Installing drywall by yourself for the first is a bit tricky.
It’s essential to know the dos and don’ts of the drywall installation to make sure you get it right the first time.
Before you go out and hire a drywall contractor, take the time to educate yourself to save money and feel a sense of pride in having done it on your own.
Part of the installation process involves gaps.
They are inevitable, but how much gap can you have between drywall sheets?
Ideally, you’ll want a ⅛” inch gap between drywall sheets. Attempting to cut a drywall sheet to the perfect size is often futile. Squeezing a too-wide drywall sheet will also lead to problems like crumbling and corner folding. It’s best to account for a ⅛” inch gap for proper installation.
Conducting home repairs and renovations on your own is often a rewarding process once it’s complete.
Getting there tends to be a little tricky.
Let’s dive into some drywall installation tips, like how much gap you leave between drywall sheets.
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How Big Of A Gap Should You Put Between Drywall Sheets?
When installing sheets of drywall, it is essential to leave a gap between sheets.
Sometimes no matter how much you measure before you cut, the sheets still don’t line up well.
It is best to account for a ⅛” inch gap in your measurements to ensure the installation goes smoothly.
Some people opt for up to a ¼” inch gap between sheets.
This will stop any unwanted edge crumbling or damage to the drywall sheets.
However, it also means you must use more joint compound to fill in the gaps.
This means more sanding as well.
It’s best to shoot for an eighth-inch gap to allow sheets to fit well without having too much space to fill with joint compound.
Why Is A Drywall Gap Important?
Gaps are important for a quality finish on your drywall project.
If there are no gaps, you’ll inevitably force sheets into tight spaces to make the edges meet.
This often results in the edges crumbling or corners folding up.
Sometimes it also leads to the unattractive look of the bulging of drywall seams.
This damages the board and means you’ll have to cut another piece to get a good finish.
Some people will sand or scrape edges to force them to fit.
This is time-consuming and messy.
Forcing the sheets without cutting them down will break the gypsum board.
Damaging drywall sheets costs extra money and exhausts your budget.
It’s best to leave a small gap so there is no damage when attaching drywall to studs or framing.
It will save you expensive headaches and time in the long run.
How To Fill Gaps Between Drywall Sheets
Whether you leave a ⅛” inch gap or ¼” inch gap, you’ll need to fill the space in with a joint compound.
The less compound you use on the drywall joints, the better, as it tends to be messy and requires a lot of sanding to get a good finish.
- Spread the joint compound with a utility knife into the gap between drywall sheets.
- Fill in the drywall gap and allow it to dry sufficiently, so the compound sets effectively.
- Once dry, you’ll need to sand the compound down to achieve a smooth finish to hide the gaps between sheets.
- Repeat the process until you get a seamless finish.
Other Tips For Drywall Installation
Installing drywall for the first time is a bit tricky.
Once you stock up on drywall sheets, drywall mud, drywall screws, and other tools, you’re good to go!
It’s best to take some tips from experienced installers to save yourself time, money, and frustration.
Here are some tips from the drywall experts to get the best possible results.
Make Sure Each Drywall Sheet Lands On A Stud Or Solid Surface
Achieving a solid and structurally sound wall means you must line up each sheet of drywall with a stud or solid surface.
You must line up each drywall panel with a solid surface, so the drywall screw attaches well.
This is key to succeeding in your drywall job.
Don’t Oversand Drywall
Sometimes people put on a few too many coats of drywall mud.
This leads to a big sanding job.
It tends to be tricky to get a smooth finish on your first attempt at a drywall job, so many people will oversand the drywall.
This leads to a rough and uneven surface on the actual drywall.
This should be avoided at all costs.
It helps to prop a light on an angle to better understand what needs to be sanded and what doesn’t.
This will help you achieve a smooth drywall finish.
Also, find out how thick drywall mud should be in our article and avoid the whole issue!
Don’t Push Screws Too Deep Into Drywall
It is tempting to push screw heads deep into drywall to securely fasten it.
However, this leads to problems down the line.
If the drywall screw breaks the paper’s surface on the drywall, the screw loses a lot of its holding power and won’t keep the drywall sheet secure.
Use a steady hand and keep the drywall screws from driving too deep into the drywall.
Use A Blindmark Tool To Cut Holes For Electrical Boxes
Cutting a drywall hole for electrical boxes is one of the most challenging parts of drywall projects.
It is tough to line the holes up perfectly with where the receptacle must go.
Using a Blindmark tool takes the headache out of this process.
It uses magnets to show you exactly where the electrical receptacle will land.
This makes cutting holes a breeze and will keep you from cutting too big of holes, leading to inconsistencies in wall finishes.
Use A Drywall Rasp To To Square Up Drywall Edges
Another useful tool for drywall projects is a drywall rasp.
The drywall rasp helps achieve fantastic drywall seams and helps to keep each corner of the drywall tight when lining sheets up.
It helps to square edges up and even sand down edges to get a good finish.
If you don’t have one at home, you need it.
Check out this awesome drywall rasp on Amazon.