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Old 04-22-2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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Caulking Drywall Corners


I hired somebody to come in and mud/sand a renovated area, he's telling me that he recommends I caulk all of the corners to allow for "shifting" over time. Swears this is the way all drywall is finished now. My initial thoughts were 1. yeah, it covers up if you did a crappy corner job 2. it would deter from the look of a sharp corner 3. this house is 60 years old, I think the studs are done shifting 4. that's a LOT of caulk?!?

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Old 04-22-2008, 09:33 AM   #2
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That's not the way they do it in our part of the world, and it's not an acceptable finishing method. Fire him, this guy wouldn't qualify for the dubious title of "hack."

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Old 04-22-2008, 11:17 AM   #3
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He's a hack. You don't caulk drywall. Period.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:32 AM   #4
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The "hack" happens to be a neighbor down the block who is somewhat the neighborhood handyman; I hire him ocassionally for the work I don't want to do.... like mudding and sanding!!! He's done with the job (and did good work I might add) so lets be nice. I'm not an idiot, he's not a hack; his corners look good so I'm trying to understand why he would recommend caulk, and if anyone had heard of it.

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Old 04-22-2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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There are times that caulk can handle small shifting cracks.

Is it a common practice? no.

Is it advised? One in 1000 jobs - if it's a framing issue. If that doesn't solve an issue, it then requires re-taping the area. What jobs have we done this with? New construction cathedral peaks (ridge). We have done it about 6 times in 25 years. Inevry one of those 6 cases, the caulk solved the issue.

FWIW: When we get called in for a taping, coating, sanding job...we will not warranty the work, since we did not hang the sheetrock. We cannot guarantee that the framing was up to par, or the sheetrock was installed properly....
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:51 PM   #6
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You're obviously doubting the methods employed by your handyman, therefore you posted a question asking peoples' opinions.

You got two opinions, both short and sweet, then proceeded to scold us for insulting the handymand that you called into question in the first place.

Lesson learned.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
You got two opinions, both short and sweet,
....and baseless, and unfounded, without any factual justification. I ask for background to a method and your answer is "no, what a hack". Good opinion, bad answer. Thank you Atlantic for some actual background information, which makes great sense, and answers the question without stating your personal stance on it or degrading a handyman you don't know.

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You don't caulk drywall. Period.
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Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
We have done it about 6 times in 25 years. Inevry one of those 6 cases, the caulk solved the issue.
I'd still like to hear additional cases where people may have seen this done, good or bad. Thanks!

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Old 04-22-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
I'd still like to hear additional cases where people may have seen this done, good or bad. Thanks!
When you first brought up the mention of caulking corners, you used it in the context of "finishing" and it really isn't appropriate for most drywall installs. It just isn't the way it should be done. Generally if the drywall is moving that much...there's greater underlying issues.

That said, I've had rooms that some how the tape was punctured in the corner, and rather than removing the tape, and messing with the texture, a good paintable caulk fills the gap. No muss, no fuss. Way quicker than mudding and taping...and not a whole room.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
I hired somebody to come in and mud/sand a renovated area, he's telling me that he recommends I caulk all of the corners to allow for "shifting" over time. Swears this is the way all drywall is finished now. My initial thoughts were 1. yeah, it covers up if you did a crappy corner job 2. it would deter from the look of a sharp corner 3. this house is 60 years old, I think the studs are done shifting 4. that's a LOT of caulk?!?

Feedback?
Wonder where they got the idea there may be some concern?
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
I'd still like to hear additional cases where people may have seen this done, good or bad. Thanks!
Everyone, I'd recommend only telling success stories. Otherwise your remarks will be considered baseless.

Sorry I didn't tell you what you wanted to hear in the comforting way you wanted to hear it. Honestly, I think your suspicion that he's covering up a poor corner job is dead on. I have inspected literally thousands of homes and commercial projects...Both new construction and remodels of existing structures...And I've never seen a professional builder, handyman, DIY-er, or sheetrocker caulking corners. Could/would I turn someone down for it? Nope, not unless it was in a fire assembly. Would I pay someone to do it? Heck no. I've never seen it as an approved means of finishing in the Gypsum Association manual, UL, or any other industry publication. My remarks were brief and probably a tad bit harsh, but they certainly aren't baseless.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:35 PM   #11
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Here's a great PDF that will help with the installation and finishing....
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:29 PM   #12
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I'm not a pro,but I am a well seasoned DIY'er. I'm certainly not a hack,but yes caulk has a place in my wall finishing and painting arsensal.As earlier mentioned,where settling and seasonal shifting are problems a good flexible caulk can be the answer . I have used caulk as a base patch on both plaster and drywall to provide a resilient joint before finishing with joint compound or spackle many times with excellent results.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:39 AM   #13
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I have seen caulked corners once... in a DJ booth at a nightclub I worked in. The DJ booth is dark and no one sees it, so the owners decided to save some labor hours by having them caulk instead of mud and tape. In the dark you can't tell at all, but when the lights are on in there it's pretty clear what they did.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:51 AM   #14
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Bottom line:
Drywall in new construction, in new additions, in gutted renovation work....never involves caulking as part of it's standard installation & finishing process.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #15
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I have calked part of a corner as a touch up method. The drywall was already finished, tape and mud, primed and ready for paint. A few spots in the corners that were uneven or had a chip in them. A little painters calk on the pinky to smooth it out for paint.

But never an entire corner to finish new drywall. In the corners you need the flaring out to give a smooth finish and cover all the corner fasteners, so it is a necessary step IMO.

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