Installing Drywall

In getting ready to hang the drywall for my basement and just need a few clarifications. I thought you were supposed to butt the sheets together but I have been reading some articles that say to leave a 1/8" gap between them, which is correct?
I was planning on hanging the sheets vertically, do you really cut the number of seems in half by going horizontally? Is one better than the other? The walls are 14.3 x 23.7 and 9 feet high( I'm installing a drop ceiling so not going to the top is not a concern) Thanks John
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John wrote:

A gap works better for mudding/taping, yes.

What an inconvenient set of dimensions... :(
If it were 14-even, a single long would suffice and 2-12's the other way...as for the length of seams, draw it out and add up the distances.
For a novice, though, unless you can use the full length pieces horizontally, you may find taping more edge joints w/ the finished edges easier and a better job than the butt joint horizontally w/ the ends.
You can get 9-footers, too, if you wish and would have the full wall height covered. Again, for the non-experienced, that's what I'd suggest. That 3-4" in the corner is going to be an extra joint but it can be feathered out w/ the corner. It's going to be a fair amount of overage, but that'll be so whichever way you go.
--
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Works better? How so?

Where do you live that you can get a 12' board into a basement? I frequently have issues with 8 footers.

Butt joints are not a problem if you don't have them land on a stud. You can have the butt joint land in between studs and use a backer board to attach the butt ends. There are products sold for this, http://www.ezbacker.com/rock_splicer.html , but you can use a 4 to 6 inch stip of plywood with some shimming. This from Toolbase.org: "Drywall butt joint systems provide slightly inset drywall butt joints that require less finishing and sanding, and result in flat, seamless finished butt joints that are also less prone to cracking due to framing movement because the butt joints are allowed to float." If you use a wider strip of plywood, say 6 to 8 inches, and attach a 1" strip of something ~1/8" thick to either long edge of the plywood, between the drywall and the plywood, the screws at the butt joint will pull the end of the drywall into that minor recess and essentially taper the butt end of the boards. It's simple to make entirely flush butt joints that way, rather than the apparently flush butt joints you usually get by feathering out the butt joint 18" so you don't see the hump.

The OP said he doesn't care about going the full height, so there's no reason to use 9' boards. I'm not sure where you're getting the 3-4" thing - the room dimensions are both under a full sheet length/width.
R
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Thanks for all the information, lots to think about. Just a couple of follow up questions. Im using 1/2" drywall and see varying suggestions. Does it matter if I use 1 1/4 or 1 5/8 screws? Secondly, when hanging the sheets do I have to install all the screws in each sheet before moving to the next or can I put a few in to hold the sheet in place then move to the next until its all up?. I plan on driving a screw every 8 - 12 inches. Thanks again for all the help. John
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Hi John,

The screws should penetrate at least 3/4" into the stud, so either screw length would work fine in your situation. Use whatever is cheapest and/or most available.
However, be sure to install steel protection plates anywhere wires or pipes are less than an inch or so from the face of the stud. Otherwise, a longer screw could theoretically go deep enough to pierce the wire or pipe.

I don't know how many screws you would have to install to hold the sheet temporarily, but why? It's better to finish the sheet and move on to the next so you don't forget anything. It takes the same amount of labor either way, so finish the first job before you start a new one.
Anthony
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RicodJour wrote: ...

Where basements generally have walkout access is only places I've ever considered drywall in basements, basically...
...

Unless he would just like the full wall height covered, I pointed out what many are unaware of--that there are 9' sheets available.
I was thinking in the 14' as 14 lengths and then didn't recompute when making the comment about the short corners when suggesting the vertical orientation, sorry...
--
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Half? No, but you do save signifcant amount in a 'normal' room, i.e., one with a normal amount of doors/windows as the butt joints with disappear against casings or are onely short runs (above/below doors and windows). I don't know how it will work in your basement with those odd dimensions. If you hang vertically, consider ordering in 9' sheets. If you are going to do the taping and it is your first time, try to avoid butt joints as much as possible.
Taping verticle joints is a PIA as you can't reach the top without standing on something and can't reach the bottom if you _are_ standing on something.
Dpb gives a good discussion of the problems.
Harry K
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John,

I think the gap is recommended, but I didn't spend much time doing that when we installed our drywall. Unless you really get fussy about it, you'll probably have a small gap between sheets anyway, without trying. And it's not the end of the world if they butt tightly.

