tape inside of them. This was magnetic tape, and it was used to store data and record audio.

Today, you typically use magnetic tape for DIY or arts and craft projects. It is quickly becoming a very handy material where you can attach the adhesive side of the tape to virtually any surface. You can also hang your nails, tools, stapler pins, paper clips, bots, and nuts to the wall for easy access in your garage. They’re also still used to record pictures, sound, or data.

23. Masking Tape

Masking tape is a type of tape that is made out of extremely thin paper, and it’s very easy to tear by hand. Even though it is quite strong, it’s also very easy to peel back off of the surface that you attach it to. It is available in a host of various widths, depending on what you want to use it for. There are also many different strengths available, and the ones that are rated closer to 100 are stronger.

Most people use masking tape with a rating around 50 for projects around the house, like painting. It does a great job at giving you clean lines when you apply it correctly, and it can stop your paint from bleeding through into another area of the project or wall you’re painting. You can use it on glass panes too to keep the glass from shattering, or it works to hang posters up on your wall. Decorative masking tape is very popular with scrapbookers and for use to decorate planners.

5 Masking Tape
Masking tape is very easy to use, but it tends to peel off of any surface after a few weeks.

24. Mounting Tape

Just like double-sided tape, this type of tape is used to decorate your walls by mounting picture frames or mirrors. Some of them are so strong that they can stick to whatever you put them on permanently.

25. Packaging Tape

Also called parcel tape or box-sealing tape, this is a very pressure-sensitive type of tape that you can use to seal cardboard boxes or cartons to send through the mail, store, or for moving purposes.

26. Painter’s Tape

Painter’s tape is technically a type of masking tape that comes in two main colors, and they are green or blue. You typically see this tape used by painters on ceilings, walls, and windows to protect any part where they don’t want the paint to end up. You can keep it on for up to 14 days after the paint dries and pull it off without leaving any damage on the walls.

27. Paper Tape

As the name suggests, this type of tape is a common tape used around the world with several colors available, and it’s very easy to remove when you finish. There are several paper-backed tape types available, including Craft paper, Crepe paper, Tissue paper, and Flatback paper. You generally use this tape for color coding, mounting, masking, and packaging.

28. Pond Liner Seam Tape

Your pond liner can develop a tear or a crack for a huge range of reasons, and it’s very frustrating for it to happen. No matter how hard you work to keep your water levels stable, they’ll always drop. Not only can this be very frustrating for you, but it can also be very dangerous for anything you have in the pond, be it fish or plants. This type of tape is very durable and 100% waterproof so you never have to worry that it’ll lose how effective it is and cause your pond to leak again. It’s easy to apply and cut to size, and it doesn’t need any huge prep work to get a nice seal.

29. Road Marking Tape

This is a very heavy type of tape that is embedded with reflective beads that allow you to use it to mark crosswalks, bars, and other traffic information along the road, like a bike or turn lane. You can apply it to the surface of the road with rubber cement and have it last roughly three years if you do it correctly. The other way you can apply this tape is by laying it on the asphalt while it’s hardening and using a roller to compress this type of tape right into the road. If you do, the tape can last up to eight years. There are a few things that will allow the tape to peel sooner, including being damaged by salt or scraped by a passing snowplow.

30. Scotch or Magic Tape

This is the single most common type of tape that many people picture when they think of tape. You can use it to attach papers, wrapping gifts, or for closing envelopes, and you can easily write on it using various writing instruments. It comes in several different varieties, including permanent, clear, matte, and removable. This tape doesn’t dry out or yellow, and this makes it great for situations where you can see it for extended periods, like in a scrapbook. This tape type is inexpensive, and it’s easy to find it in most stores, but it doesn’t have the same sticking power that other types of tape on the list offer, and this reduces the amount of use that you can get out of it.

6 Scotch Tape
Scotch tape is the clear tape you find in virtually any office, and it’s great for minor, quick fixes.

31. Speed Tape

Speed tapes can survive high speeds and surviving temperatures. Due to this feature, it’s common to use this type of tape for temporary and minor repairs on any aircraft that exceeds 10,000 or 20,000 feet altitude. It works well to fix small cracks or openings in race cars too. It’s sensitive to UV light and temperature, and it’s  resistant to solvents, water, and heat for shorter periods.

32. Surgical Tape

This type of tape is made out of fabric mesh, paper, or latex-free plastic materials. They are hypoallergenic, and you use them to hold wound bandages in place. You’ll find them tucked into first-aid kits and used by the medical community.

33. Thread Seal Tape

Thread seal types of tape are used in plumbing to help seal pipe threads. These tapes come in very specific widths, and they’re wound around a spool. In turn, this allows you to pick out the correct width size for your pipe and tie it around easily.

34. Velcro Tape

This is also called fastening tape, and it’s not an adhesive type of tape. It comes made out of two different cloth strips that get pressed together to fasten it. Velcro tape is very commonly used to help close a purse or a bag, especially if it’s a handmade one.

35. Washi Tape

The final type of tape on the list is Washi tape, and this is a decorative tape that you purchase to use on arts and crafts projects. It works to wrap gifts or to decorate your journals or books. They come in dozens of designs and colors to make your projects look as vibrant and colorful as possible.

Bottom Line

We’ve gone over 35 types of tape that you can use for different DIY projects around the house, and most of them are relatively budget-friendly. They’re easy to store, so you can have multiple types on-hand for when you need them.

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