Where To Buy Flex Tape (List of Stores & Brands)
On UpgradedHome, we talk about a *lot* of home improvement projects and tools. One of the better tools to have on hand is Flex tape. It can tape things up while locking water out, making it an ideal pick for people who have stubborn faucets or need to tape up a vent that just won’t stay put. Flex tape is so popular, it’s pretty easy to find. But, where do you go for this quality fixer-upper fave?
Flex tape is fairly common in most mainstream stores and is considered to be a basic housewares item. You can find it in the following types of stores:
- Big Box Stores
- Auto Repair Shops
- Hardware Stores
- Online Retailers
If you are a fan of DIY projects, you always should have a roll of Flex tape around you. It would probably be Bob the Builder’s real-life favorite tool. Let’s talk about the best places to get it.
What is Flex Tape?
Flex Tape is an incredibly strong type of waterproof tape that can instantaneously patch, bond, and seal pretty much anything. Its thick, flexible, rubberized backing conforms to any shape and object. This means you can use Flex Tape on steel, PVC, wood, copper, aluminum, cement, tile, plaster, stone, stucco, and even EPDM roofs.
The product can be applied to both dry or wet surfaces, and it even works underwater. It is available in three sizes to patch up holes, gaps, and cracks of any size. Flex Tape’s powerful adhesive material sticks to nearly any surface and will actually get stronger over time and under pressure. Plus, it is VOC-free, UV resistant, environmentally friendly, and stands up to extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
How Does Flex Tape Work?
Flex tape is a uniquely formulated tape that is meant to hold tighter as days pass. Unlike duct tape, Flex tape’s “gluing” ability gets stronger the more pressure is applied to the item being taped up. It also becomes stronger over time. As the name suggests, it can conform to any surfaces’s texture, making it a far better option for complex fixes than regular duct tape would be.
Where Can You Buy Flex Tape?
Flex tape is one of the few hardware supplies that can be bought in almost any major store outside of a grocery store. This guide will help you find the best places to go for this brand name tape near you.
Big Box Stores
Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Sam’s Club all carry flex tape—at least from time to time. You can now even find flex tape at Dollar General! If the big-box department store near you has a home improvement section or a tool section, it almost certainly will have Flex tape in stock. As one would expect, it’s best to go to the home improvement aisle to find it.
Most stores in this category are highly reliable in terms of keeping it in stock. If you cannot find Flex tape in the home improvement section, check the craft section, office supplies section, and cleaning sections. It’s usually there as a backup.
Since Flex tape can be used to fix basic issues like low water pressure from time to time, it’s not surprising that most mainstream pharmacies will carry it in their home repairs section. It’s a lot like regular duct tape, and honestly, both are considered to be basic must-haves to keep a home running smoothly.
Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid all have been known to carry Flex tape. While most larger pharmacies will carry at least one type of Flex tape, the truth is that this is not as reliable a venue as a big box store or home improvement store. So if you can, try to use this kind of store as a backup option.
Auto Repair Shops
AutoZone and other similar auto repair shops are known for having “generic tools” in their stores. These are tools that aren’t necessarily entirely automotive-related, but still come in handy when it comes to fixing cars from time to time. A good example of this would be rubberized waterproof duct tape. Oh, wait…that’s Flex tape!
Yes, it’s true. Automotive supply shops are very likely to have a nice stock of Flex tape in different quantities. You might need to ask a staff member where you can get it, though, since locating it can be a hassle in these stores. If the store has a tape or specialty adhesive section, you might be in luck. You can beeline towards that and grab the tape right off the shelf.
If there is one place that should be glaringly obvious in terms of stocking Flex tape, it’s a hardware store. Flex tape is literally a tool, a bit of hardware that can help you hold things together. As an “upgraded” type of duct tape, this is a must-have for many plumbing repairs and can also help patch up plumbing vents in a pinch.
Knowing that, it would be a pretty foolish idea to have a hardware store that will not stock Flex tape. You will find the biggest selection of these tapes in hardware stores, for obvious reasons. The good thing is, most hardware stores tend to have fairly affordable prices for this tape too. If you buy in bulk, the savings get even higher.
Office Supply Stores
Office supply stores are pretty famous for carrying tons of different types of tape, and Flex tape is no exception to the rule. Most major office supply chains stock it on a regular basis. Despite it not really having much to do with anything office-related, you can go to your local Staples and find it.
