HOW TO PUT UP SHEETROCK



Knowing how to put up Sheetrock is one of the most important home remodeling skills to learn.

Sheetrock, also known as drywall or gypsum board generally works best in commercial and residential areas that have low humidity. Rooms with higher humidity or moisture issues require a product called "fiber", “blue” or “cement board.”

Sheetrock is also the best choice as a wall covering due to its cost, ease of application and the speed at which it can be attached.

Sheetrocks disadvantage though is that it's not as durable as plaster or decorative wallboard.

Information that follows includes the tools you will need and the best process to follow when learning how to put up Sheetrock.

If your looking for Sheetrock application advice pertaining to ceilings use this boarding a ceiling link to help get the job done.

Once you've learned how to put up Sheetrock ceilings, the finishing drywall page will guide you through the ins and outs of taping and troweling on the mud.


SHEETROCKING TOOLS YOU MIGHT NEED



Before you begin your how to put up Sheetrock project, heres a list of tools you might find useful. Each job is different so some of the tools mentioned below might not be needed for your particular project.

  • Ladders
  • Board lifters
  • Drywall cutters (electric and non electric saw, router etc.)
  • Measuring tape
  • Metal Drywall T square & strait edge
  • 2 Flat bars and small wood blocks
  • Variable Speed Electric Drill (cordless with an extra battery)
  • Dimpler (special driver for drywall screws) or drywall drill
  • Drywall hammer
  • Screwdriver (drywall screw size)
  • Pencil
  • Heavy duty utility knife
  • Scaffolding
  • Planks
  • 2' or 4' Level
  • Stud finder
  • Apron for screws or nails.




MATERIALS
You will need either Sheetrock screws and a drill or nails and a hammer along with the type of Sheetrock or blue board required for the job at hand. Sheetrock screws, nails and the Sheetrock itself comes in different sizes. Prior to learning how to put up sheetrock talk to your local home improvement sales representative regarding the type of materials you will need to get the work started.


KEEP IN MIND
Your first task is to make sure the walls behind your drywall are properly insulated, has a vapor barrier (if needed) and the electrical, plumbing or building itself is up to code. You don't want to be wasting time re-boarding a new wall because your roof shingles leaked.


PRIOR TO LEARNING HOW TO PUT UP SHEETROCK
Your materials are selected the room is prepped and cleaned and tools are at the ready then your set to start Sheetrocking.

To keep your job as easy as possible it might be a good idea to ask someone to give you a hand. Sheetrock can be awkward and heavy even when using a mechanical drywall jack.


BEGINNING TO LEARN HOW PUT UP SHEETROCK
You can use screws and a drill or nails and a hammer to attach your Sheetrock. I prefer screws so I refer to screws below. If you would rather use a hammer and nails that's perfectly fine. Just replace the word drill for "hammer" and "screws" for nails. Also, remember when hammering you want the head of the hammer to make a slight cupped indentation into the Sheetrock doing so will create a place for the mud to go.

Sheetrock has a front and back be sure to hang it the right way around. Where I live the white side is the front side with the back being gray. If your unsure your Sheetrock supplier will also give you advice on how to put up sheetrock.

Starting in the corner of a room is the best place to begin your Sheetrocking job. Your Sheetrock needs to be flush against the wall studs and run in a horizontal fashion. With your helpers assistance and the use of a couple of flat bars (turned the correct way around) sitting on blocks of wood (a few feet apart) step on the flat bars to lift (lever) the drywall board about a half an inch off the floor.

You can purchase a board lifter if you like or use some type of 1/2” inch spacer. Just make sure your spacer doesn't get stuck between the floor and the edge of the Sheetrock after the sheetrock is attached. Place your level on the top edge of the drywall board.

