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The Drywall Lift


Install Drywall on a Ceiling

T-Brace Lifting Drywall The sheets of drwall on the ceiling are mounted perpendicular to the direction of the joists. The challenge with hanging ceilings, is moving the drywall into place. Particularly since larger sheets are lifted into this more obvious surface.

1) Mark the position of the ceiling joints around the perimeter of room on the upper wall framing with a pencil. Also note the position of any canned lighting, electrical boxes, and fixtures.

2) Apply adhesive to the joist surface(s), if so opted. Run beads from the caulk container as far as the lead work-time allows.

3) Starting in a corner of the ceiling, raise and hold the sheet of drywall in place with the assistance of a second person, a T-Brace or 'Deadman' or panel lift.

Either a single T-Brace can be propped or two T-Brace's can be propped together to secure the position of the sheet and these braces should be slightly taller than the height of the ceiling. Hold the sheet snugly for fastening.

Note: some building codes require 5/8" thick panels for ceilings and/or fire rated boards. But to many installers this is standard practice.

Tiltable Drywall Lift 4) Screws are preferred over nails but if you drive ring shank nails, space these at about 7 inches apart. With adhesive, space the nails 1/3 across the board, or 16 inches apart. Make the concave dimple with the drywall hammer on the second swing. Be sure not to burst the paper.

For screws - drive the screws straight in, spaced 12" on center without adhesive, and at most 16" on center with adhesive. Set them no closer than 3/8" from the edge of the sheet. Any misses should be reversed and avoid the joist edges, if possible.

5) Partly fasten any sheet having outsets (that are to receive cuts) such as electrical boxes and can lighting. Run the power cutter first by finding a center portion, then proceed around the perimeter. Or else, saw manually with a hand saw. Next complete the screw tightening of the panel, and move on to complete the course down the entire length of the ceiling.

6) Continue with the second course by staggering the butt seams at 1/2 sheet from the first course.

7) On completion of the ceiling, the walls are hanged.

Note: some older ceilings joists are 24" on center. One possibility is to mount 5/8" or sag resistant panels on these wider spans where weight is a concern.

See Also
Finishing Tips Drywall Ceiling Repair Sanding Tips

Taping, Mudding and Ceiling Texture Topics


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