Available in numerous types, each possessing a particular adhesive strength or other attribute, tape is a general descriptor for a wide variety of products. Tape is a common staple found in households, offices, schools, public and private enterprises, industrial worksites, mailing facilities and virtually everywhere else. Tape is used for simple, everyday tasks such as repairing tears in notebook paper, temporarily securing a broken structural component and wrapping exposed wiring. Commercial and industrial-use tape is found in hospitals for medical purposes, in packaging facilities for sealing cartons as well as in heavy-duty applications. Other types of tape are non-adhesive, useful for flagging, barricading and hanging drywall among other things.

Common Household and Office Tape

Tape found in the home or office is typically used most by the average person. Among the varieties, transparent cellophane tape, duct tape, masking tape and packing tape are the most common. Cellophane tape is a light adhesive used for patching tears in paper, hanging posters and joining lightweight materials. Duct tape is a water-resistant, durable adhesive with countless uses, while masking tape is intended for painting, but it enjoys widespread use as well. Packing tape is most commonly used to seal boxes and other packages for storage or mailing.

Commercial Tapes

Tape used professionally includes duct tape and masking tape, but also electrical tape, vinyl tape, foil tape, filament tape and foam tape. Electrical tape is mainly used to insulate and identify wiring. Vinyl tape is abrasion and corrosion resistant and is useful for color coding and marking walking or driving lanes in warehouses, stores or elsewhere. Foil tape is backed with aluminum and is heat and light reflective as well as water and solvent-resistant. Filament tape is an alternative packing adhesive, while foam tape is applied to add padding between joined parts. 

Regardless of whether it's used in the home or commercially, each tape variety has a specific function, but many enjoy all-purpose use thanks to their durable bond and easy application.