In theory, taping a horizontal joint is supposed to be less work and less visible than vertical joints.
Having said that, I prefer to hang sheets vertically, especially if you're working alone. You can just set the sheet against the wall, and use a lever to push the sheet against the ceiling with your foot while you screw it in place. That's much easier than trying to lift a sheet horizontally, and hold it up against the ceiling while you screw it down.
Also, you can usually use smaller (lighter) sheets vertically, since a horizontal sheet would typically span the full wall width without a seam. End butt joints are much harder to hide than the tapered edges on the sides of a sheet.
Yes, you'll probably be going up and down the ladder to tape a vertical joint, but I didn't find it to be that big of a deal (and we had 14 feet high walls in a few rooms). It's good exercise and you'll usually need to climb the ladder to do the ceiling corner joint anyway.
I drywalled the ceilings and walls of our garage, and our entire 1500 sq/ft house. All sheets were hung vertically, and though I'm a complete amateur, you would find it nearly impossible to point out the joints now that it is painted.
Take your time, use fiberglass mesh tape on all seams, and apply three coats of joint compound using progressively larger knives (6", 8", 12"). Hold the knive mostly perpendicular to the wall, as you can make the knive bend into a depression if you hold it flatter. Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next (usually overnight). I use a special corner knife for the corners. If you run into a particularly challenging spot, don't hesitate to apply a fourth or fifth coat to achieve best results. When sanding, be careful not to oversand and create a depression (you can always apply another coat if that happens). Prime with a pva primer, then paint.

Order 9 foot sheets from a drywall supplier, have them delivered, and hang them vertically. Order a few extras in case you make mistakes (cutting holes for outlets etc.) or sheets get damaged. It's usually easier to hang a full sheet over door/window openings, and cut the extra away with a drywall saw after the sheet is fastened down.
If your walls are still open (i.e. no insulation yet), I recommend taking pictures of all the walls before insulating/drywalling. Believe me, a few years from now you will be thankful to know where a wire or pipe is behind the wall.
Good luck!
Anthony
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wrote:

I don't leave a gap between sheets, but I leave a 1/2" gap between the bottom of the drywall and floor (not sure why, I was taught).

You can hang drywall vertically or horizontally. I find the vertical method much easier, unless you have a helper to lift the drywall.
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For the carpet to be tucked under. Floor molding is there but not very thick.
Pure guess but I would think also in case of a water leak. Bad enough the mess and damage that alone would cause but why have the drywall wick it up as well and ruin that.

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Thanks again for all the help. Any suggestions on my follow up question: "Secondly, when hanging the sheets do I have to install all the screws in each sheet before moving to the next or can I put a few in to hold the sheet in place then move to the next until its all up?. I plan on driving a screw every 12 inches. "
John
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You don't have to, but what's the advantage of not completing screwing it off while you're still standing in front of it? It won't go any faster by tacking it up. If you're trying to save someone else's time, and you only have their help for a limited amount of time, that's a different story.
R
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John wrote:

As rico says, doesn't really matter so suit yourself.
The one thing avoid is getting a hump in it so start at one edge (preferably the one next to the previous sheet) and work across and down...
--
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You have received several good responses. I will add just add a couple of points.
IMO, horizontal runs are better because it easier to finish the long taped joint on a horizontal plane than a vertical.
Staggered butt joints are not a problem unless you make them so by applying too much mud at one time. The first rule of drywall finishing is never get in a hurry and glob on a lot of mud at one time. Do it in layers. Bed and cover the tape with the mud, leave it alone until it dries or sets and then come back to feather it out.
Personally, I use a 4" taping knife to embed the paper tape and then use a 6" knife for all the rest. I do use an IS corner tool because it allows me finish the corners in one long stroke.
Colbyt
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replying to John, Iggy wrote: I expect you're done and went with the Vertical Installation, for your own protection and least effort. Yes, you want the seams to be tight, little to no gap. This, is not only so you have as much stud to put screws into, but most importantly that it provides the best fire protection. No, Horizontal Installation is based on bold-faced *lies*, there's absolutely no benefit nor advantage to that stupid practice. Here's exactly what's wrong with Horizontal:

1 – DEFECTIVE SEAM - Horizontal rows needing more than one drywall panel CREATES (instead of AVOIDS) a butt-joint HUMP, which are NOT flat and are a TWICE (minimum) effort DEFECT. Outlet and switch cover-plates, window and door trim, baseboards, pictures, mirrors and cabinets don’t sit flat. Using ANY "butt-joint product" erases ALL "claimed benefits" of Horizontal!

