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Putting Drywall Parallel to Ceiling Joists (as opposed to perpendicular)

Putting Drywall Parallel to Ceiling Joists (as opposed to perpendicular)


  #1  
Old 02-16-15, 10:29 AM
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Putting Drywall Parallel to Ceiling Joists (as opposed to perpendicular)

Hello,

I understand that the proper way to install drywall is perpendicular to ceiling joists, but the way my basement is divided, my ''big'' room is under 12' wide, which means that I could avoid butt joints altogether.

The issue is that I would need to install the drywall parallel to the joists. If I install bracing every 2 feet or so between the joists where the sheets ''end'', should I be OK, or is there another reason why I shouldn't install drywall parallel to ceiling joists?

Thanks!
Nic
 
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Old 02-16-15, 11:36 AM
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You shouldn't install it parallel with the joists but my guess is you won't take our word for it and you won't fully understand why until you actually try it for yourself and find out why.

In a perfect world, if everything was "exactly" 16" on center, the 4 ft edges of your sheets would run right down the center of each joist, and you'd have 3/4" on each side to screw to... However in the real world, you probably will find that the layout isn't "exactly" 16" on center (or exactly 4' on center to be more exact) and as you put up multiple sheets that problem may shrink or grow so that eventually you will be trying to screw one sheet to 1 1/8" of joist and the next sheet will only fall on 3/8" of joist. When you run it perpendicular, you can more easily cut the sheet length 1/4" shorter (for example) if needed. The way you want to do it, you will probably need to sister the joist if the layout runs off. You generally also want solid backing on the butt joints, not on the belly joints, which is automatic when you hang perpendicular.

If you think it's easier or better to hang it that way, I'd suggest you just sister 4' on center right off the batt because it will save you a lot of headaches. Also ceiling drywall should be 5/8" thick, so I hope you rent a lift to hoist those 4x12x5/8" sheets. Your back will thank you.
 
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Old 02-16-15, 11:55 AM
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Sheet goods should always be installed with long side perpendicular to joists. It strengthens the structure and provides shear value to joists and rafters, even 5/8" drywall provides shear value.
This is particularly true with plywood over roof rafters and over floor joists, you never want to install those parallel to joists.
 
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Old 02-16-15, 01:14 PM
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@Xsleeper I wouldn't assume that I won't take your word for it. The reason why I asked the question was to find out if it's a good idea or not. It isn't, so I won't do it. I'm new to plastering, and though I'm getting good results (sometimes after a lot more coats than a professional would), I'm still somewhat intimidated by butt joints and prefer trying to avoid them. That's all I was trying to do. And yes I plan to rent a lift, even if I end up installing 4x8's.

@Handyone, got it! I will do the perpendicular thing. This is for my basement so it will be installed on to floor joists.

Thanks for your answers guys!
 
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Old 02-16-15, 01:33 PM
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Sorry, I didn't mean for that to come off as offensive if that's the way it sounded... just trying to help you see that its one of those things that "sounds" like a good idea, but probably isn't... (unforeseen headaches) if you know what I mean.

A butt joint really isn't any more intimidating than any other joint. For me, the trick is that first coat after the tape has dried. If you can just put on a nice, even, smooth coat over the tape, just so the paper is covered, your next coat will just run down both sides of that layer, skim over it, and fill in the edges. I know, it's easier said than done.

A beginner will usually want to do each type of joint separately and let them set up before overlapping that joint with another. For instance, coat all the belly joints first, and once they have set up, then come back and coat your butt joints, so that you aren't dragging through your wet mud and messing it up.

Learning how to "kill the edges" is also an important technique, once you get to the skim coat... You kind of twist the knife in your hand so that one side of the knife is laying slightly "open" (kind of like buttering your bread) and the opposite side of the knife (the side farthest away from the joint) is tight to the wall, so that you make a perfectly feathered edge. This eliminates tons of sanding.

Using the right sized knife also helps. Generally the knife gets a little larger for each successive coat.

