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slinku2020 03-19-2008 11:15 AM

Drywall - Horizontal or vertical
I just finished framing the basement and am almost ready to start hanging drywall (I had an electrician take care of electrical work).
Hanging drywall vertically seems easy since I can do it myself. Some people said that I should hang drywall horizontally since it will be easy when I'm finishing it. While I want to do things right, I don't want my friends to hate me for making them carry heavy drywall while I put in screws.

Is there a standard when it comes to hanging drywall?


moneymgmt 03-19-2008 11:18 AM

I've learned it depends on dimensions and where the seams fall. If your wall is +/- 8' then you want to go vertically so you have no end seams, which are harder to mud.

yummy mummy 03-19-2008 02:18 PM

The correct way of hanging drywall, (what the pros do) is hanging drywall horizontally. (horizontal seams are less noticeable to the eye and easier to mud) Though I have seen them hung vertically also.

I have just finished hanging my drywall horizontally. I placed a couple of nails 48 1/2 inches (need a little extra room to situate it on the wall) from the ceiling and then I got my very unhandy husband to help me lift it up on the wall and let it rest on the nails so that I can screw the sheet in.

Very easy.
(If yummy mummy can do it, so can you......:laughing: )

Good luck.

AtlanticWBConst. 03-19-2008 02:35 PM

Residential work is always horizontal (Sheets laid down).

Think about it:

Example: 12' wall x 8' high.......You install a 12' sheet laid horizontally = 12' of seam to tape and coat.

12' wall x 8' high......You install sheets standing up = 3 vertical seams x 8' high = 24' of seams to tape and coat.

AtlanticWBConst. 03-19-2008 02:38 PM


Originally Posted by moneymgmt (Post 109123)
I've learned it depends on dimensions and where the seams fall. If your wall is +/- 8' then you want to go vertically so you have no end seams, which are harder to mud.

Yes, there are other factors that affect sheet layout too.

kgphoto 03-21-2008 12:47 AM

There are commercially available devices to hold drywall in place while you attach it. These can be as simple as little clips or crank operated drywall lifts.
Check out TelPro and Hercule lifts on YOU-tube.

slinku2020 03-21-2008 07:34 AM

Thank you all for your suggestions.
My basement is going to be one big open area (L-shaped) without rooms. Becase of space restrictions (along the stairs), the largest drywall sheet I could get into the basement was 4x8.

Reading all the responses, it seems like structurally it doesn't matter whether I hang the sheets vertically or horizontally. It's only the ease of finishing that makes horizontal more preferable.
Also, I'm going to put in drop ceiling so I don't have to worry about wall to ceiling finishing (which seems to be one of the more difficult tasks).


kgphoto 03-21-2008 10:41 AM

Actually there is a structural betterment from putting them in horizontally. It also reduces cracks and reduces the amount of seams to finish and hides imperfections in the framing more easily. Since your walls are load bearing, do them horizontally.

ThunderCAT 01-29-2009 10:24 PM

Because of my basement stairway configuration, I do not believe I can get even 4x8 drywall sheets down and around the corner of the staircase - my staircase makes a 180-degree turn halfway down). I brought 4x8 sheets of extruded styrene down, but had to bend them a bit to get them down and around the corner. My house is built on a flat lot, so I only have one small egress window, so the staircase is the only option.

My thoughts are that I would have to get 12' sheets and cut them in half to get them downstairs in 4x6 sheets. Are there any better options for me? I know this means more taping, but I just don't know what else to do...

perpetualjon 01-30-2009 01:09 PM

Ouch!! Well just try and get as few seams as possible. Sure, it's better in general to use longer sheets and run a single seam through the middle of the wall --but not everyone can drive home with a few 8' x 12' sheets of drywall strapped to the top of their car!! Is it worth it to rent a truck just to bring home a few longer sheets? I think so (then again, I just borrow a friends truck to get the job done). In your case, I'd recommend that you try and get the longest and largest strips down those stairs as possible (meaning, I'd even go from 4x6 to 4x12 if you can get them down the stairs). This means, if your walls are no longer than 12', you will have no points where all 4 corners are meeting on the wall... Good luck and let us know what you manage to do!!

comp1911 01-30-2009 03:55 PM


Originally Posted by moneymgmt (Post 109123)
I've learned it depends on dimensions and where the seams fall. If your wall is +/- 8' then you want to go vertically so you have no end seams, which are harder to mud.

8'+ to 9' use 54" wide rock.

These walls are 8'6". 48" sheet on top and a ripped 54" sheet below. I did it all myself even with 12' sheets. Well I did have help hauling it in. ;)

Willie T 01-30-2009 04:51 PM

I typed out a long, long post on some of the ways to make hanging drywall easier, but the forum gremlins ate it before I could hit <ENTER>.

But I will repeat one thing here:
  • Hang the top sheets first, and do it all horizontially. No wall is flat, and vertical D/W will only help show up this fact. Horizontal sheets (offset top and bottom) hide much of this classic problem.
  • Measure up from the floor 49" (assuming 8' or less ceilings) and make a level line from left to right, all the way to the corners.
  • Screw 2 x 4's beneath this line. This will give you a resting place for the top sheets while you screw. (The pros don't do it this way, but they are used to holding up those heavy sheets. You are not.) Let the 2 x 4" do the work for you.
  • After all the upper row is in place, take the 2 x 4's off.
  • Then install the lower row of sheets, offset by half the length of the top sheets. Use a couple of friends with pry-bars (crowbars work well) to hoist these sheets up tight against the top sheets while you screw.
I went into a lot more in the lost post, but this should be enough to keep you from hurting your back or making wavy walls.

perpetualjon 01-30-2009 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by Willie T (Post 222089)
Hang the top sheets first...

Stupid question, but wouldn't hanging the lower sheets first be easier since you can just lay the sheets on top of each other?

yummy mummy 01-30-2009 05:19 PM

By hanging the top sheet first, you can get a nice tight fit to the ceiling and any gap that you may end up with will be at the bottom where the baseboard will hide any irregularities.

(I can't believe I'm actually answering a question instead of asking one.....:laughing:)

perpetualjon 01-30-2009 05:21 PM

Ahhhh... That makes total sense!! Now I really feel stupid!!

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