2 – UNSUPPORTED SEAM – Horizontal’s tapered edge is MOSTLY unsupported, only 10% (instead of Vertical's 100%) contacts framing, the seam WILL AND DOES crack. Light switch and countertop electrical boxes within the seam equals MORE weakness and butt-joint doubled, MINIMUM, efforts.

3 – STRUCTURAL DEFECT - Horizontal only reinforces a wall height of 4’ or less and the wall's top-plate is never connected to the bottom-plate. As in and due to #2 above, Frictional Contact is MINIMIZED (instead of maximized by Vertical).

4 – SEAM DECEPTION...(4'x8' PANELS) – Example 1: 48” tall by 102” long wall, Horizontal = 48” (technically) and it’s a 24” wide butt-joint (Vertical = the same, generously, 96” but they’re easy 6” wide joints). Example 2: 96” tall by 102” long wall, Horizontal = 222” with 50% being 24” wide butts (Vertical = 192” of 6” wide easy joints, yes LESS)...in a Kitchen Horizontal = 100% of 24” wide butts (Vertical = 0%). Yes, Horizontal does the taper area twice (minimum) in order to hide its butts, so very minimally just another 24” was added and #5 below was not factored in to Horizontal's monumental FRAUD.

5 – SELF-DEFEATING ANGLES – Horizontal only uses ONE of a panel’s tapered edges and PUTS the other taper at the ceiling corner and baseboard, CREATING (instead of AVOIDING) a twisted angle that MUST be shimmed or ADDITIONALLY mudded. This too, instantly ERASES ALL claimed benefits of Horizontal! The Panels are designed to be installed Vertically!

6 – UNFRIENDLY SEAMS – Horizontal celebrates the chest height seam and PRETENDS there’s no 24”-WIDE floor to ceiling butt-joint that needs to be DONE AND DRY BEFORE doing the ceiling corner (Vertical has easy joints and the top's done later with the ceiling corner).

7 - FIRE VIOLATION AND HAZARD - Horizontal only fills the coin-thin SEAM'S FACE and has NO back-blocking, inviting smoke and fire’s spread, including fuel-air for a fire's growth (Vertical is full depth and CONTINUOUSLY airtight).

8 - UNSAFE INSTALLATION - Horizontal needs 2-PEOPLE for a safe installation and the panel is airborne, literally CREATING the chance to CAUSE injury (Vertical easily tilts-up with just 1-person). Panel lifters aren't even as easy and safe as Vertical’s tilt-up.

9 - ADDITIONAL WASTE - When correctly covering a knee or half wall, tub front, column or soffit by first removing both tapered edges, Horizontal CAN'T use the tapers elsewhere (Vertical can and does).

10 - SELFISH IGNORANCE - Foundation and Framing crews go to great pains to make everything flat, level, plumb and square. Horizontal DESTROYS those efforts with their DEFECTIVE humps (Vertical keeps them all).

11 - GRASPING AT STRAWS WITH OUTRIGHT FRAUD - Horizontals FALSELY AND UNKNOWINGLY wave the absurdly INVALID (FPL439) 1983 testing “Contribution of Gypsum Wallboard to Racking Resistance of Light-Frame Walls” by the self-indicted fraud Ronald W. Wolfe. FPL439 found that ALL tapered or paper wrapped edges must be FULLY INTACT for Horizontal to beat Vertical "structurally", PERIOD. In the real-world, bottom paper wrapped edges are REMOVED (at a minimum), BY LAW, for spacing from all floors and thereby COMPLETELY NEGATE Wolfe’s inexcusably deceitful and worthless "study" and summation.

12 - JOINT OR SEAM TREATMENT - According to the ASTM's C840, Horizontal's joints and seams MUST be mudded to provide ANY fire, smoke and air travel resistance. Vertical is SO GOOD that it's NOT REQUIRED to have its joints or seams treated.

13 - FIRE RATING FRAUD - Most Single-ply or layer drywalling for Commercial Work is required to be installed Vertically, to obtain drywall's actual fire rating...known by the majority of builders and drywall installers. But, they only provide Builder's Grade work, the legal minimum with the look expected by the market. Good for the warranty term with an eternal future of patching and fixing.

Only promote HORIZONTAL AS WRONG and confidently cite the above incontestable FACTS.
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