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3m waterproof tape
Lee K. HouseJun 20, 20243 min read

Types of 3M Waterproof Tapes

If you’ve used 3M tapes before, you already know they’re durable, high-quality products that can be converted into custom designs. However, with product selection, it’s common to find yourself drowning in technical data sheets

At Strouse, we’ve explored the wide range of waterproof tapes when sourcing materials for complex designs. 

Choosing a material shouldn’t be a gut-churning, stress-inducing decision. If you need waterproof tape, don’t fret—today, we’ll break down the different categories of 3M waterproof 3M tapes so you can find a match for your project

What Makes a Strong Waterproof Tape?

Before you select a tape, take a moment to recognize all of the factors that comprise different waterproof tapes:  

  • Ability to seal 
  • Printability
  • Wear resistance
  • Powerful adhesion 
  • Conformability

It’s essential to recognize that not all waterproof requirements are created equal. Many products have IP ratings or other indicators signifying their ability to withstand factors ranging from blasts of hot water to shallow submersion. The best waterproof tape is the one that can withstand your unique application.

Which 3M Waterproof Tape Should I Use?

The term “waterproof” is highly variable. You’ll want to know:

  • Does the tape need to be double sided or single sided?
  • Does the tape need to be removable, or can it be permanent? 
  • Is the substrate that the tape is being applied to moving or stationary? 
  • What is the make up of the material the tape will be sticking to?
  • If single sided tape, there are plenty of options with a backing.
    • PET is excellent for weather resistance
    • PP is good, too but it can be a little more flexible than PET
    • PE is great for water resistance but way more flexible than PP

With so many possible waterproof applications, we’ve done our best to categorize the tapes based on potential uses based on weatherproofing and medical waterproofing needs. However, if you’re looking for sealing, you can research which gasket material you should use. 


Outdoor tapes are often intended for long-term applications, which can warrant heavy-duty solutions built to last. 

    • VHB tapes are exceptionally durable and renowned for their high-strength bonding capabilities, making them ideal for securing two objects in harsh weather or extreme temperatures.
  • 3M PET, PP, and PE tapes 
    • There is such a wide range depending on the substrates you’re bonding that you’ll want to contact 3M directly or contact a converter to confirm which product fits best. You can also perform sample tests.


Waterproof tapes are used in many medical applications, such as wound dressings or bandages. They are sorted by conformability or adhesive type to differentiate the bonding strength and material type, which may vary depending on the patient. 

If you haven’t seen our list of the best waterproof skin tapes, consider checking it out. But in short, these are the 3M tapes:

  • High conformability silicone adhesive
  • High conformability acrylic adhesive
  • Medium conformability acrylic adhesive

Turning My Material into a Finished Product 

Ordering directly from a supplier is great if they have the material formatted how you want it, but you'll want to talk with a converter for slitted rolls or products die cut for custom designs. 

Material selection is one of many considerations when it comes to custom products. Adhesive tape converters will provide advice and support from product development through production

Building custom products can be challenging, but the earlier you reach out to begin planning, the better chance you’ll have at saving money by optimizing your design and production process.

Contact us today or check out our Learning Center for more information on our capabilities and building custom designs.


Lee K. House

Copywriter & Content Creator for Strouse. Lee graduated from the University of Alabama in the Spring of 2022 with a double major in English and Spanish.