Just keep in mind that you don't want to do any more sanding than you have to... so multiple thin coats are better than thick ones.
 
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Old 02-16-15, 01:44 PM
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Butt joints are intimidating to everyone except a professional finisher.
Use a wide pan and as wide of a blade that you feel comfortable with for finish coat.
You can put a slight bend in a steel blade and that helps.

I got in late, good description sleeper Drywall is no fun
 
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Old 02-16-15, 01:44 PM
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I, for one, HATE sanding so strive to get it correct the first time. And if it is not, then correct it before it dries. One trick to keep you on track is to inspect your work as you go by holding a utility light tight to the wall/ceiling and shine the light across the joint. Any imperfections will present themselves as shadows, easily identifying areas that need further work.

I also use a 6" knife to embed the tape on the first pass of compound. I then abandon all other knifes and head straight to the 12" mud knife. It is the most flexible to do exactly as XSleeper recommended to obtain a feather edge. I own two 8" mud knives and haven't used them in over 8 years. They are too stiff to feather with and you end up with a heavy bead.
 
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Old 02-16-15, 02:49 PM
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Drywall is no fun
I, for one, HATE sanding
Those are things I think we can all agree on! LOL
 
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Old 02-16-15, 03:22 PM
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You may also want to put a nice straight edge across the joist that the butt joint will end on and span to the adjacent joists to see if the butt joint will end up on framing with a downward or upward bow to it. If slightly upward, no problem, if there is a down bow to it, that will create a much more difficult joint to conceal.

A little planning for such issues goes a long way in achieving more pro like results. Also, don't end a tapered edge on a major beam, span the beam with the center of the sheet. And don't use mesh tape with regular premixed compound, IMHO, don't use mesh tape at all.
 
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Old 02-16-15, 04:41 PM
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Also ceiling drywall should be 5/8" thick, so I hope you rent a lift to hoist those 4x12x5/8" sheets. Your back will thank you.
The only time I've heard of using 5/8" for anything is for fire separation or sound deadening.
 
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Old 02-16-15, 04:47 PM
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You raise a good point, drooplug, since this ceiling probably won't be getting cellulose blown in on top of it, 1/2" would probably be fine.
 
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Old 02-17-15, 04:20 AM
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5/8" used to always be used on ceilings, not so much today. Ceiling joists on 16" centers makes 1/2" a lot more viable. They also sell a 1/2" that is designed for ceilings but I'm not familiar with it.
 
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Old 02-17-15, 07:58 AM
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I'm from the same school as Mark - 1/2" rock with 16" OC, 5/8" if 24" OC.
 
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Old 02-17-15, 08:54 AM
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@XSleeper No worries - we're good!

Thanks for everyone in this thread for all the great pointers!

What I did when I drywalled the top floor of my house this summer was tape with a 6" and then do my second coat with a 8" and then jumped to a 12". I could definitely see the value in going straight to a 12" after taping, and I will try this approach next time. Anything to be more efficient at this point will make me happy. I ended up getting a good result on my top floor, but holy shishkebab there was a lot of coats/sanding involved. And don't get me started on the dust lol.

I guess another really important point (which translates to everything else in life) is what calvert is saying. The better your "rough job" (installing the sheets in this case), the easier your finishing job will be. I did a lot of ''oh, this is OK, the plastering will hide that" when installing my sheetrock this summer. Lesson learned!

About the 1/2 for 16" and 5/8 for 24", does this also apply to basements? Obviously my floor joists are 16" OC but can I still use 1/2" even if it's on floor joists?
 
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Old 02-17-15, 08:55 AM
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A ceiling is a ceiling regardless of whether it's floor joists or roof trusses - it's the spacing on the structure which is important. Yes, 1/2" will be fine.
 
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Old 02-17-15, 10:07 AM
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Thank you sir!
It is much appreciated!
 
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Old 02-19-15, 07:35 AM
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Question - does this apply for walls too? Can I frame 24 OC for the walls and still use 1/2?
 
