Plus the thickness of the tape and mud over the butt joint is not even
"Bulges" come from uneven / mismatched joints or crappy mud jobs.
Keep your mud build up over the joint only as thick as necessary to
hide the tape and use a decent sized knife to feather the mud out.
"less is more" :)
About the doors and windows, I thought putting a joint at either corner
was a very big no, no. It cracks too easy. Put the whole sheet across
the window, with adhesive also, and cut it after it's up. That's how I
was shown to do it... while my mother kept saying the guy is wasting so
much drywall and wanting to use all the scraps and have a million seams.
I understand about the going up and down the ladder, something I never
thought about until I heard it here.
We installed drywall vertically in our garage and house.
You'll be climbing up and down the ladder to do the ceiling and corner
joints anyway, so a few extra vertical seams is no big deal. In my opinion,
the lack of butt joints makes it well worth the minor additional effort.
I didn't find it to be a problem, even with the 14+ foot walls in our
If you can't find the wider board or choose not to pay the price consider
hanging 2 four foot boards. One at the top and one at the bottom.
Use 3/8" non tapered, well planned edges for the center band. By the time
you finish the double joints you will have a really smooth wall and only use
a little extra mud and tape. You will get 3 cuts from each 3/8" board using
I have done this more than once with very pleasing results each time.
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We built our own house and had walls varying from 8' to 15'. I personally
prefer to hang sheets vertically. This ensures all edges are supported by
framing, and all edges on the wall are tapered for smoother joints (you
would end up with butt joints if your walls are longer than 16', which we
had many). True, it will be a bit more work to tape, but I've always done
it this way and haven't found it to be a big deal.
Another advantage to hanging sheets vertically is you can use standard off
the shelf drywall 4x8, 4x10, or 4x12, cut to the height of your wall. It
wastes a little drywall, but can save over special order fees.
If you're working alone, hanging sheets vertically usually allows you to
use smaller sheets which means less weight to carry.
If you do choose to hang sheets horizontally, and can't find wider sheets,
my preference would be a 1' band at the top or the bottom, so you can
maintain tapered edges. Tapered edges allow much smoother joints, and
you'll really appreciate the difference if you have to mount a cabinet to
the wall or something (no "bulge" in the wall from the butt joint).
I put a 1' band at the top of the wall when we remodeled my in-laws
bathroom. I had to climb the ladder to do the ceiling corners anyway, so it
was easy to do the seam near the top of the wall at the same time. I would
normally cut down 10' sheets and hang them vertically, but in this case it
was more efficient to hang the sheets horizontally (less waste).
Hanging the sheetrock vertically is wrong because the wooden studs aren't
perfect...Some may bow out , some bow in and some both and if the layout
isn't PERFECT the sheets won't fall in the center of the stud and you will
be adding nailers or trimming off the recessed edge which then makes it an 8
foot butt joint..Plus any movement , expansion or contraction with the
changing seasons will cause cracks and it highlites the imperfections in the
framing and generally looks like shit...Hanging sheets horizontally with 12
foot rock covers more (most times the entire wall) , is much stronger and
looks flat..The job I'm on now we used 14 and 16 foot rock as well...Didn't
want butt joints in the cathederal room....You wouldn't hang plywood
vertically nor should you hang sheetrock that way...The only exception is
steel framing in commercial work...Perfect studs and and drop ceilings with
no butts on the VERY long walls where speed is the biggest concern...Using
54 inch rock is the correct way to do walls over 8 feet high....HTH...
I'm sure there are pro's and con's to each method, but I still prefer
vertical installations. We did our garage and house vertically, and five
years later there are no cracks and no hint of a seam anywhere in the
We had 14'x24' walls in our kitchen/dining area that were easily handled
by installing 14' sheets vertically. No butt joints anywhere. Not to
mention, it would have been difficult to hoist full sheets 8' up to the
top of the wall and hold them there while we fastened them. Maybe no big
deal for a drywall crew, but a deal breaker for a couple of DIY'ers
The 24' and 28' walls in our garage also worked out better installing
vertically than horizontally, again, no butt joints.
Of course, we did the framing ourselves too, and were very careful about
the placement of the studs. When the framing is inconsistent, I agree a
vertical installation can be a pain. We recently remodeled some rooms at
my inlaws and the old framing was spaced anywhere from 14" to 18". So, we
did have to install a fair amount of blocking. One of the rooms was
nearly 16' long, and it would have been impossible to get a sheet that
long into the room. Eight foot sheets worked out great, and again, no
butt joints anywhere (except the ceiling).
When we built our house, code REQUIRED all edges of the plywood to be
backed by framing and nailed every 6" around the perimeter. Short of
installing blocking along the entire wall, hanging the plywood vertically
was the only way to meet code and build proper sheer walls.
If it works for plywood, it works for drywall.
"Correct" means different things to different people.
The average DIY job doesn't have the volume necessary to justify the
special order and/or delivery costs for 54" sheets. Even if I could find
54" sheets at a local supplier, I'd have a hard time hauling them home.
On the other hand, 4x8 sheets are available at any home center, are easy
to haul home in a small trailer or the back of a truck, and are light
enough for one person to carry if needed.
If I had a project large enough to warrant a delivery that may not be an
issue, but for small one room projects it's usually not worth the cost.
Just something to consider.
Before going vertical, be sure to work out where the seams will
be. Framing folk are famous for not keeping 16" centers across a
room- particularly where walls meet, there are windows or doors.