Once the Sheetrock is level and with your drill and screws in hand start in the middle of the board, 1 to 1 1/2” down from the boards top edge. You want the screw to be drilled into the boards tapered edge that way the edge screws will be mudded over when the seems are taped. Both the screws or if your using nails need to just pierce the boards surface without ripping the boards paper going to deep into the board.

To insure a strait line (for the screws/nails) you might want to use a level or T square and pencil to lightly draw vertical reference lines onto the Sheetrock that lines up with the center of the wall studs.

Place the succeeding screw below the first into the center of the drywall board. Your next screw should be 1 to 1 1/2” up from the of the floor and like the top screw, drilled into the tapered edge. Screw one more screw into the Sheetrock half way between the middle screw and the top edge screw. Do the same between the bottom edge screw and middle screw.

You should now have five screws in your Sheetrock, the screws should be evenly spaced, in a strait vertical line and securely attached to the middle of the studs behind the drywall.

It's recommended, for those learning how to put up sheetrock, to place screws at about 16 inches apart, horizontally and vertically but I like to add those couple extra screws just to be on the safe side. After your first drywall board is up, do the same to the next one. Keep moving around the bottom part of your room until your done. Sheetrock boards should but up tight to each other you don't need a gap between the two boards.

Once you have the bottom sheetrocking done move onto the top half. Depending on how high your walls are you might need to cut a board so that it fits up to the ceiling or add an extra sheet for the same reason. Now screw the Sheetrock on in the same fashion as you did the bottom boards.


CUTTING SHEETROCK
With the help of your measuring tape, T square and pencil, cutting is the next step in learning how to put up sheetrock. Mark off and cut out plug and light switch holes.

Talk to your local Sheetrock supplier regarding the best tool to do the cutting. You can choose either the non-electrical saw type Sheetrock cutter or electric router kind.


BUT JOINTS
Sheetrock has both tapered and non-tapered edges. Non-tapered edges that are up against each other are called but joints. Whenever possible have non-tapered edges or but joints meet in a corner. But joints are the most difficult type of seem to tape. It's not possible, in most rooms to avoid a but joint, even so, try to a keep them to a minimum.

Use the longest Sheetrock you can find and try, if at all possible to situate but joints below a tall window or above a door.


SHEETROCKING OVER AN OLD SURFACE
Sometimes older walls can't be saved due to un-evenness or scratches, holes and gouges. With the help of a good stud finder, pencil, strait edge and tape measurer you should be able to draw some reference lines for your screws so as to apply your new Sheetrock.

Wall studs are suppose to be at 16" centers but they don't always end up that way that's why you will need the stud finder. Especially for those who are just learning how to put up sheetrock.

Old plaster can tend to be very difficult to screw into with regular drywall screws. Some Sheetrock suppliers sell a kind of screw that is made to attach itself securely to plaster. You can also drill holes through the plaster with a masonry bit then use the normal type Sheetrock screws instead. Applying drywall glue is another alternative.

When I'm dealing with old Sheetrock or plaster walls removing the drywall boarding, plaster and lath, then re-applying new drywall or plaster tends to works the best. You can leave the old stuff on but it might create issues with shifting over time along with causing to much thickness next to doors and windows for the trim.


SUMMARY




If your learning how to put up Sheetrock in a home that's done its settling, cut the Sheetrock so that it buts up nice and tight to itself in the corners, (not always that easy). Be sure not to have tapered edges then use a couple coats of high quality painters caulk as opposed to taping and mudding the corners.

I have yet to have a problem doing my corners this way, even in homes that are only a couple years old. Keep in mind though that caulking the corners instead of taping them is not recommended. I take a chance every time I do corners in the way that I have suggested. Even so, caulking is way faster than taping a corner.

You can buy thinner Sheetrock which is made specifically to go around rounded walls (1/4" thick). Thinner board can be difficult to find in your area, breaks easily and sometimes shows demarcations from the wall or studs that are behind it. Be sure to talk to your local Sheetrock supplier regarding the proper use of thinner drywall and how to apply it.


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