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Old 02-19-15, 07:43 AM
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1/2" is fine on walls, even at 24" OC. Gravity causes 1/2" to sag on a ceiling. If I could talk you into going 16" OC, I would. You aren't saving that much in materials by going 24", and you are getting a lot weaker wall.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 07:44 AM
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Got it - thank you very much!
 
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Old 02-19-15, 07:50 AM
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You should not frame walls 24" o.c., some houses have this, but it's rare. It's reserved for walls framed with 2 x 6 versus 2 x 4's.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 08:25 AM
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Even if it's against a foundation wall and the framing is there only to hold up the drywall?
I don't mind doing it at 16", it's not that big of a cost difference, but I just thought I could do it since it's 0% structural
 
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Old 02-19-15, 08:46 AM
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In the south, 2x4 wall framing on 24" centers used to be pretty prevalent - not so much today. The savings is minimal and the wall is weaker. Drywall might not be structural but it will withstand more pressure when on 16" centers versus 24" About 40 yrs ago I shimmied behind a piano to push it away from the wall so we could paint - my butt went thru the drywall [24" centers]
 
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Old 02-19-15, 09:06 AM
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lol that must have been a pretty good ''ahhh sh*t'' moment
That being said, I'll just frame at 16" and call it a day.

This conversation is going off track but... it this the part where I am about to get schooled for having planned to frame with 2x3's instead of 2x4's as well?
 
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Old 02-19-15, 09:23 AM
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You're OK. You're situation is different than framing a wall. You are just putting up furring strips.
Anything will do.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 09:24 AM
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Will 2x3s allow you enough room for the electrical?
 
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Old 02-19-15, 10:17 AM
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Probably, considering the fact there will also be 1" of insulation behind the framing... They also make short boxes.

The reason I am trying to frame with 2x3's is because there is a corner where there is a fireplace and a brick wall around it and I wouldn't want my drywall wall to overlap the brick. It would look ridiculous.
 
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Old 02-19-15, 10:58 AM
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Aesthetics do play a part. The drywall being proud of the brick isn't always bad, sometimes a drywall return back to the brick or even some molding can make the transistion look good. IMO the shallow electrical boxes are harder to work with BUT I'm a painter, not an electrician
 
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Old 02-20-15, 01:22 PM
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Where I am from (east coast of Canada) we ALWAYS strap our ceilings with 1x3 @ 16 o.c. before attaching drywall. I know other parts of Canada dont do this and I assume the same is true in the US since no one brought it up. Virtually every contractor here straps their ceilings. It makes for easier drywall installation and less chance of cracking or bowing since most trusses are 24" on center. This also allows us to use 1/2" drywall with no issues unless we need a fire rating. If you have the headroom to spare 3/4", I would strap the ceiling then you can apply the drywall the way you want it without butt seams.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 03:01 PM
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No one probably mentioned it because his floor joists are already 16" OC.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 03:26 PM
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Like I said, we strap ALL ceilings, no matter what the span of the joists or rafters are...
 
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Old 03-02-15, 08:06 AM
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I now feel pretty dumb for removing the furring that was there before I took the old ceiling down... you live you learn, I guess!

SO what you are telling me, Keith, is that if I (re)strap it, I will be able to install the drywall in whichever direction I want to (in other words, parallel, with no butt joints?)

I keep saying it's a ceiling and I think it caused some confusion. it's a ceiling but it's in a basement, so it's not rafters, it's floor joists.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 08:17 AM
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You always want to put your drywall perpendicular to the supports. If the supports that are there now are running the way you want to run the drywall, you can strap the ceiling perpendicular to the joists and then run your drywall the way you want it, which would be parallel to your joists.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 11:50 AM
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guess I lost about 100$ in furring, but like I said, you live you learn right?
now I know for the next time around
Thanks for your advice Keith - Much appreciated
 
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Old 03-02-15, 11:54 AM
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No problem, Good luck with the renos!
 
 

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