There’s no denying the facts: The construction industry would be an entirely different ballgame had drywall not been invented. The biggest benefits of this readily available material, say builders, are:
- -Affordability — you can choose from myriad grades that come with a wide variety of flexible price points.
- -Insulating properties; drywall adds a layer of protection between rooms and between rooms and the outside.
- -Drywall helps keep extreme weather outside.
- -Drywall can dampen sound and can help make your home safer, healthier, and cleaner.
- –Some types of drywall come with impressive fire resistance ratings.
- -Drywall insulates interiors from mold growths that cling to exterior materials.
Add to this list a homeowner’s ability to repair most drywall damage with a few tools, spackling and sandpaper plus the endless number of finishing options that are only possible over a drywall base and you understand how important a role drywall plays in the construction of any building these days.
In this article we have gathered some of the most popular and useful questions that people ask about drywalls and offering answers to them, so let’s get started:
Table of Contents
- How much do drywall sheets weigh? (½-inch and 5/8-inch)?
- How much does a 4×8 sheet of drywall cost?
- How much does it cost to drywall a 2000 square foot house?
- How much would it cost to drywall a 1500 square foot house?
- What Thickness Drywall for Walls?
- Is Drywall Flammable?
- Is Drywall Dust Toxic?
- Should drywall be vertical or horizontal?
- How to patch a hole in drywall?
- What is the best way to cut drywall?
- What grit sandpaper is best to use on drywall?
- How to fix a crack in drywall that keeps coming back?
- How many coats of primer should be used on new drywall?
- How many screws should be used per sheet of drywall?
- What size screws are best to use on drywall?
- Seven Innovations just for drywallers
How much do drywall sheets weigh? (½-inch and 5/8-inch)?
On average, you can expect ½-inch drywall sheets meant for residential interior use to weigh approximately 1.6-pounds per square foot totaling around 51.2-pounds per average sheet (4×8 size)
Stipulate 5/8-inch-thick drywall sheets and the weight is likely to be around 70 pounds per panel.
Purchase drywall panels that are fabricated with moisture-resistance materials or oversize sheets (e.g., 4- x 12-feet) and you might have to heft 125-pound panels to finish the job.
How much does a 4×8 sheet of drywall cost?
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a drywall 4′ x 8′ panel of this size is going to range between $12 and $20 per panel sheet.
Why the wide range? The thicker the panel or the more complex the materials used to manufacture some sheets (e.g., those that offer soundproofing) could easily bring the total price to $60 each, so if you’re looking for a ballpark for a 200-square-foot room, you could spend up to $500 to for the materials needed to do the job.
How much does it cost to drywall a 2000 square foot house?
Based on the estimate of $500 per 200-square feet of coverage, you may wish to budget $5,000 to complete a job that covers this much area. This is only the drywall cost (not including labor).
How much would it cost to drywall a 1500 square foot house?
You’ll spend less for a drywall project that covers 1500 square feet; Approximately $3500-$3700 would be a good ballpark guess for the drywall material cost.
What Thickness Drywall for Walls?
According to the DIY Network, the two most commonly sold drywall sections measure either 3/8-inch or ½-inch, but experts note that thicker panels are necessary in two instances: if nails or screws are to be installed far apart and if the construction happens to be designed so there are large gaps between studs or joists.
The most common drywall thickness for interior walls is 1/2 inch.
For walls that require fire-resistant rating or for ceilings, drywall panels should be 5/8 inch.
Is Drywall Flammable?
Drywall is “relatively fireproof.” Sheets made with glass fibers can increase fire resistance and more companies are incorporating them when making the gypsum.
Use 5/8th-inch Type X panels which meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) guidelines, and you may prolong the spread of fire for at least 30 minutes.
Similarly treated ½-drywall panels can resist fire for up to 45 minutes. There are no guarantees that fire won’t spread, but the right drywall can slow it down, buying you time to escape and for firefighters to begin their efforts to extinguish the blaze.
Is Drywall Dust Toxic?
It can be if you don’t take precautions, say folks at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
When sanding panels, dust, and respirable silica (silica, talc, calcite, gypsum, and mica) are disbursed.
Workers not wearing protective gear could suffer throat and airway irrigation issues, cough and exhibit symptoms reminiscent of asthma.
Workers who ignore these warnings increase their chances of developing silicosis or lung cancer.
Contractors using lightweight sanding systems now on the market control dust disbursal.
A recent NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) study concluded that simply by changing from hand-sanding to pole-sanding, respiratory risks are lessened.
Should drywall be vertical or horizontal?
Both. Vertically hung drywall is recommended for commercial jobs to meet fire code requirements, but on residential jobs, most installations are horizontal.
“For walls 9 feet high or shorter, hanging the drywall horizontally has a number of benefits,” say ProBuilder.com experts, including fewer seams and a more uniform looking finish.
That stated, drywall hung vertically tends to be structurally stronger than sheets that are mounted horizontally.
How to patch a hole in drywall?
The materials, tools, and techniques you use to do the repair depend upon the size of the drywall hole you’re looking to fill. These tips will help you decide:
- Tiny holes require a putty knife to apply either spackling or wall joint compound. Once dry, sand lightly.
- Small holes (½-inch to 1½-inches) call for the application of adhesive-backed mesh followed by spackling. Once dry, sand and paint or add a second spackle layer, repeating the drying and sanding steps.
- Medium holes (1½-inch to 6 inches) are best fixed with a galvanized-metal patch. Peel off the backing, center the patch and apply up to 3 coats of wall joint compound, drying and sanding between applications.
