This is the do it yourself drywall area. Just in case you think you can do it yourself. Many stores will have you believe you can do it yourself. (you should know your terms)
I say, You should not attempt it. or you will be calling us. You need 10years experience in anything. Would you have your mechanic, who went to a store for an hour do a heart transplant for you?
Putting up Drywall is not as easy as it looks but...Hey power to ya if you want to to try.
What are you going to attach the drywall to?
Before you do anything you have to determine what you are going to attach the dry wall to..
Is the ceiling going on new construction
On top of another ceiling which is drywall
On top of another ceiling which is plaster/lath (pronounced as laath)
You don't know what it is? You must know and find out.
Is there insulation in the ceiling?
Is the insulation new or old?
It is always better to remove the old ceiling, fix any creeks in the floor above, put sound insulation in and then put the new drywall in.
Is it for sound or does it have some other purpose.
Is there an existing vapor barrier?
Is there no vapor barrier?
How do you know when you need one?
If it is a brick wall:
a) Is in an interior brick wall?
b) Is it in exterior brick wall?
With wood strapping?
With wood studs?
With Metal Studs?
Will it be in the basement?
Or will the drywall be the main floor?
How about a bathroom with direct moisture?
How about a powder room, do you need water proof drywall in there?
What will be in the room you are creating; for people or for wine??
Is it block wall, an interior wall or an exterior wall?
A concrete wall ? Are you confused Yet? If not, read on......
I think I will make an
Let us make some assumptions and pretend we live in a perfect world where the walls are straight (HAHAAHAHEHEHEHEH)
The walls are square (HAHAHAHEHEHEHEH) and the floor you are following is straight (HA!)
And the ceiling is straight (YA right!)
We also will assume that the studs are wood) (those pieces of wood that run vertically (up-down) in the wall) We will also assume they are straight and level And let us assume that their studs are 16 inches apart( like they are supposed to be) *that is a joke too as I rarely see that either.( I have seen about 25 of them in the 20 years I have been in business) and with all that in mind.....are you ready???? Who cares! Here we go......
Use full sheets of drywall whenever possible. Cut the length of the sheet so that the end falls in the center of a joist or stud. A joist is what is running in the ceiling or floor It is usually wider than a stud). You have to laugh when you think you are going to sling boards around by yourself that can weigh up to 50 lbs each. But, it is a good way to quickly realize that you should have gone to work!!!! And leave it to the pros.
Studs, if they are make from wood are made from a 2x4. That 2" think by 4" wide. But A 2x4 is not really a 2x4 it is more like 1.5 to 1.75 inches by 3.5 inches. Why? Because the lumber companies want to make more money. And it is still called a 2x4.
Are we having fun yet????
there is more. if you really want to confuse yourself, introduce
some of the metric system into that and wa la!!! You have total
Chaos and confusion!!!!
To cut a
sheet for length, first set it upright, if it fits with the finished or
lighter side out; unless you are using green or
blue board which means the colour side has to be facing out. Out
means facing you!! Measure out the length with a tape
measure. Then using a drywall "T-square" on that mark as a guide, score
the front side with a utility knife. (you don't have to go deep but
if you are a weeakling then go over it twice. The blade needs to
dink into at least 1/16th of an inch.
the drywall back. It should break apart right at the cut. That doesn't
cut the paper on back, though, so to finish the cut run the knife blade
down the back side to cut the waste free.
Making cuts along the length of a sheet is a little trickier. One way is to snap a chalk line along the sheet and then score the line by hand. A caulk line is a really cool tool that will save you lots of time. Basically it is a box with some string in it mixed with a power dye. When you pull the string out and lay it tightly in a large pc of drywall, all you have to do is lift the string a bit with one hand while you are holding it tight with the other and let go of the string that is lifting it and like an elastic band it makes a like on the board. However be aware, though, that sometimes the chalk will bleed through the paint. If you have an 8' straight edge that would work, too. There are many different types of caulk lines and are for different purposes. There are also different colours to. Stick with blue, it will look good on you!!!
way to make this kind of cut is with a tape measure. Hold the tape
measure in your left hand with your thumb and fore finger at the
dimension you want. Hold the blade of your utility knife under the end
of the tape, holding it against the hook. Now run your left hand across
the top of the board, and score the drywall with the knife. This is not
a super-accurate method, but it's good enough for hanging drywall.
