How to Attach Drywall to Masonry Walls

What You'll Need
Drywall sheets
Tape measure
Masonry screws
Furring strips
Plywood sheets
Drywall tape
Drywall mud
Drywall screws
Construction adhesive

There are some homes that have masonry walls along the interior of the home. During times of renovation and remodeling homeowners will want to apply some drywall to the masonry walls to give them more options as far as painting, wallpaper and other finishing treatments. Attaching drywall to the masonry walls will require some additional steps that simply installing drywall over 2 by 4 studs. Here are some options, and the steps to take, to apply drywall to masonry walls for your next renovation.

Step 1 - Determine How Much Wall to Cover

Start off your project by measuring the wall that you are going to be covering so you can buy the appropriate materials. Measure both the height and the length for a determining the square footage of the wall. Purchase the drywall and other materials from this measurement. 

Step 2 - Lay Down Bottom Plate

You want to be able to set out the drywall in a level fashion instead of cutting angles at the top of the drywall. Make sure that when you line it up that it stays level along the wall. Use shims to make up the difference in height if you need to. 

Step 3 - Apply Furring Strips

Start at the beginning of the masonry wall and begin setting up furring strips. These can be simple 1 inch pine boards as you are only going to be using them as a way to install the drywall over them. Stand up the furring strips and attach to the masonry wall with a combination of both construction adhesive and masonry screws. Pre-drill the holes in the furring strips so they do not crack when you screw them into the masonry. Spread out these strips on a normal 16 inches on center spacing until you reach the end of the wall. 

Step 4 - Install Vapor Barrier

Whenever you are working around masonry you will want to use some plastic sheeting to act as a vapor barrier between the condensation on the masonry wall and the drywall. Attach the plastic with staples. 

Step 5 - Attach Drywall

After you have the furring strips attached to the masonry wall you can then attach the drywall as you would with a normal stud wall. You will need to use 1 inch drywall screws as the normal 2 inch will be too long with only the small furring strips that are acting as studs. Once you have the drywall up, cover the screw holes and seams with drywall tap and mud.

Step 6 - Use Plywood

Another option for attaching drywall to masonry walls is to simply lay a sheet of plywood against the wall. Start at one corner and make sure that the plywood stays level throughout the process. Attach to the masonry wall with the use of masonry screws and construction adhesive. Once the plywood sheets are installed, you can then start to attach the drywall to the plywood. Use regular 1inch drywall screws spaced out every 10 to 12 inches. After the drywall is attached with the screws you will then need to finish off the drywall with the tape and mud over the screw holes and seams.