Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
Drywall, commonly referred to by the brand name Sheetrock, is a convenient and essential part of construction. It is quick and easy to install, which makes it incredibly convenient. When hanging drywall, it is important to place it correctly.
Sheetrock or drywall should not touch the floor. The gap between the sheetrock and the floor leaves room for the floor and wall to expand without cracking the sheetrock boards. Push the boards up and close gaps between the sheetrock and the upper sections.
In this article, I’ll explain how to go about hanging your sheetrock correctly, why you need to seal the bottom of your drywall, and how you can close the gap between the drywall and the floor.
Hanging Sheetrock Correctly
Here’s how you can go about hanging your sheetrock correctly.
First, you need to get your tools together. To hang sheetrock, you’ll need a drywall bench that’s high enough that your head touches the ceiling when you stand on it. You need a bench of this height because sheetrock or drywall needs to be hung top-down, starting with the ceiling first.
Other tools you will need include:
- T-Square to cut a straight line
- Utility knife
- Circle cutter
- Panel lifter
- Tape measure
- Drywall taping knives
- A drill or a screw gun for the nail attachment
Start by hanging the ceiling, which is the hardest bit of sheetrock to hang. Work slowly and carefully, ensuring that the boards are aligned perfectly and there are no gaps. If you end up with gaps, work quickly and fill the gaps with the joint compound.
You can use a fast-drying compound if you’re pressed for time and need to hang up the rest of your drywall quickly. If you end up using a joint compound, wait till it dries completely and turns white before hanging the rest of your sheetrock.
Once the ceiling is done, you should hang the rest of your drywall from top-down, pushing up the board to align with the board on the ceiling. Work from one corner of the room, hanging the board vertically before hanging the next layer of boards.
Pushing the board up as far up as you can go ensures that there will be no gaps that become apparent in the middle of your drywall. This is where your drywall bench will come in handy. You should also use your panel lifter as it will do all the heavy lifting for you, preventing any accidents and ensuring that there are no gaps between the panels.
Pushing the boards up also ensures that you don’t focus on aligning your drywall with the floor and touching it.
Why Does Drywall Not Go to the Floor?
Drywall does not go all the way to the floor because a gap between the drywall and the concrete of the floors ensures enough room for the floor and wall to expand. If this gap is not maintained, the drywall will crack as the floor and wall expand.
Another reason why drywall or sheetrock should not be flush to the floor is that it can absorb moisture from the floor, breaking it down. Moreover, the horizontal joints along the drywall need to be perfectly level, while most floors are not.
It is easier to hang the drywall higher and fill in the gap between the drywall and the floor with caulk. Caulk can be added as necessary rather than trying to get the drywall to match the varying levels of the floor.
How Far Should Drywall Be From the Floor?
Drywall should be hung up between 5/8 inch to 1 inch (1.58 cm to 2.54 cm) from the floor, with 5/8th of an inch being the bare minimum height of the gap. This gap is sufficient room for the walls and floor to expand without damaging the drywall and preventing moisture absorption.
Should I Seal Bottom of Drywall?
The bottom edge of drywall does need to be finished or sealed in some way to ensure a fully airtight home, reducing dust and preventing movement of vermin. However, this sealing should be done with a material that allows the walls and floors to expand.
Sealing or finishing the bottom of drywall is necessary to prevent any leakage of hot or cold air. The gaps will make it difficult to fully control the temperatures of your rooms, which is a waste of electricity and will drive your bill up as well.
How Do You Seal a Gap Between Drywall and Floor?
In most cases, the gap between the drywall and the floor will be covered by trim. There are several materials that you can use to seal the gap.
Use liquid caulk, filler strips, gaskets, any necessary airtight plumbing or wiring, or window foam to seal the gap between the drywall and the floor. All these materials will allow room for the walls and floors to expand and remain hidden behind the trim.
Caulk is one of the best options for sealing the gap between the drywall and the floor. There are a number of different kinds, but a particularly convenient option is acoustic caulk. While the material isn’t easy to work with, it does offer a measure of soundproofing, which you might want to incorporate into your home.
Gaskets are also a good option since they will prevent leakage and seeping, which keeps your drywall safe in case of moisture build-up in the floor.
Gaskets not only seal in the drywall, but they also keep the drywall and the floor safe from each other. Since gaskets do have some give, they allow for the floors and walls to expand safely without cracking the drywall in the process.
Keeping your sheetrock from touching the floor is important because the gap allows the floors and walls to expand. If the drywall gets caught in the middle of this expansion, it will crack. The gap also protects your drywall from moisture and ensures that the bottom of the drywall remains perfectly level.
However, the gap does need to be sealed in some way, and using material like caulk, gaskets, or filler strips ensures that the drywall is safe. They also ensure enough room for the walls and floors to expand.
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