Do not force drywall together. Don't make the cuts to close that
you can't fit them in easily. The drywall compound will fill in
the gaps just fine after you put the tape on.
OK..OK..Spare me the details!
But we are not finished yet!
I will sign in and then book Les in.
need to cut inside corners, cut one side with a drywall saw. Then score
the other side with a utility knife and snap it back like you would any
way to cut inside corners is to first install the piece, then cut it
with a drywall saw along the framing.
Cutting for Lights, Switches and Outlets are also lots of fun!!!
Cutting holes in drywall for lights, switches and outlets requires
careful measuring and marking.
light fixtures, like recessed lights, measure from the edge of where the
drywall sheet will go to the center of the circle. Do this from both the
side and top. Then transfer these measurements to the sheet of drywall.
Be sure the white side is facing you.
mark for the center of your circle hole cutter. Also measure the
radius of the round fixture to set the arm length of the cutter. Score
the circle several times, then tap it out with a hammer. (the pros use
the hole saw or a Zip tool)
also use a compass to draw the circle and a keyhole saw to make the cut.
For switch and outlet boxes, measure from the side edge of where the sheet will go to the right and left side of the box. And measure from the top edge to the top and bottom of the box. Transfer these to the sheet of drywall and cut it with a keyhole saw. You have an 1/8 of an ich to play with. (if it is an outside wall for example, make sure you have the right insulation and plastic on the receptacles, which will keep the cool air that wants to come in, at bay.
When hanging drywall always work from the top to the bottom. And always run the drywall sheets perpendicular to the framing as shown here to the right.
Hang drywall on ceilings before walls, so the sheets on the walls can help support the corners of the ceiling sheets.
joist locations on top plates of the walls so the joists are easier to
find when fastening ceiling sheets.
Then mark the stud locations of walls on the ceiling sheets and on the floors so they're easier to find when fastening the wall sheets.
There is no way I am going to do this.
But we are not finished yet?
Nails vs. Screws
Building codes have very strict regulations about how many fasteners need to be used to attach drywall.
Nails are the easiest to use for do-it-yourselfers who are not comfortable with a screw gun. But screws are better.
1/2" drywall, use 1-1/4" ring shank nails. This type of nail
holds better into wood framing and prevents "popping" later on
Use a drywall hammer to set the nails. It has a rounded head that sets the nails just a little below the surface and leaves a shallow dimple without breaking the paper on the drywall. This dimple then gets filled in with joint compound later.
nails you usually need one every 7 inches on ceilings and every 8 inches
along walls. This may not be enough, depending on the thickness of the
drywall and the spacing of the joists or studs. Don't guess!
Using drywall screws can go a lot faster, if you have the right tool. You want to use a special electric drywall screw gun that lets you adjust it to sink the screws a little below the surface.
Mine is cordless. That cord always gets in the way and it is much faster.
are stronger than nails. You usually only need to use one screw every 12
inches along the ceilings and every 16 inches on walls.
We've usually found that's it's easiest to use nails along the edges to get the sheets up, then go back and use screws "in the field."
Hanging Drywall on Ceilings
Getting sheets of drywall up to the ceiling can be tricky. And once you get them up, holding them in place while you screw or nail them is another challenge. You'll need the help of a drywall lift or drywalls jacks for this...although some people just use their heads, literally! But by the time you start getting into this stuff, you may want to just hire a pro. I will refer you to someone because I do not do drywall anymore.
get a sheet in place, just nail or screw around the edges of the sheet.
Then you can take the lift or jacks away (or give your head a rest if
you're using that).
wait until all the sheets are up to put the fasteners in the middle.
Although, sometimes it's easier to do this right away because you can
see better where the joists are.
fastening around the edges, keep the screw or nail at least 3/8"
back from the edge so you don't fracture the drywall.
ceiling using full sheets, and cut them so the edge is centered on a
Stagger the joints between sheets from row to row, this will make your walls stronger.
