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rtoni 10-31-2008 09:57 AM

drywall - perpendicular to studs/joists?
reading thru some of the material / watching some of the videos on drywall installation (links provided here in various threads - thanks to AtlanticWB and others for those). Common suggestion is to install drywall perpendicular to framing - but they don't really explain why - i'm assuming this is better structurally? (e.g. less chance of cracking along tape joints later...?) I dunno....

from a DIY perspective seems to me that installing 8' sheets vertically on walls eliminates butt joints, whereas horizontally (perpendicular to studs) means at least a few butt joints, which are harder for me to finish (pro's make it look easy, but it's an art to get it right). Anyway, just wondering which is really the better approach, and why - any thoughts appreciated



wildcat 10-31-2008 10:14 AM

Yes it is better structurally for the drywall to span horizontally w/ the vertical joints staggered. It provides some lateral stability to the wall to keep it from racking. If you install it vertically it will not provide as much stability because if the wall tries to rack, the long vertical seems between the sheets will just allow the sheets to slip against one another.

If your wall was braced laterally within the wall framing, then there wouldn't really be any issues with installing sheets vertically. However its no very economical and the lateral bracing can get in the way of plumbing, electrical and hvac.

I've seen lots of cold formed steel framed walls braced laterally with metal strapping (lots of screws are used), but even then I've never seen the drywall applied vertically.

Sammy 10-31-2008 10:16 AM

I prefer vertical so the drywall joints are on the studs... Just makes em stronger and less prone to cracking in my opinion.

Horizontal helps feather out bad framing which makes waves in your walls.

But you can still do vertical on a bad wall with a little shimming before the drywall goes up. Just run a string across the wall at several heights to see where shimming is needed.

bjbatlanta 10-31-2008 10:59 AM

Drywall is generally "stood up" on commercial (metal stud) work. You don't have the crooked stud issues as you do with wood framing. which make for more noticeable joints. Also, there is less taping involved if you lay the board down. Example - on a 12' wall you have a 12' wall flat to tape if the rock is laid down. If you stand it up, you have 16' of flat to tape (possibly 24 depending on how the studs lay out). It's much easier to work at the 4' height to finish as opposed to reach up to the ceiling and down to the floor pulling mud. An exception, many times, to the rule is on 9' ceilings. Standing the board up with 9' board is easier than finishing a 1' rip in the middle. There is some truth I suspect, to the structural stability argument too. Score and break a piece of drywall lengthwise and you'll see it breaks easier than the 4' direction. Drywall CAN be hung either way.

robin power 10-31-2008 11:10 AM

The bottom line it to acheive the least amount of joints possible. the job gets done faster and there is less possibility of cracking. Typical drywallers don't use 8 foot sheets unless absolutly necessary. 12' sheets can't be hung verticaly when you have an 8' ceiling. Hang it in whichever direction is easyest for your application. Whenever possible use the longest sheets you can. I would not be concerened about the structural aspect of it.

bjbatlanta 10-31-2008 11:33 AM

Agree with Robin......if you're counting on drywall for TRUE structural stability, there's a problem. If you get your board from a drywall supply, you can even get 14' drywall. In some areas, I understand you can still get 16'. A bit more than the average DIY'er may want to handle, though, especially overhead. Cover the most ground possible with the least amount of finishing would be my first inclination. In your case, make it easy on yourself. Either method of hanging will produce acceptable results in the end. Best of luck.

rtoni 10-31-2008 12:58 PM

thanks everyone for the great responses. Yes I did kinda lean towards 8' sheets because as mentioned it's probably a bit easier for a DIY to handle, but I also have a couple smaller rooms where a 12' sheet would span an entire wall, so as mentioned less taping there with a longer sheet might be much better.

this is all wood framing - done as carefully as I could, but certainly not perfect, so the point about crooked studs is noted too.

i did do some lateral bracing (e.g. load bearing walls) but not everywhere for sure - I wasn't counting on drywall to do the job but if it adds something then I guess that's a bonus

great info all around - thanks all


bjbatlanta 10-31-2008 01:32 PM

Even "being as careful as you could" with the framing, you'll have problems with the lumber "moving". It's the "nature of the beast" with the process of growing, to milling, to "end user" in this day and time of forestry. Again, laying the drywall down is more "forgiving" on wood studs. The stability gained by the installation of drywall MAY be factored in when a home is "structurally" designed, I can't say for sure. It's more of an added benefit (is my guess) as to the overall advantage........ You mention lateral bracing/load bearing walls, post some pics if you're not sure on that. Someone with more knowledge than myself in that dept. will reply.

rtoni 10-31-2008 03:27 PM

thanks again for the add'l info

scanning the camera for pics of the inside walls - don't have any on there that show this clearly but will try to remember to shoot a couple next trip out - basically load bearing walls are 2x6 x 8' high - I just cut 2x6's into 14 1/2" pieces and nailed these up between studs at approx 48" from the floor

i did not do this on exterior walls (plywood sheathing) as I understand the sheathing provides more than the required additional structural support to the wall. my thinking was interior load bearing walls where this would add quite a bit of bearing capacity vs studs alone. realizing that it might need some extra work to run some of the plumbing, etc. but looking to max the bearing capacity - even if a bit of overkill.

sorry if i got this off track a bit - thanks again for the help...

bjbatlanta 10-31-2008 04:24 PM

Not to worry. We'd rather you err "on the side of caution". Sounds like you've done your the pics if in doubt. As I said, someone with more framing " know how" will input if there's a problem.

rtoni 11-03-2008 02:23 PM

thanks - and what better place to go for help with the homework than a site like this? :thumbsup:

it's a bit off track but i gotta say - i got a bad taste from some of the trades over the last year or so - too busy to return a simple phone call - they could learn a thing or 2 about customer service from the people who take the time to lend a hand on this site

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