What Are Some Different Types of Tape?

    by Veronica Romualdez

    About the Author

    Veronica Romualdez has been writing as a freelancer covering various topics since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a major in advertising and public relations from Assumption College and completed a course in interior design in 2002. Many of her articles have been published online.



    Different kinds of tapes can be found in places such as craft stores and hardware stores. Some tapes serve multiple purposes and may be used on different surfaces. Many of the common types of adhesive tape come in a variety of colors and sizes and are helpful for dozens of projects in your home or in your office.

    Transparent Tape

    Transparent tape, more often referred to as the 3M brand, Scotch tape, has many uses. Transparent tape, invented by Richard G. Drew, is invisible when applied on paper and used for dozens of applications such as wrapping gifts, sticking notes on paper or other surfaces, labeling miscellaneous items, sealing envelopes, creating crafts and scrapbooking.

    Double-Sided Tape

    Double-sided tape, also known as double-coated tape, is sticky on both sides. Double-sided tape is generally used to hold items in place either temporarily or permanently and for bonding, mounting, splicing, laminating, sealing, gift wrapping, decorating and crafts. Since it's stuck between objects, double-sided tape is usually not visible.

    Duct Tape

    Duct tape is usually used to seal duct systems but can be used for nearly any material such as plastic and rubber to make patches and repairs. Other uses for duct tape, which comes in different colors, is for color coding and packaging. It is made of three layers which provides waterproofing, allows you to tear it by hand and provides a durable hold.

    Paper-Backed Tapes

    Paper tape includes masking tape, artists tape and console or painters tape, and it can be used for things such as painting, color coding, masking, packaging, splicing and mounting. This kind of tape may also be torn by hand, and since the adhesive is not very strong, paper tape can be removed easily from surfaces if you don't leave it for too long.

    Electrical Tape

    Electrical tape, or insulating tape, is commonly used by electricians to insulate electrical wires, as well as anything else that conducts electricity. It is usually made of vinyl or PVC and ranges from mildly to extremely sticky. This kind of tape may be stretched, is more UV-resistant compared to other kinds of tape, may be torn by hand and comes in a variety of colors such as black, red, orange, blue, green and yellow.

    Reflective Tape

    The main use of reflective tape is for safety-related applications. Engineering-grade reflective tape is used for permanent and temporary traffic signs. Retroreflective conspicuity tape is used to comply with safety regulations to increase visibility of vehicles and equipment. Reflective radius corner strips are used for heavy equipment, machinery and vehicles to increase visibility and sew-on reflective trim is used on protective clothing.

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