Hanging Drywall on Walls
The rules for hanging drywall on walls are basically the same as those
for hanging ceilings.
It works best to have two people to lift sheets up to the top row.
nails across the top of a sheet before lifting it. This leaves both of
your hands free to lift the sheet and nail it in place. Make sure
you use a level so you can make the sheet as straight as possible.
wall framing leaves 8 feet 1-1/8" between the sub-floor and the
bottom of the trusses (are used in the attic or loft of a structure) or
joists. With two rows of drywall, you have about a 1/2" gap left.
Normally you should leave this at the bottom of the wall where it'll be
covered up by the baseboard. In basements I like to leave 3"
in case there is a small flood the wall will not get wet. The
baseboard will cover it anyways.
To hold the bottom row snug up to the top while fastening the sheet, use a little lifter with your foot. You can buy one for 15 ot twenty dollars or you can just make one. it is sooooo easy. I can show you how.
OK already! I get it!!!
I will just Hire Les!!
window and door openings, you want to avoid creating joints at the
corners. This will weaken the wall and will be more likely to crack at
If you're working around the top of a shower or tub that's got a flange, you want to install the drywall or backerboard over the flange. Before doing this, fur out the studs with strips of masonite so you have a flush surface to attach the drywall or backerboard to. Hmmmmmmm are we having fun yet?????
Getting the Joints Right (you don't smoke these joints)
A real important thing to remember when hanging any drywall is to line
up the joints right.
edge" of a drywall sheet is the finished, smooth edge made at
the factory. The edges are also beveled, so when they "butt" together, you
get a nice recess for filling in the joints. This way the joints end up
flush with the sheet, rather than having a build-up. So ideally, you
always want a factory edge next to a factory edge.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU
UNDERSTAND THIS BEFORE YOU EVEN START.
should be butted together. They call this a "butt-joint."
Before taping and mudding butt-joints, some people will "vee"
them out with a utility knife to make a recess. This helps eliminate
having a "hump" where the joint is.
Special Hanging Situations
When you have soffits to drywall, hang the bottoms of the soffits with the ceiling and the sides of the soffits with the walls. What???
When you have soffits to drywall, hang the bottoms of the soffits with the ceiling and the sides of the soffits with the walls. What???
What's that? A soffit is:
The underside of a member such as a beam or arch, or of an eave, overhang, dropped ceiling, etc.
Soffits that are open to the floor or ceiling above them, can cause a serious fire hazard. A fire in an open soffit can easily travel up to the ceiling or floor above. You want to drywall inside the soffit so fire will not move up as easily. And In a basement you may want to 2 x2 layers one on tip of the other or get 1" drywall. Now these sheets weigh a ton but will reduce the Fire spread time significantly thus allowing the fire truck time to get to your house.
I can't believe you MADE IT THIS FAR WITHOUT
ME IN YET. If I cannot do the Job, I will find someone
who will. You will have to sign in first but every time you come
back, you will just need your e-mail address and your password.
have framing for a pocket door, be careful not to poke the nails or
screws into the area where the door will slide. Use shorter fasteners if
necessary. Many people di it all the time. I have seen so
many pocket doors screwed in it is amazing.
drywalling a bathroom you might need to install green-board or concrete
backerboard. These install in much the same way as drywall but the
concrete backerboard is much harder to work with.
You may have walls taller than eight feet. In this case you will probably have a narrow strip left after two rows of drywall. This thin strip is called a "ripper".
Where you put the ripper depends on a variety of factors. You may want to put the ripper on top instead of on the bottom so you don't have to bend over when taping. Put it on the bottom if you have several things breaking up the wall, like doors or a fireplace, so you don't have as many joints. And if your ripper is only a few inches wide, you may want to put it in the middle of the wall. That way you end up with two joints close together and you can combine them into one wider joint.
tempted to buy longer sheets and run them vertically. You should always
run the sheets perpendicular to the framing.
Installing Corner Bead. These are those metal things with all the holes in them that look like angle iron.
Outside corners can get damaged easily so you want to protect them with
a metal corner bead. Do this before starting the tape coat.
