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Old 12-16-2009, 08:31 AM   #1
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


This is going to be an extremely stupid question for you guys, but I am not sure? I just patched and painted my living room/dining room walls. (they are about 100 years old or very close to it) I am considering, (Eventually when cash flow is better) to cover the walls in sheetrock. The wall aren't that bad, I don't think)(being even) but the sheetrock would be better I believe. How would I go about hanging and shimming the sheetrock to make it 100% flat/level/even? My guess is 1x4 shimmed but I have never done this before? Same thing goes for my floor. Covered in 1950's tile (not ceramic vinyl I believe probably asbestos) some are breaking/popping up. If I cover with carpet wouldn't be a problem, but I suspect my wife is looking for laminate floor?

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Old 12-16-2009, 09:10 AM   #2
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


I put down a laminate floor in part of our house. It's OK, but not as nice as wood, which isn't any harder to put down, and seems to cost less besides. I've been using bamboo, which I'm really happy with.

Regarding the walls, been there, done that.

If your studs are vertical, then you can use 1x4 horizontally, and put shims behind as necessary. My studs weren't vertical. And they werent' on 16 inch centers. I ran two strings, one at the ceiling, and one at the floor. I pulled the strings in enough so that the new wall could be straight and plumb. I set the strings 1.5" inside where I wanted the new studs. Then I put up new studs on 16" centers, using the end of a stud as a spacer (so the spacer goes between the string and the stud to evaluate the location, then use the spacer to guage the next stud, and so forth).

I also checked each new stud for plumb, and used a straightege across them.

I cut old panneling on the tablesaw to 1.5" and where ever there was a 1/8" dip I used a stapler to put up a strip of wood. I got peel and stick tiles to make up smaller dips.

In the past I tried shimming out individual existing studs and inserting additional as necessary. It takes a lot longer and studs are cheap.

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Old 12-16-2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


1x3 furring lath is plenty good enough to hang drywall on and a lot cheaper than 1x4s. place them horizontally. Start at the top and run a strip every 16" till you get to the floor. Use a pair of tapered shim shingles at every intersection between stud and strip. When you are ready, people on here can guide you on setting up your strings to make things flat.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


Oh, I meant to mention that 5/8" drywall hangs better on old work, especially if things are perfectly flat. That's what we put up in the living room (after putting in the new studs) and it looks stellar.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


Me thinks it is quite a bit easier to attach a 2X3 to the existing studs on each end of the wall. After plumbing the studs run a string at the top and bottom of each stud. Go across the wall and attach the remaining 2X3's, using the string lines to plumb the wall. Quite a bit easier to loosen and attach elec. boxes to the build out.

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Old 12-17-2009, 06:18 AM   #6
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


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Originally Posted by Kevin M. View Post
Me thinks it is quite a bit easier to attach a 2X3 to the existing studs on each end of the wall. After plumbing the studs run a string at the top and bottom of each stud. Go across the wall and attach the remaining 2X3's, using the string lines to plumb the wall. Quite a bit easier to loosen and attach elec. boxes to the build out.

kk
Sounds like a good idea!
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:58 AM   #7
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


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Sounds like a good idea!
Just remember when doing it this way, that you shift your stud centers one direction by 1-1/2" and if your original studs aren't on proper centers, they still won't be after you scab a 2x3 to them. I bring this up because you'll need to be careful in laying out your drywall so that the edges of the sheets fall where you need them.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


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Me thinks it is quite a bit easier to attach a 2X3 to the existing studs on each end of the wall.
If the original studs are vertical (not skewed in the bays like mine) and on 16" centers (not more or less 24" -- frequently more), and if the wall is generally straight (mine wasn't), then that woud definitely be a good approach.

It's hard to say what the best approach is until you open them up, pull some strings, and see what you have.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:23 PM   #9
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


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Originally Posted by pyper View Post
If the original studs are vertical (not skewed in the bays like mine) and on 16" centers (not more or less 24" -- frequently more), and if the wall is generally straight (mine wasn't), then that woud definitely be a good approach.

It's hard to say what the best approach is until you open them up, pull some strings, and see what you have.
Hey Pyper,

What we usually do is nail off the 2X3 at the top plate and bottom plate next to the stud not connected to the stud. As you mentioned you run into lots of cupped, bowed, twisted studs in the old houses with plaster and lath. I ran into a wall that had two inches of plaster on the top corner and maybe a quarter inch on the bottom. The corner stud was out of plumb by a full 1 1/2 " or so.

We strap alot of ceilings with 1X3's. The 2X3 deal doesn't work very well on most ceilings due to span lengths. Besides, the sheetrock would have to hang off that, so it would need more stability. The first bad ceiling I strapped using a laser was like utopia or something . Technology, very cool.

kk
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:33 PM   #10
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How to properly shim sheetrock/plywood?


Real estate agents have been known to hate me but I usually carry a nice round marble or large ball bearing with me to see how a house sits. An old geezer taught me that larger round things would find the lowest corner and tell you how things rest and where you are likely to be out of plumb then anything else?

You'e screwed if it is carpeted.

I would take a square or framing level to a few places instead? You know, it is ancient technology but a good old fashioned plumb bob still works?

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