Are you a DIYer that is looking to do some drywall improvements in your home, but has never worked with drywall? Then you have found a great guide that will tell you some much-needed information to get started. First, you need to know this material is very common and popular. Its no wonder professionals use it as it is very inexpensive compared to other materials like wood planks, plaster, and so many other options. It also gives you many ways of easily working with it. As a beginner, you might not know how to get started. But keep in mind that working with drywall isn’t so complicated.
There are various reasons why most people use drywall. First, like we mentioned its a inexpensive material. wants to do drywall projects. One typical 4 x 8 drywall panel costs around $7. This makes it the perfect pick for budget-friendly home projects. Also, it’s beginner-friendly. Even if you don’t have much or any experience, you can be sure that it will not be hard at all. Keep in mind that you will need a set of tools to get started with.
Here are some basic tips that will get you started!
Choose the right drywall panels
Drywall is a fairly light building material for interiors. It is made of a layer of material called gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate). It’s sandwiched and glued between two layers of thick paper. It’s known by many names including sheetrock, wallboard, gypsum board, plasterboard, and many others.
There are many advantages to using drywall. The panels can be easily installed on any surface, including ceilings and odd-shaped spaces like arches and curved geometry. But also, the whole process won’t take much time. Even beginners will be able to work with it, so you won’t need a professional if you just read up a bit and get a good handle on the process before you start.
Keep in mind that there are different types of thicknesses and sizes that you can use in your project. Check your local building code to make sure you build up to code and are using the right panels to precisely get the look and performance you need from drywall. Always have this on your mind when getting the right thickness. While on the other hand, the size of the panels isn’t strictly regulated.
There are different sizes of panels. The most commonly used is 4 x 8 feet. But keep in mind that there are larger ones available such as 4 x 12 feet and 4 x 16 feet. You should use the size that will result in fewer joints when you finish the mounting process. But keep in mind that as a DIYer, you can carry a limited weight of panels. If you are a beginner, you are recommended to go for the 4 x 8 feet panels. Working with larger panels will require more than one person. At a minimum, you need another person to help, but we recommend a few people because the panels’ weight can get a bit heavy and cumbersome when installing.
The thickness should be chosen according to the building requirements. Check up with the building code to see the specific requirements. Keep in mind that standard panels come in ¼ inch, ½ inch, and ⅝ inch thickness.
¼ inch panels are commonly used as a double wall. They are placed over an existing surface and are known to work with curved surfaces easily. The thin drywall can be dampened a little bit to adjust to the curved area and let it dry to re-harden.
½ inch drywall panels are used for interior walls. It is considered to be the standard thickness for drywall. It is the most commonly used one for home renovations. One panel that is ½ inch thick and sizes 4 x 8 can weight around 50 pounds.
⅝ inch is the thickest panel. It is called the fire-resistant drywall. It is used when the building code imposes the use of fire-resistant materials. The thick drywall is also sound-proof. It is also used for constructing sturdier interior walls.
Drywall with a specific purpose
Sometimes, you will require a specific type of drywall panel for your home project. If you renovate a room that is prone to moisture, you can go for moisture-resistant panels. This is an excellent idea for a bathroom or a basement renovation. The drywall has unique materials that prevent mold buildup, which is crucial in a humid environment.
You can also find fire-resistant drywall. When it is exposed to fire, it will release the water present in the structure as steam. Also, it has a special reinforcement to withstand more prolonged periods of exposure to fire.
There are special soundproof panels if you want to block the noise. The panels are made of high-density gypsum, which doesn’t allow sound waves to travel to other areas of the home.
Get the right tools
If you want to work with drywall, you will have to get the proper tools. There are some specialized tools that you need to get. But also, there are some standard tools that you might already have in your collection.
You can check your inventory to see if you already have some of the tools available, but if you don’t, we recommend that you buy them online. These are the most commonly used tools by beginners:
- A jab saw is the right tool for cutting the panels. In many cases, you will need a small and awkwardly shaped piece to finish the wall. This saw is specially designed for cutting through drywall panels without damaging it.
- T-square is the tool that will help you cut the panels accurately.
- Drywall knives are a must-have tool. You can’t use any other putty knives for this specific purpose. You will need at least a set of 4-inch, 6-inch, and 12-inch drywall knives. These different-sized knives are meant for specific jobs like taping, sloping mud, and the finishing touches. You can usually find them at a very low price.
- Cordless drills are useful for attaching the panels onto the wall. Since they don’t have a cord and are battery operated, you can easily work with them.
- Sanding sponges are used for touch-ups. They have an abrasive side that you will use to even out the surfaces. It would be best if you had a sponge that you will use dry, and one that you will use wet. For surfaces that are hard to reach like the ceiling, use a sanding pole.
- Drywall screws are a must. The most commonly used size is 5/8-inch.