One of the easiest mistakes contractors and do-it-yourselfers can run into when working on a project is sticking to the same joint compound no matter what the job is. However, depending on the project you’re working on, your joint compound of choice might not be the best one for the job. Today, we’re going to take a look at the different types of joint compounds and which jobs they are best used for. 

 

Pre-Mixed Compounds

Pre-mixed compounds are typically air-drying, which allows you enough time to work the compound while taking longer for it to finish drying. This makes them ideal for projects that focus on a whole room, or for jobs that require more time to finish getting all the pieces into place. While it may require you to dilute it slightly with some water, pre-mixed compounds can be stored in a plastic bucket for extended periods of time without decreasing the quality of the compound. Some contractors will cover the container of a partially-used compound with some plastic to retain the moisture levels they’re looking for.

 

All-Purpose

As you can tell by the name, all-purpose joint compound can be used for just about every part of the finishing process. However, while it can get the job done, that doesn’t mean that it is actually the best compound for every job. This is a good option as a texturing compound, as it has an extended dry time which allows you to manipulate and adjust it to your liking.

 

Lightweight

Lightweight compounds aren’t as dense or heavy as other finishing compounds. This makes it a good choice for a finishing coat thanks to how easy it is to sand down. That being said, some drywall contractors will forgo lightweight compounds, as they believe it doesn’t contain as many adhesive agents within it.

 

Taping

Pre-mixed taping compounds are developed specifically for the taping portion of the finishing steps. A problem found with all-purpose compounds is cracking when undergoing the taping process. Taping compound ensures the tape stays in place and shapes well with a knife with minimal cracking issues.

 

Topping

A thinner mix than other compounds, topping contains fewer adhesives within its mix, which makes it a bad choice for taping. It is very white, easy to sand, and has a very fine texture. The thin consistency makes it a great option for adding texture to a wall.

 

Ready-to-Mix Compounds

Powdered compounds that are ready-to-mix often set faster, harder, and are quite tough to sand. Because they set so quickly, these compounds are ideal for repairs, fast-track jobs, and professionals that move efficiently on a job site. As these compounds set, they release heat, leading to them being commonly referred to as “hot set”. Prior to mixing, it’s incredibly important for the compound to be kept dry and sealed in plastic. Any water or excess humidity can cause the chemical reaction that sets the compound to begin, which will ruin the entirety of the contents.

 

Hot or Quick-Set

Considered the professional’s standard for joint compounds, hot set is the original ready-to-mix compound. Setting quickly and remaining harder than other compound options, this compound is sturdier on a job site and is exceptionally resistant to scrapes. Sets even faster than normal in warm or dry conditions and it is the most difficult compound to sand.

 

Easy-Sand

While it shares many similarities to hot set compound, easy-sand is a good option if you’re not sure if you’ll be able to get back to a joint to finish sanding it fast enough. Consider this a good insurance option if you don’t know if your sanders will be able to keep pace with the rest of your crew.

 

Choosing the right joint compound depends on a variety of factors, including the type of job, conditions of the area, skill level, and desired effect. Take all of these factors into consideration to ensure you choose the right joint compound for whatever job you’re taking on.



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