Wrap the corner bead around the corner and check to be sure it's plumb. Adjust it if it's not. Nail it in about every 8 inches making sure you hit the wood framing.
The corner bead will get covered up in the finishing process.
There are the whole range of corner bead as well as meals and plastics which can also be good depending on your application.
Just to mention a few.
Before starting the taping process, make sure corner bead is installed
on all outside corners.
Also make sure that all the fastener heads are sunk below the surface of the drywall. You can check them by running a taping knife over the drywall. If you hear a "click" you've got a nail or screw that needs to be sunk deeper. Just give the nails an extra tap, or give the screws a twist with a Phillips-head screwdriver.
tapers sometimes notch out the butt joints so they have more space for
the first pass of joint compound. This helps eliminate the
"hump" that you might get when taping these joints.
The entire finishing process is about a 4-step, 4-day process. The first step is called the "tape coat." This is when you apply joint compound to the seams and embed paper joint tape in it.
First Pass of Tape Coat
Mix up your joint compound. If you're working with pre-mixed compound, don't mix it too much, this can work air into the mixture and then you can get little bubbles and craters on the surface of the wall, which you will have to work out when you are applying it. I hope you have strong arms and wrists.
Writing this is giving me a headache!!!
on the ceiling, first spread out a layer of "mud", as the
professionals call it, over the joints. For this first coat use a
5" or 6" taping knife.
generous with the mud at this point. Spread out more than you need to
fill the seam.
Embedding Paper Joint Tape (but there are other types too)
For the second pass, lay a piece of joint tape over the center of the
joint. Press it lightly with you hand--just to make it stick for now.
back and flatten the tape into the mud, working from the center of the
joint out to the sides. This is how to apply paper tape not
self adhesive fribre tape.
use pretty firm pressure with this stroke. You'll end up scraping off
some of the excess mud, just leave some mud under the tape.
The last step for the tape coat is to spread a very thin layer of mud
out on top of the tape.
requires a gentle touch. The layer should be thin enough that the tape
is still visible through the mud.
worry too much about a few grooves and streaks on the surface for now.
There'll be more coats to smooth it out later.
Inside Corners are the most fun to do even for me.
Inside corners also get treated with joint tape. There may or may not be
tapered edges here, but it doesn't really matter too much. Slightly
uneven walls won't be as visible in the corners as on a flat wall.
First apply a thin layer of joint compound inside the seam and on both sides of the corner.
and cut off the length of joint tape you need. Then fold the tape in
half and press it into the corner. Most brands of tape come with a
crease in the middle to make this easier.
tape into corner, then run a knife down each side to set it into the mud
and to work out any excess mud.
coat both sides with joint compound again.
outside corner bead will have a little valley between the metal ridge on
the corner and the surface of the drywall. Now you want to fill this
on your knife, run it down each side of the corner bead. Hold the knife
at about a 45 degree angle; it should be touching the wall and the ridge
at the corner. Scrape off anything that rises above that level. Clean
off any bits of mud left on the ridge.
should end up with about a 4" wide band of mud on either side of
Mudding Fastener Heads
thing you have to do for the tape coat is to cover all of the screw and
takes a small amount of mud to cover these, but start by troweling on
more than you need. And cover an entire row of screws with one stroke.
scrape off the excess mud with the taping knife almost perpendicular to
the surface. This will leave a very thin layer of mud all the way up and
down the wall.
The mud over the screw and nail heads will shrink a little, so you'll have to repeat this step with each of the next two coats.
OK, click once on the tool box
Wrapping up for the day
finish the tape coat, you need to let it all dry at least overnight.
However if it its humid outside and it is summer, it may not be
completely dry the next day especially if the mud was put on too thick.
your tools real thoroughly. If you have any dried mud left on your
knives it'll cause little gouges when you do your next coat. Sand
of the stuff when it is dry.
Throw out any mud left in your pans. Scrape down the sides of the mud bucket, and pour a little water on top of it to keep it from drying out. Pour this water off before using the mud the next time.
