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code against caulking drywall inside corners?


gunner666's Avatar
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NY

12-24-14, 10:38 PM   #1  
code against caulking drywall inside corners?

anyone know where I could find the code for this?
Saw a video they caulk where ceiling meets wall and inside wall corners. Saves so much time and sanding.

Googled it and read a bunch of threads. It's commonly done in commercial jobs no problem. Some do it simply to save time, or better expansion prevents cracks. or in a tiny corner where they can't fit taping knives, or when replacing drywall that meets a textured ceiling instead of scraping the texture off to bed paper and then retexture.

Others say never do it pretty much only because it will eventually crack or fall out but many have replied it's lasted 15+ years no problem and actually prevents cracking. I read many threads and the consensus seems to be that it's perfectly fine if done correctly (not on bare plaster where it won't adhere etc). But is there a code against this for whatever reason?

One thing is to make sure it's fire rated caulk because regular flammable caulk is no substitute for fireproof/resistant drywall mud. And not silicone since paint won't stick to it well.


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Bud9051's Avatar
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ME

12-25-14, 03:39 AM   #2  
Happy holidays,
Since I'm up (again) and since there may be a wait for the real pros on this issue I'll add my thoughts.
Never heard of a code issue but have never seen the practice used more than a small tight location.
My biggest concern would be today's and tomorrow's air tightness standards. They are tough enough to meet with current drywall practices and leakage does increase over time. In the future, if that caulk fails in the slightest, it could be reflected in a reduction in property value. They aren't currently using energy evaluations as part of the home appraisal, but indications are they want to. They call it the MPG sticker for homes.
As for taping being difficult, I disagree. As for sanding, not done except after final coat and then very lightly. I'm not a drywall pro, but once I gave myself a chance to practice I discovered I can do a pretty good job and with all of the online videos, there have to be some teaching it correctly. No videos in my days.

best,
Bud

 
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12-25-14, 03:46 AM   #3  
IMO caulked drywall corners equals a substandard job

As Bud said, drywall finishing [including corners] isn't that difficult. Taped corners will look better and are less likely to fail. By the time you fill all the nail/screw heads and take care of any bad cuts in the corner - you could have taped and finished it correctly!


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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12-25-14, 05:06 AM   #4  
Fairly easy to get a nice tight butt joint up against the ceiling as you are installing a full board in many cases. Not so much in the corners though. Many times the cut is less than perfect as you have to flex the board into place. Walls are not plumb and you end up hacking another 1/4" off one end and the result is a mess in the corners. Happily, mud and tape make the whole mess look perfect again. May be different for someone who does drywall everyday 24/7, but the occasional hanger (myself included even as a pro) would be hard pressed to have a corner nice enough to simply caulk.

 
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12-25-14, 07:37 AM   #5  
I have a pro dry wall guy I use. He recommends caulking corners, all corners. But this is after mudding and taping corners. So you are doing both.


Brian
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12-25-14, 08:14 AM   #6  
I've caulked some corners on repaints before but don't see the need for it on freshly finished drywall although if the finishing isn't precise, the caulk can dress up the corner a little.


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gunner666's Avatar
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12-25-14, 12:30 PM   #7  
I forgot to note this should only be done on butt corners (not joints of course) of drywall. If you hang drywall vertically, the factory butts should be at the ceiling and your cut at the floor, instead of the factory bevel if hung horizontally which I wouldn't caulk unless asked to because you'll see the bevel that should be filled in with mud. On inside factory corners when hanging boards vertically, you'd have the same thing. And there's that small section of factory bevel joint at the ceiling every 4' also that would need mud even if you hang the boards vertically.

Just try and keep it consistent, if the drywall isn't tight and making a good inside corner and would need a fat bead of caulk that doesn't match a sharp taped corner, then mud those also.

 
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02-16-16, 07:47 PM   #8  
I was rethinking this after recently taping and mudding a bunch of inside corners. I decided to tape and mud because I wanted to make sure it was fire rated just to have it done as correctly as possible but I don't think such a code exists.

I did about 10 feet with tape and said F this and was going to caulk the inside corners the next day with fire retardant caulk. I think inside corners are much more work than any butt joint or factory-to-factory joint (except ceilings which are the hardest).

I changed my mind and continued taping and mudding but I would much rather have just put some caulk and then screed the caulk out to a crisp 90 degree with a caulking tool.


The reason I don't think there's a fire code against this is because even though the walls require outlets every 6 feet or so for code (wiring etc a possible fire threat but also the main point is to just contain a fire from lack of oxygen or spreading to another room), it could just be a half wall, then you have all that open area where a fire could spread.
And all inside corners of course are framing members, even if you had a 3/8" void where two drywalls meet, you have a 2x4 or metal stud behind that. It's also like saying you have to tape and mud the bottom corners where the floor meets the wall, even though that usually gets moulding which is approx 1/2" of more wood (more material to slow down a fire), the moulding can be commercial flammable rubber. I really don't think there can be a code against this as if to say like 'you don't have to mud (or anything fireproof) every corner but if possible, then you need to".





This is all besides the point of cracking. Joint compound cracks all the time, regardless if you use mesh tape (on an inside corner is very difficult and no one really does that) and if you uses setting type compound (stronger than premixed compound). Houses settle and move etc. I don't know why anyone would say caulk is more likely to crack. It's made to expand and contract. Sure it can crack but I think even the cheapest caulk is less likely to crack vs green lid USG drywall compound (stronger than the blue lid or light green lid and is for the base coat because it provides strength but doesn't sand as easily as blue or light green lid).

You might get a little bit of a sheen from the caulk vs compound after it's painted but nobody's really going to notice, and you can probably prime the caulk and prevent this anyway.

 
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