Plasterboard walls

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by remrem, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. remrem

    remrem New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Hey everyone!

    We're in the process of renovating a vacation cottage.

    It's an older home which we'll use primarily in the summer.

    We've spent months renovating the bathroom on weekends and are FINALLY ready to finish up the bedrooms and move quickly so we can at least get some beds in the place.

    Here's the problem. We stripped the ceilings of their ugly ceiling tiles and taken down the thin (and again ugly) panelling on the walls.

    What we've revealed are bowed out, bulging walls of old plasterboard material. They are hard like plaster but in sheets like sheetrock. I tried testing re-nailing the plaster to the studs... took a drywall nail, nailed it and the polasterboard popped right up through the nail leaving a small hole.

    We're trying to get this 1 bedroom done quickly and are definitly NOT looking to take the plasterboard down. Behind it is an old foam-type insulation that disintegrates into a fine dust and is just too hazardous to deal with.... we'll insulate with a thermal wrap outside.

    We're thing of taking furring strips and nailing along the studs to reattach the bulged out plater to the studs. We'll then either skim coat in between the 1x3s and paint everything. It's an easy solution and we've seen this in cottages before so the look is not that bad for a cottage.

    Will the skimcoat be able to help save these walls?

    We just don't have it in the budget or timewise to sheetrock the entire room.... too much interior work (a new kitchen) and exterior (new roof and siding) to worry much on this 1 bedroom.

    Thanks for all your help.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    wall

    I can't imagine how having batten strips every 16" will look "nice". If the room is not too big, which seems to be the case, it should only take two horizontal sheets of drywall on each wall, and would give you a smooth surface to work with.
  3. remrem

    remrem New Member

    Messages:
    8
  4. rburt5

    rburt5 Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    First of all, I'm no expert but I'll offer my two cents anyway. It's hard to tell what you mean without a picture, but I'm not sure that the furring strips will pull the wall back and hold it for long. Plus, the straight furring strips may actually make the bowed walls look worse. If you're not willing to tear out the plaster or to hang drywall over the furring strips, and screws won't pull it back tight, then there's probably nothing you can do.

    You might want to check closely for moisture and proper ventilation because something made the walls bow in the first place.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Try the battens and see what happens. Sufficiently sturdy battens with enough long screws attaching them might well draw the plasterboard up tight and look fine. Tighten the screws gardually and uniformly over the length of each batten, finish as desired, and post a picture of the result. The investment isn't huge, and you might get exactly the result you're looking for. In some sense you're covering up the real problem, but if it's only a cosmetic issue (i.e., no underlying rot or structural damage), fine -- that's what covering up is all about!
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    battens

    It sounds like "flip this house expert", (self proclaimed expert), Armondo would do to make a cheap repair that looks good until the camera leaves the room.
  7. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    The thing to use would be some of those screws with big washers that they use to hold up loose ceilings. They are then covered with a skim coat of spackle.
  8. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    I saw an episode of a flipping show where they spray painted the grass green.

    Tom
  9. D.Smith

    D.Smith New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Georgia
    Lol some of those shows crack me up.

    One here in Atlanta actually admitted on tape that he had picked up day laborers for cash to redo his landscaping after the lowest bid came in. Not a single one of them could speak english.
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If you're really set on that batten look, then pull out the plaster board, deal with wiring and insulation issues that might apply, sister 2x2s on each side of the studs 3/4" below the outside edge. Then nail 1x4s on them 2 feet apart, like a ladder. (Remember exactly the height of each row) Then sheet rock and add the battens nailing into those 1x4s.. If you get tired of the battens later, remove them, patch the nail holes, and repaint. You could notch the studs to use long 1x4s instead of using the 2x2s and short 1x4s.
  11. remrem

    remrem New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Thanks Mikey.

    This past weekend I actually had my father (a contractor for over 30 years) come and look at the room while he was doing some plumbing work for a new washer and dryer.

    He said that behind the plasterboard is a product called UFFI which is what we pulled out of the walls in the bathroom when we gutted it.

    There are a few issues:
    1) The UFFI has been in contact with moisture and turned to a dust which is TERRIBLE to deal with even with good dust masks, as we learned. The UFFI has stopped off-gasing but the dust is TERRIBLE to deal with.
    2) The moisture that caused issues with the UFFI is coming from the basement because there is no vapor barrier. What has happened is the moisture actually "wicked" up the plasterboard. The plasterboard had been covered with paneling and ONLY secured to the studs with small paneling nails so when the mositure wicked it's way up, the material bowed away from the studs. We've began covering the dirt basement floor below the room with plastic sheeting and will put down a vapor barrier on the floor as well when we install new flooring.

    His recommendation to get the room done quickly, as we need a room to sleep, as we remodel the rest of the house, was actually to use nice, paintable 1x2s or 1x3s over the plasterboard to secure it to the wall and then skimcoat in between until we do further work on the exterior to limit further moisture. He thinks adding drywall over the current walls will only cause the same wicking issues in the new drywall.

    If at a later time we want to install new drywall all we need to do is apply it and nail it to the 1x2s. In addition, we could further insulate the room by adding rigid foam insulation in between the 1x2s and completely seal the room using a foil tape as well on the seams.

    It's a quick fix for now but it will work well according to him.... understanding the circumstances. He also recommended using a good primer on the walls that resists moisture... I think he said it's a Kilz product.

    I'll post some pics when we're finished.

    Anything to add now HJ?
  12. remrem

    remrem New Member

    Messages:
    8
    What I'm NOT looking to do is remodel a room and the rest of the house and then "flip it" and sell it to some unsuspecting moron who later would find out all the work is done crappy.

    What I AM looking to do is get a bedroom finished quickly and cheaply so that while I'm renovating the rest of the house I have 1 room where I can close the door and sleep in a bed and temporarily forget about how much work there is to be done.

    I work hard during the week and only have weekends to work on a cottage in which I hope to invite friends and family up to enjoy it on the weekends.... not have them sit there, nit-pick and make comments about how the walls SHOULD HAVE been covered.

    The budget is less an issue.... sheetrock is cheap. Time and the fact that there is UFFI behind the plaster is more the issue and the amount of work and time needed is an issue... thought that was clear.

    If I needed "advice" on how to install new sheetrock, spackle, and paint I would have asked for that.... I don't and I didn't.

    What I was HOPING for was some input like Mikey's... some input on how to look at an issue and do things differently given the circumstances. Instead I get stupid comments about Armondo and his flip-this-house show.

    These forums are a good source of info. for people. Understandably, posters here should explain how to do things the "correct" way. As a "moderator" you should be able to do so without the sarcasm and snarky comments.
  13. rburt5

    rburt5 Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio
    1. I'm glad you got it taken care of. I look forward to seeing the pics when your finished.

    2. Maybe you need to lighten up a little bit. HJ made a joke, and from the info you had given us it sounded kind of true. I think he was making fun of the "flippers" more than he was making fun of you. Besides, it was kind of funny. It's like my dad always said, "If you can't laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?"
  14. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Just suck it up and do it RIGHT.

    MAKE the time to demo all that crap and make your place nice.

    SOMEBODY is going to have to deal with it SOMEDAY. Do you want your kids/grandkids to have to deal with it?
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