1/2 or 3/8?

Old 03-31-03, 05:52 AM
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1/2 or 3/8?

I plan on demo'ing the old plaster ceiling, interior walls, and exterior walls in a few rooms this spring. I'm doing this so I can insulate and run new wiring, etc. Any reason I can't use 3/8" sheetrock instead of 1/2"? I recently handled some 3/8" after doing a whole kitchen in 1/2" and found it considerably lighter. Yeah, I know it's only an 1/8" difference, but it was a lot easier to handle. Since I'll be handling up to 40 sheets of this stuff, I'll take any help I can get.
Old 03-31-03, 06:13 AM
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1/8" makes a big difference as you can tell by the weight of the sheet vs 1/2". That's the first reason why you should reconsider using 1/2" on your walls. Plus the fact that 1/2" meets fire code...and for that same reason, you should use 5/8" sheetrock on your ceilings.
Old 03-31-03, 07:26 PM
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Well actually they do make 1/2" class C firecode rock now & it weighs about the same as 5/8". I wouldn't recommend 3/8" for lids (ceilings), unless you've got nailers on 12" centers, otherwise it will more than likely sag. 3/8" on the walls is ok, as long as you've a pretty quiet group. It won't hold up to life with kids very well, you'll end up doing alot of patching. You could also consider putting your rock up over the existing plaster & lath. If you do this, lay a lond straight edge on the wall & shim it out flat with door shims, & use screws long enough to go all the way into the studs, which should be located & marked before you begin.

As the other poster noted, you should check on local code, as you'll have to deal with it if you're pullin permits. Round here it's not required to do so in most areas as long as it's DIYer homeowner or tenant.

We've done this on several rehab jobs, it's a bit more work to run wiring & plumbing, but a saw/saw makes fast work of it actually. We cut out, slotted areas where we need it to run wire & plumbing, then where there are large cut-outs, we fur back out with osb, or whatever is handy. Advantages are a huge savings in labor to completely clean off all the old plaster, saving the dump bill for all that plaster & lath, which might scare ya, depending on where you live.

Best of luck & post back with some progress reports or more ??'s.

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