There are different approaches to hanging drywall. You can go the old school route and attach the drywall with nails, then finish with screws, screw your drywall right onto the studs or some pros use a drywall adhesive to hold the boards, fill voids, and cut down on the number of fasteners needed.
You can certainly hang drywall without adhesive, and many skilled drywall installers do, but if you’re looking to cut down on time, or if you’re doing everything yourself, you might find drywall adhesive helpful.
It’s important to choose the right drywall adhesive, made especially for your product, to ensure a good bond and tight seal.
What’s the RIGHT Drywall Adhesive For Your Project?
There are different types of drywall adhesive, but You want one specifically designed for attaching interior drywall like Liquid Nails Panel & Drywall Adhesive. This type of non-staining adhesive should meet all ASTM standards, works for wood or metal studs, and is resistant to extreme temperature changes, humidity and won’t get brittle with age.
- Bonds in extreme temperatures
- 2X stronger than fasteners alone
- Durable plastic tube for outdoor storage
You can easily find this or other brands of drywall adhesive at your local hardware store, and the price point sits around 5 dollars a tube. When you’re looking for drywall adhesive, be aware that there are different drywall adhesives for different drywall applications – e.g. attaching drywall to masonry, drywall corner bead adhesive, glue used for rigid corner bead and a type of drywall adhesive call “panel adhesives” these panel adhesives are products used for attaching paneling onto drywall.
Related: The best drywall corner bead.
This is NOT useful for hanging drywall, though the name may be confusing. Panel adhesive is usually a drywall compound mix, sold in a 1-5 lb tub, that you add water to and dab on to attach paneling. Drywall adhesives used to install gypsum board, generally come in a tube and may be called carpenters adhesives or construction adhesive.
Drywall adhesives are sold in both squeeze tubes and tubes that require a caulk gun. In some cases, a proprietary application gun depending on the brand. Make sure you have the appropriate applicator before choosing and purchasing a drywall adhesive.
If you have more than a couple of panels (and most drywall projects will) you should opt for one that has an easy applicator, like one that is compatible with a caulk gun. It will make covering lots of studs easy and quick. Generally, you’ll need one tube of adhesive per 16 square feet of drywall.
When you’re using adhesive, there are some tricks to getting the full benefit from the glue. It takes the right preparation and application. First-time drywall DIYers often skip the sheetrock adhesive and opt for just fasteners because there is a small learning curve when it comes to most of these adhesives. It’s not much money for a tub of drywall glue, but certainly not worth it if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Prep your walls. Drywall adhesive won’t stick to damp or dirty surfaces – both your frame and your drywall panels have to be completely dry before hanging. Not only for proper adhesion, but gluing damp boards creates the perfect environment for mold to grow, and wet boards will begin to warp against the frame as they dry, possibly causing nail pops and uneven surfaces. Make sure the entire surface of the panes is free of dirt and debris, to ensure proper adhesion.
Glue one panel at a time. Even if it seems like a time-saver to apply glue all at once, don’t. Most commercial adhesives begin to form a skin within minutes, so apply your adhesive in strips down the center of the studs, and cover the entire surface of the studs where your drywall joints will be, by drawing a zigzag out to the edges. and fasten the panels relatively quickly. You will want to apply a solid line of glue along every stud. This method of installation helps to fill in voids and provides a measure of sound protection for gypsum drywall.
Attach the drywall with screws or nails. One of the benefits of using adhesive is that you can use up to fifty percent fewer fasteners. If you’re hanging drywall alone, this could cut down drywall installation time significantly. Keep in mind, though, depending on your project’s purpose and location, a certain number of fasteners MUST be used to meet code, regardless of whether or not you used adhesive
Drywall adhesive can only be used to attach the drywall paper to wood or metal studs. It will not work on foam insulation. Continue finishing as usual. There’s no waiting for the adhesive to dry. Just finish your drywall as you would with fasteners only.
When using drywall adhesive on ceiling drywall panels, an adhesive isn’t a substitute for a good drywall hoist. You’ll need something to press the panels firmly against the ceiling framing.
Professional drywall installers don’t all use adhesive, just like every drywaller has their own preferences for attachments and certain tools. Drywall adhesive certainly isn’t necessary, but in certain conditions, there are some benefits.
Drywall adhesive, along with an appropriate number of fasteners, can reduce nail and screw pops especially along edges. This is usually the biggest advantage of glue, reducing nail and screw pops and allowing quicker installation. The rack strength of walls increases dramatically with adhesives.
You might want to just use glue on ceilings. Drywall ceiling panels are prone to sagging and it keeps them from sagging, whereas walls might not need the extra adhesion.
Adhesives also correct minor framing irregularities like uneven joists and curves in your drywall panels.
If you’re looking for the right drywall adhesive, stick to a tube of construction drywall adhesive like Liquid Nails. Don’t confuse the construction adhesive with other drywall glues, meant for other applications like paneling and filling in joints between the drywall. Adhesive can be used with screws or other fasteners to overcome common drywall problems like irregularities in the frame, sagging ceilings, nail pops, and more.