- Large holes (6 inches+) require more steps. This YouTube video shows you how to accomplish this task correctly:
What is the best way to cut drywall?
Expert Lee Wallender has taken the process of cutting drywall down to around 30 seconds for The Spruce website, so follow his easy steps to do the job.
Use a metal ruler and a utility knife to score the drywall panel along the line you intend to cut.
Repeat the process if two cuts are required.
Stand the scored panel on end and break the sheet firmly at the line using your knee. If the paper clinging to the back side of the drywall sheet remains attached, use the utility knife to take care of it.
What grit sandpaper is best to use on drywall?
Experts at Norton Abrasives recommend using one of three types:
- 80 or 100 grit sandpaper,
- 120 grit sanding screen or use a medium grit sanding sponge.
- For large areas, use a rubber sanding block to do the job because it will help support the sandpaper and also make sure the sanding surface stays completely flat while sanding.
How to fix a crack in drywall that keeps coming back?
With changing seasons, weather can “re-open” repaired drywall cracks. To make sure the next application stays put, rake the old material out of the crack.
Next, apply the most flexible patching material on the market (it should be the consistency of yogurt).
Spread it in thin layers over the crack using a 6-inch joint-taping knife. This type of patch can’t be sanded, so smooth the surface and remove excess adroitly before painting.
How many coats of primer should be used on new drywall?
DIY guru Bob Vila claims to have the market cornered on this topic, calling his answer “the magic number” to which professionals should ascribe. His recommendations:
- As a general rule, “one to two coats of primer will suffice” when painting interior walls.
- You can probably get away with one coat if the wall is already white and you pick a top-of-the-line primer product.
- Select a tinted primer if you want to ensure that the color paint you use is more intense.
- Opt for two coats of primer if your drywall is unfinished or if the wall surface is plaster.
- Apply two coats of primer if you’re prepping a dark wall that is to be painted with a light color so you don’t risk the dark color “peeking” through.
- Don’t bother with primer if you’ve chosen a self-priming paint product.
How many screws should be used per sheet of drywall?
Want to get into an argument with other DIYers? The Spruce’s Lee Wallender says mention the topic of screw placement when attaching drywall panels and the debate could last hours.
Wallender writes that the magic number is “about 32 drywall screws per sheet of 4-foot by 8-foot drywall installed horizontally”.
This breaks out to 4 screws destined for the 5 middle studs and 6 on each of the two sides.
Not a math whiz? Here is Wallender’s example of how to grasp this calculation: If you’re drywalling a room that measures 320 square feet, 10 sheets of drywall will cover all your bases using 32 drywall screws for each section.
What size screws are best to use on drywall?
According to contractors writing blog posts for the Home Depot website, there are 4 types of drywall screws you’ll want to acquire because they all serve different purposes.
Coarse screws feature threads that secure sheets to studs, fine screws have smaller heads and are made to secure panels to metal studs, self-drilling screws work with metal studs or frames. Screw sizes depend upon the thickness of the drywall.
- If you’re installing ½-inch drywall, purchase 1-1/4 or 1-3/8-inch screws
- Working with 5/8-inch sheets? Choose 1-3/8-inch or 1-5/8-inch screws.
- If you want to double down on security and employ drywall nails as well, remember that drywall nails only penetrate wood, not metal studs.
Seven Innovations just for drywallers
For contractors who specialize in this work as well as do-it-yourselfers, the future of drywall could depend upon new products and innovations that hit the market to reduce the amount of physical stress and effort required to accomplish these projects.
The drywall industry has recently introduced the following 7 products, writes Hannah Belloli for Walls & Ceilings magazine, to help achieve that goal. They include:
- Finish Coat Trowels, manufactured by Italy’s Bianko ProFlex “helps workers achieve walls that will remain clear with no marks; the chromium coating allows a quicker application and an easier and faster cleaning of the blade once finished.”
- Electrical Box for Fire-coded Drywall introduced by ezBoxPRO. This tool “marks the location of electrical boxes on drywall and it also protects electrical boxes and wires,” helping to make the jobs of contractors easier and less expensive.
- The Warrior Flat Finishing Extension Handle weighs less than 3 pounds and extends from 38-to-60 inches, so with the press of a button, you can reap the benefits of this handle and no attachments are required to use it.
- An Auto-feed Driving System, introduced by Simpson Strong-Tie, is a “newly improved auto-feed screw driving system for attaching drywall” that comes “with a precise self-locking depth adjustment, ratcheting rotatable head (for clearance in space-restricted corners) and adapters that work with preferred screwdriver motors.”
- Also new to the market is a Drywall Washing System manufactured by Mudmaster. “The Washmaster Pro is a drywall tool washing system designed to have a small footprint while doing a big job” by washing, de-foaming and separating mud from drywall taping tools.
- BeroGrip Skimming Blades, available from Barnaby Tools & Equipment, “are the most versatile drywall finishing blades in the industry. Available in four sizes from 10 to 20 inches,” these blades offer superior ergonomic grips and they are made of INOX stainless steel, “ensuring ten times more contact area with the surface over traditional taping knives.”
- Advance Equipment’s skimming blades are designed to “Reduce jobsite fatigue from constantly bending and reaching down to switch tools while skimming and patching walls,” yet they function like two-handed smoothing blades. The blades are available in 10-, 12-, 14- and 16-inch lengths and are made in the U.S.A.
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