Lay out the installation ahead of time with a magic marker to X
the studs that will get the tapered edges.
Even so, it can be done and it's sure easier for one man to tip up
a piece, then use a toe jack to raise it 1/2" or so to the ceiling
than to hoist a piece 4' horizontally.
Luxury cars now offer a great seating option for politicians.
It's NOT special order and delivery is usually free but hey you can do it
however you want....I'm sure it looks good to you and that's all that
matters...To a pro more jonts mean more things can go wrong and time is
MONEY...LOL...I have NEVER seen plywood hung vertically in 30 years of being
on jobsites so I have to say bullshit to that little jem...
Gems of knowledge ................... ??????
Plywood is often placed horizontally for greater lateral strength and
Never heard of NOT having blocking behind ALL joints/seams? Potential
for cracking in frame construction?
Professionals place the upper sheets of drywall horizontally and at
top, of wall, to get better fit at ceiling and to permit any cutting
of bottom edge of lower sheet not meeting the floor etc. to be covered
by base moulding? Also ensures two tapered edges in 'middle' of wall?
Haven't done any sheetrock myself (as a complete amateur) for nearly
40 years. But both our 'stick-built' houses plaster-board sheeted with
three eighths, are fine and still standing after many storms!
BTW. Nowadays here, it's half inch or even five eighths (Fire regs.)
in some cases!
Around here anyway, delivery is usually only free if you purchase more
than certain quantity. That was five years ago and I don't recall the
cutoff point, but it's usually not worth the delivery cost for a few
This is practically standard policy at any lumber yard or home center in
our area. If you don't order enough to justify delivery, they charge you
a fee. Think about it, why would anyone waive a $50 delivery charge if
you're only buying $50 of sheetrock? Of course, delivery is a wise choice
if you're doing a larger project.
Maybe it's a regional thing. Around here (WA state) we have to use shear
wall construction for wind and seismic loads. That means all edges of the
sheathing must be supported by framing, nailed every 6" around the
perimeter, 12" in the interior, and securely fastened to the foundation.
We had to install special hold downs in the corners that extended from
deep within the foundation wall, up through the floor framing, and bolted
to posts in the wall. In some areas (like California), the connections
have to extend all the way to the roof.
While this can be done with sheathing run horizontally, it would require
blocking at the horizontal seams to maintain shear strength at the seam.
It's cheaper and easier to run the sheets vertically, which also means
less framing in the wall for easier plumbing, wiring, insulation, etc.
Also, if you use a combination sheathing/siding (like T-111 Plywood),
vertical is about the only good way to install it.
Here are a few references showing shear wall construction, all of which
install the plywood vertically:
Also, while this may not apply to builders with larger crews, we would
frame our walls in 8' panels on the subfloor, so the two of us could
easily tilt the walls up ourselves. It was a weight issue, more than a
design factor. Installing the two sheets vertically eliminated the need
for blocking, and by using sheets with shiplapped edges each wall section
would be overlapped by the previous section when we tilted it in place.
on jobsites so I have to say bullshit to that little jem (sic) <<<<
Then I assume you've never been to SoCal construction site.
In earthquake country, construction of plywood shear walls is
typically done with sheets vertically placed. All edges of the sheet
must be nailed per the specified nailing schedule (like 6/12 or 4/12)
and unless the framing is blocked (which is more more work), vertical
sheets are the easy way to assure having a "receiving member" under
all the edges.
Previous versions of the code used in SoCal allowed "drywall shear
walls"....yeah, pretty dumb but buildings were designed & built that
A blocked "drywall shear walls" often would provide sufficient shear
capacity, such that, in multi story buildings the top floor(s) could
be sheathed in drywall only.....thus eliminating the need for plywood.
In previous codes, unblocked shear diaphragms were allowed but at
design capacities lower than blocked diaphragms. I have not kept up
with SoCal code changes wrt drywall vs plywood and blocked vs
unblocked shear walls. I believe that the allowable design shear
capacities of drywall shear walls were either lowered significantly or
eliminated. But in any case, drywall shear walls appear to be a
thing of the past.
Unblocked plywood shear walls (if still allowed in SoCal) would have
lower allowable design shear capacities so the standard industry
practice (at least IIRC) is vertical plywood sheets
In central IN, back in the stone age, the house corners were always
vertical plywood sheet, and the field filled with celotex whatever way
was the most painless to lay out. They would have the real carpenters
place the sheets and pin them, and the kids/gofers like me would get to
go add the rest of the nails. A real carpenter would spot-check until
they trusted you to hit the studs and space the nails correctly. (This
was all pre-nailgun era, mind you. Hand-hammering a few thousand nails
while trying to stay lined up on invisible framing got old real fast.)
Mine is 9' 6", so 54 inch wouldn't be worth the trouble.
I'm surprised I never see anyone here mention using adhesive when
putting up drywall? It was pretty much standard practice on the jobs
I've seen done and helped with. I think glue would more than make up
for any weakness due to running vertically. As far as crooked studs,
I'm doing this myself and at the moment my time isn't worth much so
sistering a 2x4 to a warped stud isn't going to slow me down much.
BTW, if you're not *really* good at the finishing work, but are good at
taping, you can make the time vs $$ numbers work by doing the hanging,
taping and 1st coat of mud yourself, then hiring someone else to do the
finishing. There are good guys looking for side work, and while you might
get to the same end result as they do, I can almost guarantee they'll get
My $1/50, ymmv, etc...
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