Which drywall?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Ian Gills, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    I am slowly remodelling my basement and am months off putting up drywall.

    However, I would like to know which type to buy.

    I am using metal studs, so should it be 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch thick? And water resistant?

    Any comments?

    For the ceiling I will probably install a suspended ceiling, but I'll ask about that later.
  2. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

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    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    It's probably OK to use 1/2" standard wallboard but you should check with your building department first.
  3. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Out here, fire codes require 5/8 on everything. So that depends on where you are.

    I, personally, prefer 5/8 anyways. Even when I'm working on Fire Island, where the code only requires 1/2. It's heavier to carry into the space, heavier to hold while screwing it in, etc - BUT - it bridges over irregularities better, breaks less during construction, snaps more cleanly when cutting, and results in a much stiffer, flatter, more solid wall.

    As for water resistant... if your basement floods on occasion, you shouldn't finish it in the first place.
  4. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Thanks Frenchie. My basement is dry. The only time it ever leaked was in torrential rain (perhaps once a year) and that was due to leaking window frames on the storey above which I have now fixed and, strangely, a crack in the concrete step over the main front door (again above the basement) which seeped water in. I fixed that with hydraulic cement. And then there were the termite (chemical treatment) holes drilled in the slab in the 1950s that were filled with ordinary cement. They tended to wick water from the soil beneath so I drilled those out too and filled with hydarulic cement. There is also a sump pump and a backup pump. So I am confident, although continuously amused by the variety of ways water can get into a basement. Keeping a close eye on gutters to make sure they are clear has always been the most important factor for me in ensuring a dry basement. But you can never be really sure unless you sit in your basement with a torch when it is absolutely pissing down with rain outside, checking the permiter. And around here events like that do not happen very often, even less when you are a) awake and b) at home.

    I will go for the 5/8 inch stuff then. My ceiling is on the low side, so I was thinking of trimming 8 feet lengths, down to 7 feet or so and then mounting them vertically propping them an inch or so off of the floor, perhaps on blocks.

    Most people seem to prefer horizontal installation, but if I am doing this myself I need to be able to support the stuff while I secure it to the studs.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  5. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I work solo, and horizontal is still easy. The bottom sheet sits on some ply scraps, to keep it off the floor, like you said. The upper sheet, will sit on the lip formed by the bottom sheet - no problem - you just have to lean on it a bit to stop it from falling off.

    Vertical means no non-tapered seams, but it also means you have that 2-sheets-meeting-on-1-stud issue I mentioned on the other thread, twice as often.

    The main reason horizontal is the standard, though, is that it's stronger. Sheetrock is a lot like wood, in that it's a lot stronger in one direction than the other, it has a "grain", parallell to the longer axis, which ideally is perpendicular to the studs.
  6. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    OK, horizontal it is. I forgot I could start at the bottom! Thanks.
  7. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Last-minute thought... if the ceiling's 7', cut the tapered bit off the bottom of your bottom sheet, before you hang it. 3-4 inches. Otherwise, it leaves a really obvious shadow line once the wall's painted.
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