The tape coat leveled off everything, and the next two coats will make
the surfaces smooth.
to use wider taping knives for these coats, from 7 to 12 inches. You
want to build the joints up a little in the middle and then feather them
And you want to apply the mud a little differently, too, with a little less pressure and a little more patience.
Les...this is too much information. All I want is a little hole filled in my ceiling. Then book me in now.
Mudding Joints on Flat Walls and Ceilings
taping knife to put more mud on the joint. Then smooth it out with a
stroke down each side, then one down the middle.
side strokes, put more pressure on the outside of the knife and let it
ride a little high in the center. For the center stroke keep even
pressure on the knife.
factory joints, this coat should extend about two inches wider on each
side than the tape coat. Butt-joints, if you recall, don't have the
beveled edges that the factory joints do so the they'll tend to build up
higher with each coat of mud. Because of this you'll have to feather
them even farther than with the factory joints.
this coat is done you should not be able to see the joint tape.
Screw and nail heads get covered with another layer of mud at this stage too. The mud from the first coat has probably shrunk a little so you just want to fill them in flush with the surface.
Inside corners are a little trickier than flat joints. Once you've
feathered one side it's tough to work on the second side without
disturbing the first.
One way to solve this is to use a corner knife. Professionals do a coat on one side of the corner, then wait for that to dry before doing the second side.
The finish coat is where you have to be a real artist. You don't
want to leave any grooves or streaks after you're done.
Before starting, scrape a wide knife over all the joints to smooth them out a little. This removes the ridges and tool marks. You want the base to be as smooth as possible for this final coat.
I can't believe I you are still here.Finish Coat on Walls
joints are still dry, check to see if you have any large humps. Do this
by holding the edge of a knife against them and rocking it back and
forth. If you've got a large hump, you'll have to feather the joint
use the joint compound straight out of the can. Some professionals like
to thin the mud out a little for the first coat and this last one. It's
really a matter of personal preference.
If you do
thin your mud, do it with only a cup of water at a time. And don't get
it so runny that it falls off the knife. And keep in mind that thinning
the mud too much will weaken it.
coat you should be using wide knives, about 8" for the screw and
nail heads, and up to 12" for the joints. Use the same techniques
as the last coat, only here you want to feather the joints as smoothly
Ceilings tend to be the most exposed part of a drywall job. Light thrown
across it by ceiling fixtures really bring out any irregularities in the
surface. Walls are usually broken up by furniture, windows, door or wall
hangings, so their flaws are a lot less noticeable.
common way to treat a ceiling is with a texture to help hide any
One treatment we've used is sometimes referred to as "knockdown." For this you need to rent a sprayer and use it to "splatter" thinned joint compound onto the ceiling. There are also special texturing compounds made just for this purpose.
mud sets up a few minutes, you flattened it with a broad taping knife.
people like a more "pebble-like" appearance to the ceilings.
For this type of effect, you mix part mud, part paint, and part
aggregate, which are small vermiculite-like particles.
of texture doesn't get flattened out. But, as with the other texture,
it'll still be necessary to scrape the over spray off the walls.
also get different ceiling effects by rolling the texture on instead of
spraying it. You can even swirl, or "stipple" it with a stiff
Ceiling Skim Coat
The moisture and heat in bathrooms and kitchens are more likely to cause
dirt and stains on the ceilings. For these areas many people choose to
go with a flat surface on the ceilings which is easier to clean.
called a "skim coat", and it's applied instead of a
third coat as a smooth, thin layer of mud over the entire ceiling. Be
aware that this is a challenging job for a novice taper.
sand down the mudded areas of the ceiling. Apply this coat with a 10 or
12 inch wide trowel.
Work in as large of an area as you're comfortable with. Load up some mud and then spread it out over the area. Then go back and smooth it out. You actually end up taking off almost all the mud that you put on.
Sanding down the walls is the final step to prepare them for priming.
You also sand ceilings if you've put a "skim coat" on them.
This will smooth down any last little ridges you may have.
Sanding is very dusty work so use particle masks. And use plastic to seal off doorways or vents that lead to other parts of the house.
