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Old 01-06-2009, 09:28 PM   #1
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How do you shim drywall?


What are the best methods for shimming drywall. I have an older house that has a thicker gypsum board and no matter what size drywall I have on hand to fill spaces it never lines up so I end up shimming in pieces of drywall behind the new dry wall slab to make it even with the existing wall. Is this OK? do I need to use wood or some other method?

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Old 01-06-2009, 09:46 PM   #2
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How do you shim drywall?


They actually sell long strips of dense cardboard for this very purpose. The Home Depot near me has them.

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Old 01-07-2009, 12:13 AM   #3
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How do you shim drywall?


My building has something called "gyproc lath" plaster walls. Instead of wood lath, it has what might be described as primitive drywall nailed to the studs, and the basecoat and gauging coat plaster were then applied to that "drywall".

The problem is that the studs in the walls aren't always straight. Sometimes they're curved, twisted, and/or bending in different directions. And, on top of that, the plaster applied to that drywall varies in thickness. So, when I have to repair a hole in that plaster wall with drywall, I often have to come up with creative ways to do it.

If it's a bigger size hole, I just cut out the hole to the closest offsetting studs and fasten pieces of spruce 2X2 to those with 3 inch drywall screws to provide new surfaces to fasten the drywall patch to. Then I just build up the whole area with base coat plaster and then top coat with joint compound to bring the repair flush with the surrounding wall. I'll cut the paint off the plaster around the repair, put fiberglass mesh joint tape over the joint surrounding the repair and mud over that.

If I've taken the plaster off a large section of wall, I'll use some pieces of clear cedar or clear fir as straight edges and clamp them across my crooked studs, then I'll "sister" those studs with new studs that are aligned at top and bottom with the straight edges and just screw my drywall to the new studs rather than the originals. (sometimes that involves getting out my planer and planing down any of the old studs that stick out proud of the plane established by the two straight edges.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:26 AM   #4
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How do you shim drywall?


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
They actually sell long strips of dense cardboard for this very purpose. The Home Depot near me has them.
THANKS! What should I ask for when I go in there?
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:20 AM   #5
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How do you shim drywall?


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THANKS! What should I ask for when I go in there?
If there's a technical name for them then I don't know it. I think I'd describe them as those cardboard sheetrock shim strip whatchacallies. They're sold in bundles, I'm thinking 4' lengths.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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How do you shim drywall?


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
If there's a technical name for them then I don't know it. I think I'd describe them as those cardboard sheetrock shim strip whatchacallies. They're sold in bundles, I'm thinking 4' lengths.
Is this special reinforced or treated cardboard or can I use just regular cardboard?
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:36 PM   #7
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How do you shim drywall?


Tripower, as termit mentioned these shims are high density so they don't crush when you screw drywall to it. You might be able to use regular cardboard but i think i paid around 5 bucks for a big bundle of shims, they are pretty cheap. My local menards has them. Here is a link of what we are talking about http://www.mencoroyal.com/index_files/Page1868.htm
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:55 PM   #8
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How do you shim drywall?


I think what you are talking about is called "furring" strips. My answer to the question would be specific to the task. I've always approached this as a case by case basis. I have plaster walls and they are random thicknesses throughout. I built a wall to join into another wall this passed week and I used 1/4" and an 1/8" sheets of mdf to fur the wall to the proper thickness. I have furring strips as well as a second layer of drywall.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:30 PM   #9
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How do you shim drywall?


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Tripower, as termit mentioned these shims are high density so they don't crush when you screw drywall to it. You might be able to use regular cardboard but i think i paid around 5 bucks for a big bundle of shims, they are pretty cheap. My local menards has them. Here is a link of what we are talking about http://www.mencoroyal.com/index_files/Page1868.htm
Where are they at in menards?
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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How do you shim drywall?


If you ask for furring strips you'll get wooden ones. These are drywall shims.

I would not use regular cardboard because it will compress where you screw the rock down but it won't where you dont, and that might cause slight waviness in the drywall vertically. Regular cardboard...The corrugated stuff...Would be pretty hard to predict exactly how far it would compress.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:33 PM   #11
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How do you shim drywall?


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
If you ask for furring strips you'll get wooden ones. These are drywall shims.

I would not use regular cardboard because it will compress where you screw the rock down but it won't where you dont, and that might cause slight waviness in the drywall vertically. Regular cardboard...The corrugated stuff...Would be pretty hard to predict exactly how far it would compress.
I went to Lowes and they didn't even know what I was talking about. You said HD has them?
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:48 PM   #12
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How do you shim drywall?


The HD here has them. I've never looked to see if Lowes does. I wouldn't ask...I'd look. You can't expect any "help" at a box store.

If you don't find them there go to a sheetrock supply company in your area. Pretty much all cities have them.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:12 PM   #13
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How do you shim drywall?


Hi there, the item you are talking about is drywall butt strips,I have used them for furring stips on bad studs, ceiling,
joists, The main use is on 4 foot drywall butts, when hanging walls and ceilings you place the strip one stud or joist
back from your butt, therefore leaving a recess for tapeing and finishing.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:20 PM   #14
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How do you shim drywall?


Gotta love these wild goose chases. Went to HD the guy who does the ordering for the construction desk had never heard of these items and we checked and they don't carry them.

I do not have time to go running around town for non-existent cardboard strips. If no one has any other ideas I will simply cut pieces of drywall or even 2 X 4 to shim it in.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:29 PM   #15
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How do you shim drywall?


Try checking the drywall section, I know you probally did already.butt...i just bought cardboard shims yesterday at home depot, They need someone new at the front desk.I am really starting to wonder about H.D.

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