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What is Foam Tape?

By Ken Black
Updated May 17, 2024
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Foam tape is one of many varieties of specialty tapes used in various applications, including home improvement and health care. The tape is made of a material such as polyethylene or a related material that is tacky on one or both sides. It is especially helpful in situations such as sealing and weatherstripping.

One of the more common uses for foam tape is to use it as gasketing tape. This type of tape will seal an area between two parts, such as a door and frame, in order to prevent the escape of gas or liquids. While this tape may not be completely airtight or watertight, it may provide enough protection to where the escape of these substances is likely at acceptable levels.

Medical foam tape may be used for circumstances where standard tapes and bandages simply would not provide the type of protection that is needed. This type of tape is usually elastic, with the ability to stretch in all directions. This may help increase the comfort level of the patient. The tape is usually also water-resistant and treated to be hypoallergenic.

Most people may be familiar with foam tape due to its use as a weatherstripping material. It may often be placed along windows or doors to provide a more air tight seal, preventing the invasion of cold air during the winter months. As windows and doors are often very prone to heat loss, foam tape may offer a very good investment for those who are experiencing higher energy bills.

Foam tape usually comes in rolls and may include a backing that must be peeled off before use. This is because the adhesive used with tape is often very strong and can damage the foam properties if it were to come into contact with the the other side of the tape. Peeling the protective backing is usually a simple process but should only be done immediately prior to application.

While most uses require adhesive on one side only, two-sided foam tape is also available. This is often used when there is a permanent, or at least semi-permanent, need to seal space between two areas where the sides are not expected to be moved. This may not be ideal for many weatherstripping applications simply because the windows and doors will often need to be opened during more temperate months.

Due to the depth of foam tape, it will usually not come in the same types of lengths of many other tapes. It often comes in standard packaging in lengths of approximately eight feet (2.75 meters). That may not even be enough to weatherstrip one window. It is important to check lengths before buying to ensure you buy enough to complete the desired task.

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Discussion Comments
By anon275086 — On Jun 15, 2012

Foam tapes can be die cut as well. It does not have to be used in a roll as well as it can be single faced or double faced which allows a seal on both sides.

By anon40558 — On Aug 09, 2009

Foam tape can be wound to many lengths for industrial purposes. they are packaged in around 2.75 meters for the small domestic market.

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