Are you remodeling your home or basement? Adding a divider wall or building a home addition?
Any of these projects will involve hanging drywall. Installing drywall involves a number of basic steps for hanging drywall sheets on wall studs.
First of all, drywall sheets come in a number of size 5/8 inch is heaviest and therefore offers the most soundproof. Half inch is the most common size generally used for walls and ceilings. Three eighths inch is best to cover existing walls in a remodel project and 1/4 inch is the best choice when used in situations where there are curves like arched doorways and window frames.
It’s always a good idea to cover electrical and plumbing lines with nail protector plates prior to installing drywall. This prevents drywall nails from getting nailed into wires and pipes that could create immediate or future problems.
When installing drywall, we always want to make sure to create the least number of seems as possible along walls and ceilings. In most rooms of common sizes that means hanging the drywall panels horizontally instead of vertically. We always use the largest pieces possible.
Another important factor in hanging drywall is to stagger any vertical seams. We also would never place a seam at a corner of a doorway or window. The reason is that this will create a weak spot at a point where the most strength is needed, so the seam will end up cracking. To prevent this from happening, we always place the seam near the middle of any door or window opening. It is also important to leave a ½ inch gap from the bottom of the floor.
Starting with the top row, we always apply adhesive to the wooden studs to prevent popped nail heads. Hanging the first sheet, we place it horizontally against the ceiling and corner and drive a few nails in to hold it secure. Once secure, we nail in the vertical edges to the studs.
Once we get going, we measure, cut and rasp the edges of additional drywall sheets and hang them in place as stated above. Additionally, after sections of drywall are in place, we mark the studs and use screws to further secure the drywall to the studs. Using a drill makes it easy to screw the screw heads just below the level of the paper so they can be covered with joint compound prior to priming and painting.
We space the screws about 16 inches apart horizontally and 8 inches apart along the vertical joints.
For electrical boxes, we measure from the top of the panel and then cut the drywall accordingly.
To cut out windows and doors, we hang the top row of drywall first and then cut the excess drywall with a saw. We then hang the bottom panels and cut the remaining excess in the same way.
Next, we finish the seams. This step takes a great deal of patience and practice! We first apply mesh drywall tape to the flat seams between the drywall sheets, then we use a 4 or 6 inch drywall knife to spread the premixed compound over the center of the vertical seams and remove any excess by feathering the edges with the knife. We then do the horizontal seams and the inside corners last.
Check our page on how to tape drywall for a more in-depth rundown of this part of the process. Basically, you apply joint compound down the corner on each side. Then crease the paper tape along the center line and place it along the corners and run the drywall knife over each side to remove excess compound. Repeat the process on the outside corners.
We let the tape and fastener fill dry for about a full 24 hours before coming back to complete the fill coat. We run compound over every seam vertical, horizontal and corner seam and feather the edges 14-16 inches wide across the center of the tape to the edges. There may be some light sanding to do before applying the finish coat so we don’t leave any tool marks.
For a professional finish, we apply a skim coat by rolling on a thinned down compound over the drywall and remove excess with a 12 inch drywall knife. We let the skim coat dry before lightly sanding and then apply a drywall primer sealer. Once the sealer is dry, we are ready to paint.
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