Q&A / 

How To Install Drywall

DEAR TIM: What is the proper way to drywall? Should I butt the pieces of drywall very close together or leave a space between pieces of drywall? Anne S., Tampa, FL

DEAR ANNE: The proper way to install drywall is to butt pieces together tightly. Do this on all flat surfaces such as walls and ceilings. But in corners, I always cut the drywall so there was a one-eighth to one-quarter-inch gap between the two pieces as they meet in a corner. If you try to cut drywall so it fits tightly in corners, you will get frustrated in a big hurry.

The frustration is caused by the rough cut edge of the drywall. When you score a piece of drywall with a razor knife and then snap it in two, the resulting edge is rough. These bumps often stick past your pencil line or razor cut line making the piece of drywall longer than what you want it.

The rough bumps can be quickly removed with a special, small rasp. Professional sheetrock hangers always have one of these in their tool belt. This is a secret trick not often seen by do-it-yourselfers. But rasping off the edges does create additional dust, so keep this in mind.

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