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How to Install Drywall Guide

You are best being versed on the install since since the hanging of wallboard takes a little practice. You should know how the sheets are going to be installed on the walls along with the drywall layout. Have a screwgun ready with extra tips, and utility knife with extra blades.

Measuring, Marking & Cutting
Installing Drywall: Seamed Wall Using a quality locking tape measure, transfer the measurement of the needed dimension onto a sheet of drywall, marking with a pencil (no ink) at the tapered edge of the board. Another way to mark is to snap a chalkline for lengthier cuts. But mark slightly less than the needed dimension since gypsum cuts tend to form a jaggy cut line, which builds the dimensional distance.

Place an aluminum 4 foot T-square on the mark to be cut and score the face of the drywall with a sharp utilty knife.

How to Measure, Mark & Cut Drywall Then tilt the sheet, snapping it backward toward the score and exposing the cut through gypsum to the backing paper. Finish the cut with a score up the backside to release the paper and the cut is made. Remove excess gypsum on the cuts with a rasp. Due to the movements of cutting the sheets, temporarily leaning a stack of drywall against the wall makes cutting easier, with a place to hang the T-square.

For holes like piping that need to be cut, mark with a compass and punch through the board with a drywall saw or power cutter. Although beware that the powered cutters generate a lot of dust, efficient as they, so a good idea is to snap on a dust mask. A circle cutter serves the same purpose.

If doing an entire room, ceiling and walls are to receive drywall, complete the ceiling first, and for this consider getting (renting or buying) a drywall lift. With the walls running below the ceiling surface. A wall lift might help lift, lighten, and balance the load for securing.

Install the full sheets onto the walls, reserving the cut sections for last. Mark the studs on the floors, if unfinished, and the ceilings, to help guide the screw placements as needed.

After testing the screw gun depth gauge on a spare cut of drywall and stud, you are ready to start fastening. Remember, the countersunk screw head should form a dimple, a slight depression in the paper, not breaking through the surface nor creating an surrounding mound. The spacing of screws on walls should be 16" or less and 12" or less for ceilings.

Be sure to leave an approximate 1/4" exposed between the drywall and floor, adjusting the sheet by foot with a panel lifter into place.

To check that the screw heads are below surface, take a narrow drywall knife and run it lightly over the surface. Simply reset any heads at or above surface at the same depth. For misses, reverse with a screwdriver and lift under the head with an old putty knife or 5-in-1 blade if stripped to bring it out.

Screw Countersunk with Drywall Gun Shank Nail Hammered

If nails must be used, set with a drywall hammer. The head is convex for the countersink.

Make sure that all electrical outlets and ductwork is accounted for and exposed after the install. If necessary, take a snapshot before or make note of the placements.

Do a cleanup of all dust and debris for the subsequent finishing of the walls.

See Also
Finishing Sanding

Taping, Mudding and Texture Topics


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