Of course, some stores won’t be willing to carry it. If you want to make sure that it’s there before you go, call up the store or take a look online. Most major office stores have an online front that lets you see what’s in stock in the stores near you. While it’s not ideal, it’s still an option if you’re in a bind.
Considering that we live in the age of the internet, it should come as no surprise that Flex tape is readily available on almost every major sales platform. eBay, Amazon, and Flex tape’s own site all have ways to get orders to your door at a reasonable price point. At times, the shipping is even free.
The drawback to this, as is with all online shopping, is the shipping. You may have to wait several days to get your Flex tape, which might not always be doable if you’re currently trying to fix a leak in your plumbing. With that said, plenty of people still choose to buy it online when they want to up their supplies at home.
What Brands Of Flex Tape Are Out There?
While Flex tape is starting to be used in the same vein as “bandaid,” the truth is that there is only one company that currently makes this tape on the market. This is a tape that is exclusively created by Flex Seal and is considered to be a branded item. So while you might be able to find knockoffs if you look hard enough, there’s only one true blue Flex tape.
Can You Use Duct Tape Instead Of Flex Tape?
In most situations, duct tape and Flex tape are able to be used interchangeably without issue. However, Flex tape is a lot more flexible in its uses and is more reliable in terms of repairs. If you have an issue that involves serious water damage, or involves a flood that proved to be too much for regular duct tape, then you need Flex tape.
On a similar note, if you are looking for a tape that will be able to conform to rounded surfaces, duct tape will not work. Duct tape tends to be too rigid to smoothly cling to round surfaces. This, in turn, causes the “chunky” look that bundled and bulked-up duct tape has.
How Much Does Flex Tape Cost?
Partly due to the branding, and partly due to the actual science behind its creation, Flex tape is pricier than duct tape. How expensive it is will change depending on how much tape you buy as well as the type of Flex tape that you are buying. Most Flex tape will be between $9 and $13 per roll.
The price of Flex tape seems to be set by the Flex Seal company, so you might have a hard time finding it for cheaper. However, there’s always a chance that you will be able to find a discount if you buy it in bulk.
How to Apply Flex Tape
Flex Tape is effective in a wide variety of situations. Though, for best results, you want to ensure that it’s applied correctly. Fortunately, applying Flex Tape can be done in four easy steps:
- Measuring and cut the tape accordingly. The manufacturer recommends using a razor blade instead of scissors, as the tape’s adhesive may affect how the scissors cut.
- Clean the surface of any dirt, grime, or oil before applying.
- Peel off the transparent protective backing from the Flex Tape.
- Press down firmly to apply, using a roller, plastic squeegee or your fingers. Any flat item can be used but the goal is to make sure that all air pockets are removed.
Flex Tape will start to adhere immediately, but will gain strength over time. If possible, let the tape sit for at least 24 hours. Once it has fully adhered, the tape cannot be re-positioned, so do not attempt to move or repurpose it. A hair dryer can be used to increase Flex Tape’s bond to porous materials, like concrete.
Can You Remove Flex Tape?
If you accidentally placed Flex tape on the wrong thing, then you will need to grab a pair of pliers and pull. This is not going to be easy, and in fact, may not even work. Flex tape is just that grippy!
All is not lost if you can’t get it off with pliers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that you might be able to get rid of Flex tape by apply adhesive remover or acetone to the tape. However, the Flex Seal company has not mentioned nor approved any of these methods for removing the tape itself.
Does Gorilla tape fix leaks?
It depends on the tape. If you are buying Gorilla Tape Patch + Seal, then yes. This tape is designed to help patch up leaks and seal water out in an instant. The adhesive in Gorilla tape is meant to be permanent, and the backing on the tape is UV-resistant, so if you are looking for a permanent solution, you absolutely should buy this.In this sense, Gorilla tape and Flex tape are fairly similar. Both are meant to help fix leaks in piping and plumbing, and both are seen as fairly permanent.
Can you use Flex tape to fix bike tires or car tires?
While Flex tape can be used on a wide range of items, using it as a tire repair tool is not a smart idea. Due to the extremely high pressure that can be caused by a tire leak, Flex tape is not always able to safely work as a tire patch. It may cause a blowout or just not work.If you want to fix a tire, go to an auto repair shop and get a real tire patch instead. It’s the safe way to handle this.
Can you paint over Flex Tape?
Most paints will not easily adhere to Flex Tape. Though, you can use Flex Seal aerosol first as a primer to help alter the appearance of surfaces where you’ve applied Flex Tape.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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