Drywall and 7' ceilings

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tom Jr, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Tom Jr

    Tom Jr Extra

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    My basement has somewhat low ceilings. The joists are about 7'8" from the floor. I'll probably go with a drop ceiling at about 7'3", so I can access pipes, etc.

    From what I've read, it's best to hang drywall horizontally, and do the top row first. I have a few questions about this, specifically for my situation.

    First, I have no good guide on top to hang the top row, so I was wondering if it might be better to hang the bottom row first. This way I wouldn't have to worry about a gap at the floor, and any imperfections at the top would be above the ceiling line. Also, instead of holding one piece of drywall against another using muscle, I could use gravity (top row rests on bottom row). What do you guys think?

    On a similar note, would it be adviseable to hang the drywall vertically instead of horizontally, given that one sheet would span from floor to past the ceiling? This would eliminate long lengthwise cuts at the top (or bottom) and would eliminate butt joints altogether, but everywhere I read tends to advise against vertical hanging. Again, what do you guys think?

    Thank you,
    Tom
     
  2. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Alex-F-V

    Alex-F-V Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to help my dad hang drywall in the summer time. He did it for 18 years so he knows a thing or two and I'd like to think that I picked some of that stuff up too. [​IMG]

    First of all.... horizontal. It is much better if you go in the horizontal position, and the this is the way the industry does it regardless of hieght.

    Second, make sure to stagger the joints. What I mean by this is that you do not want 4 sheets of drywall to meet up at a point. Very...very bad for finishing. You want them to intersect at "T"'s and NOT in a "+."

    Third, and last, try not to place the drywall right on the ground. I've seen it happen where the drywall will soak up any moisture in the ground and ruin it. A rare case but it does happen. Place a piece of 1/2" "whatever" under the drywall to get it off the floor and not put the burden on you.

    Hope that helps.
    Alex.
     
  4. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    For whaever it's worth, I'm a fan of vertical drywall. That way, all the joints are supported on a stud. I always thought that horizontal installation was just a shortcut, and that the quality of the installation suffered.
    Kinda wondering why Alex says that horizontal is much better, since he has experience.
    Tom, I would assume that you'll put in some kind of baseboard after the drywall's up. If so, then you don't have to worry about a gap.I agree with Alex about the reasons for leaving a space, especially in a basement. What if you had a water leak in the basement? Drywall's pretty thirsty stuff, not to mention the mold/mildew that develops afterwards.
     
  5. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    For walls the height you're talking I'm with Gary.
    Vertically, all your seams butt on the studs, and it's far easier to mud and tape vertically.
    When it comes to leaving a gap between the bottom of the sheet and your floor, cut it after boarding, rather than shimming each board as you go.
    One more thing......if you find mudding and taping a pain, call an expert in to do it for you. They have the tools, they're not all that expensive, and more importantly, they have the skills. Better yet, bring him in beforehand to give you some install tips so he'll be getting joints of the sort he'll prefer to see when he shows up to do his part.
     
  6. Alex-F-V

    Alex-F-V Stunt Coordinator

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    Drywall is engineered to be hung horizontally. It is "stronger" in the horizontal position and hanging it in the vertical position could cause it to sag.
    But in your case I don't really see this as a problem as the top and bottom will be covered and any sag would likely be hidden. Still I would recommened horizontal... but that is my thought.

    As to getting a pro... If your budget can afford it why not?
    But I'm sure they'll recommened vertical as it is easier on them and they will charge you the same. But they will get it done fast and nice. [​IMG]
     
  7. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    I would say the strength is a moot point since you're securing it to the studs anyway.
    I can see the advantage to putting it up horizontally on a wall taller than a 10 ft. sheet, since it will be far more manageable for the installer than a board on the vertical.
    I do not have any "right" answer to one way or the other, but have alot of experience hanging vinyl board, which is far more finicky and unforgiving.
    My thinking is the long sides are the finished edges, and with a wall anywhere under the 10 ft. mark, you'll never be faced with mudding any undressed end to end joints if hung vertically. (one rough end under your base trim, the other above your suspended ceiling, or mudded in a joint with your boarded ceiling)
    You'll also have far less hassle mudding in corner bead without a joint at the 4 ft. mark.
     
  8. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    There are a number of reasons to hang drywall horizontally.

    When hanging horizontally, each sheet bridges more joists, making for a stronger finished wall.

    Most pro applications these days will be 4x12 foot (or even larger) sheets. Hanging horizontally means less seams to tape and mud.

    Drywall is usually hung across the top four feet of wall first then across the bottom. If the walls are less than eight feet, only the bottom sheet would be cut and the cut side would go next to the floor (and be covered by the baseboard). In an 8-foot length of wall, hanging the drywall horizontally would only require trimming one piece of drywall as opposed to trimming both pieces if you hang them vertically.

    Since the cost of installation goes up with more cuts and seams due to time involved, horizontal also makes more sense if you are paying someone to do it.

    In a DIY situation, if you desire to keep all the seams on the studs, there is absolutely no reason why you can't hang vertically. You will have more cuts and seams, but it's your own time involved.
     
  9. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    Think about it......using an 8 x 4 sheet on a 7 foot wall with 16" centers hung vertically you'll have only one cut to make per board. Each board will have it's indented, prepped long side butt to the next board on the 48.
    Horizontally hung on the same wall would require a cut down the long side on every other board, and face having to mud and tape two "unprepped" ends on the vertical, and the horizontal seam at the 4 foot height.
    In my books, go vertical for a wall up to the longest length of board available, with the odd exception depending on the situation.
     
  10. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Another thought. The long edge on a sheet of drywall has a depression so that the first coat of compound and the tape is below the surface of the sheet. This will make a smoother joint.The short or cut edges don't have it.When you tape the short edge, you'll end up with a bigger lump in the finished wall.
     
  11. Alex-F-V

    Alex-F-V Stunt Coordinator

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    Now what I'm really wojndering is if he is really going to hang drywall or not....[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] :p)
     
  12. Tom Jr

    Tom Jr Extra

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  13. Mark McGill

    Mark McGill Stunt Coordinator

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    Load bearing has nothing to do with drywall. Drywall does not increase the structure to any significant degree.

    I've built a few houses and hung alot of drywall and I got to say, get a couple of bids and have it done. An experianced hanger can do a awesome job. You also may want to have the ceiling done to preserve your overall hieght. Forget about accessing pipes, I mean think about it. How often if ever do you have to get to a pipe, and drywall can be repaired.

    Out here on the west coast, virtually no homes use suspended ceiling in basements because it is considered a budget cutting approach. I have no idea why it has caught on in other parts of the country. Good luck.
     
  14. Alex-F-V

    Alex-F-V Stunt Coordinator

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    "Out here on the west coast, virtually no homes use suspended ceiling in basements because it is considered a budget cutting approach. I have no idea why it has caught on in other parts of the country. Good luck. "

    Yeah I've noticed that almost everyone on the east coast talks about suspended cieling and I keep thinking to myself.... WHY?
    But maybe its a west coast thing that is seems more of a "finished" basement with actual drywall on the cielings.
    But does a suspended cieling add anything acoustically?

    But hey everyone has diffenrent taste... Just like speakers, alot of different brands and different sound for different people. [​IMG]
     
  15. Tom Jr

    Tom Jr Extra

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    I agree about the asthetics of a drywall ceiling. Drop ceilings tend to remind me of an office building. I'm just afraid of tearing out drywall if I need to get to pipes, etc. Perhaps this is an unwarranted worry. I suppose I have time to think about it.

    Thanks for all the replies.
     

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