Pole sanders are good for reaching up to ceilings and walls. Poles with
swivels on the ends make them easy to maneuver almost anywhere.
use sandpaper, use 120 to 150 grit. Open screens probably
work better because the dust doesn't build up in the grit, like it does
with sandpaper, it falls out of the screen.
mud is pretty smooth already, you might want to try wet-sanding with a
sponge. You need a dense sponge that's been wrung out pretty well. Rub
it over the joints, smoothing them out. This method eliminates the huge
mess you get with dry sanding.
sponge out frequently. This method doesn't scrape up the bare paper, and
doesn't raise a lot of dust.
up is a significant part of drywall work. You'll need to vacuum up the
dust several times as it gets in the smallest cracks.
notice that once you sand the joints smooth, they have a harder and
glossier texture than the drywall, which is softer and more papery to
primer/sealer will help hide these differences and any imperfections on
your walls. It'll also serve as a good under-coating for your finish
paint so it won't absorb into some areas more than others
just going to be painting over the primer, you can use a primer
specifically for finish paints. If you plan on wallpaper, use a primer
with "sizing" in it. Sizing will help the wallpaper adhere to
the wall and also make removing the wallpaper a lot easier.
Small nail holes or shallow dents can be repaired pretty easily with a
little bit of patching compound and a putty or taping knife. Then let
the compound dry, sand over it, then prime and paint.
Nails will sometimes pop through the surface if they are not holding properly. To fix this, first resink the nail into the drywall. Then drive a new screw in next to the nail to hold the drywall into the framing. Apply compound over both fastener heads. When they dry, you can sand and prime over them.
Patching Larger Holes
Larger holes in drywall are difficult to patch because there's no
backing material behind them.
a few ways to build new backing. One way is to take a piece of
cardboard, slightly larger than the hole, and tie a string through the
middle of it.
the cardboard into the hole and pull the string tight. Then while
holding it tight, apply a first coat of patching compound to fill the
Once it's dry, cut the string and apply a second coat. To help strengthen the patch you can apply some fiberglass tape to the seams and then tape over that. Feather out the compound around the hole with a wide knife. Let it dry and sand it smooth.
could also use plywood strips as the backer, cutting them longer than
the hole, but narrow enough to go through the hole.
Secure them by screwing into them through the drywall and use enough to provide backing for the entire hole. Then finish the patch as described above.
method is called the "hat patch." For this you cut a piece of
drywall the size of the hole, but leave the paper on front run an inch
or two longer. The paper will serve as the joint tape.
Insert the "hat" into the hole with some joint tape around the drywall. Cover the patch with two coats of joint compound. Then sand it and prime over it.
Concrete Backerboard is usually used as an underlayment for ceramic
tile. It can be used on walls, floors or countertops.
has a solid concrete core and is faced on both sides with fiberglass.
It's an ideal underlayment for wet areas like shower walls and bathtub
Some backer board is a bit thinner than drywall. If your backer board meets a drywall surface, you may have to first fur out the studs with strips of builders felt to make the surfaces flush.
Cutting Concrete Backerboard
Cutting Backerboard is a lot like cutting drywall, except that Backerboard is much harder. Using a framing square, score your cut line a few times. You can use a regular utility knife for this, but you'll go through a lot of blades. A special carbide-blade cutter works better.
Break the board by applying pressure until it snaps apart along the score line. You'll probably have to cut through the fiberglass on the back also.
Installing Concrete Backerboard
Start installing Backerboard at the furthest back wall and work your way
from the bottom up.
galvanized nails or screws to secure the Backerboard. If you're working
above a shower pan, be sure to nail or screw above it so you don't
puncture the fabric.
of the Backerboard sheets should be centered over the studs, but stagger
the joints so they don't line up with one another. Leave about 1/8"
space between the sheets of Backerboard.
in the Backerboard for around shower and bath controls. Score the mesh
on both sides of the board and hammer on it until it breaks out.
Finishing Concrete Backerboard Seams
You want to mud and tape the joints of the Backerboard also.
Like drywall, the sheets have tapered edges, this allows you to fill the joints and still stay level with the Backerboard. For a ceramic tile underlayment, one coat of mud is enough.
Please let me know if you find any broken links on my web site.