All my life I have managed to avoid doing anything with drywall. Now I need
to hang a dozen or so sheets on some walls.
I seem to recall reading or hearing that a small gap should be left between
sheet edges. True? If so, how much of a gap (1/8" sticks in my mind)?
I've seen dry wall gaps from zero to 1/4". I dont think there is a
target / desired gap.
But I loaned my USG SheetRock manual to a friend.
The 1/8" number you;re remembering might be the APA sheathing material
spacing for expansion of the sheets to avoid sheet buckling.
Download the "Gypsum Construction Handbook" by USG. Over 300 pages of
pure truthiness in PDF form. As far as your concern over gaps, IIRC
there needs to be enough so that the drywall mud contacts both edges
and cements the sheets together. That makes 1/8" +/- seem a good
choice. Much more than that might be compromised by the shrinkage of
Actually, the installation guidelines include no gap; up to 1/4" is
Shorter version (only 24 pp)...
4.6.6 Gypsum panel products shall be abutted so as to be in
contact with one another but not forced together.
4.6.7 When gaps occur at gypsum panel product joints, they
shall be not greater than 1/4 in. (6 mm) and shall be prefilled
with joint compound as specified in Sections 126.96.36.199 and
188.8.131.52 Gaps not greater than 1/8 in. (3 mm) shall be prefilled
with either ready-mix or setting-type joint compound.
184.108.40.206 Gaps greater than 1/8 in. (3 mm) shall be prefilled
with setting-type joint compound.
Ditto... hang'em tight...I prefer to use Durabond setting type joint
compound for taping joints and corners so a few gaps isn't a big
deal..Especially in older homes that aren't square...Hard to get them all
tight...Sheets on the ceiling get a screw in the edge and 4 in the field
spaced equally apart..On the butt they should be about 6 inches apart..on
the walls it is the same except only 3 in the field spaced equally
apart...Use a 2500 rpm drywall screwgun for best results though a cordless
drill/driver with the drywall attachment works BUT it is ALOT slower..The
screws should just dimple the paper to allow for filling with mud..TRY to
put them in straight , not to deep and not sticking out...I use a 4000 but
you need to learn to walk before you can run...LOL..Any other questions just
I ve heard that for sheetgoods like plywood and OSB sheathing but not for
drywall. The "pros" recently did our new(er) home and left no gap.
I think this has to do with the fact that the drywall, once hung, is
normally in a temperature controlled space (air conditioned space as they
refer to it around here) and there isnt a tendency for it to try to shrink
or expand. That may vary if you're installing it in freezing temps or if
its in a 4 season structure such as a cabin that isnt heated or "cooled".
No gap, not true, not needed. There are different kinds of drywall
seams. The easiest is when both edges have thinner edges (about 1/8"
thinner) that get taped and filled with drywall compound. The
self-adhesive mesh tape is great for seams, I use the paper tape for
inside corners, metal bead for outside corners. I leave a 1/2" gap
from the bottom of the drywall to the floor, where the basemold covers
it up. Good luck with your project.
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