View Full Version : tapered-end drywall

11-30-2004, 10:25 PM
Why isn't tapered-end drywall available like it was in the early 70's?

Matt Clark
12-02-2004, 02:42 PM

I'm not familiar with what was available in the 70's (I was a snot-nosed brat then...at least I wipe my nose now) but I've been in a sheetrock manufacturing facility and watched that stuff be made. It's formed in endless sheets, with edges shaped/tapered continuously. It's cut by a "brake" and this plant made about 30,000 sheets/day...there'd be no way for them to taper the ends in this process.

Not saying it couldn't be done, but I can see how, at least in present-day processes, it would severly limit capacity.

12-03-2004, 09:45 AM
I spoke with a drywall sales rep who told me thaty when he worked for Domtar that they had tapered end drywall. The problem was that the drywallers who had told their market researchers that it was a good idea did not want to pay the extra money. They found this out after the product was on the market. They killed the idea.

12-03-2004, 07:06 PM

How about butt hangars. We call them off stud joiners. Scraps of plywood with thin strips pin nailed.

Makes those feathered joints a thing of the past.


12-04-2004, 04:33 PM
Henry, they'd be great if they didn't violate the building code or worked at the plates.

12-04-2004, 08:05 PM
How's that?

Edges and ends to occur over framing...except where perpendicular to framing.

12-05-2004, 03:04 PM
The Butt Taper is a great tool! I just used it yesterday for the first time and it worked great and easy. The joint was perfectly flat and easy to do. I will be tearing out the wall since it was used on a set and I will see how strong the joint is at that time. This is a tool rather than a disposable thing that is left in the wall.

Kirk G

12-05-2004, 04:40 PM

Assuming you install your drywall with the long edges perpendicular to the studs and joists, the code you quoted, "Edges and ends to occur over framing...except where perpendicular to framing." means that your butt joints must occur on framing! Of course, no one ever enforces that code, and no one ever tears drywall out to see if the code was followed.

kgphoto, how can your wall joints be perfectly flat at the plates?

12-05-2004, 10:04 PM
I have never used butt hangers because of the plates. How do you work around them?

12-09-2004, 12:52 PM

Ends of drywall to end on a framing member..that's only on UL Listed walls. UL walls are fire stopping walls used only in commercial applications. In residential, you can use 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" or 5/8" ..nobody cares except for the garage.

Go to the USG Construction Handbook on page 115..they tell you to leave the butts in between the framing member to minimize butt cracking/ridging. It is acceptable to leave a butt in between the studs/joists in residential and in non-UL commercial walls.

Remember, the fellas who write the specs are the ones making the mud..the wider the butt joint the more money they make.

All you are doing by leaving the butt in between the studs is binding the two boards together..it works for pipe, wood, wire..why not drywall?

12-09-2004, 06:52 PM

You wrote, "kgphoto, how can your wall joints be perfectly flat at the plates?"

If I understand you correctly, you cut your OSB just short of the fire blocking mid wall and the double top plate or bottom plate. I should mention you are running your boards horizontally and you stagger your butt joints as you would normally. So the end/tapered edge runs on the plates and the butts hang between the studs. So the drywall bears only on the blocking and plates at the top and bottom of the sheet, and the middle is attached only to the OSB strip running vertically behind the splice between the two drywall sheets.

Go to butttaper.com to see a video and stills of what I am talking about.

Kirk G

Myron Ferguson
01-01-2005, 04:33 PM
Tapered end drywall doesn't work when framing OC spacing runs off. A main problem with buttseams attached to the framing is that it is a very weak joint because it is attached to the framing. By the time it is attached the ends are damaged and weak and very likely to crack and ridge if the framing moves or shrinks. Backblocking is a very good answer because it is a much stronger stable joint. The device runs the length of the seam and is stronger than an area where there is no seam. I have been backblocking my butt seams for over ten years now with great long lasting results.

01-08-2005, 10:22 PM
I just got a sample piece of drywall from SteveH, the creater of the ButtTaper. ( I assume you are the guy!) Absolutely fabulous tool! One of those headsmacking moments! "Why didn't I think of that!?" I'm ordering one as soon as I get my next drywall job...
I don't know Steve, and I'm not shilling here, but check it out guys... It's your loss if you don't. Ben.

01-09-2005, 09:45 AM

Yea, that's me! About 5 years ago I did a senior citizen center and on the 2nd floor he had wood trusses on the ceiling. We finished the drywall in January, it was cold, and on March 1st the painter sprays the ceiling and about 250 butts cracked. On the way home and mad as hell I was thinking about the butt joints. So I thought that when when we do round walls we wet the board and then bend it, so what would happen if I wet the edge of the board and apply a force to it..would it crate a tapered edge on the butt joint? Driving home I stopped at Home Depot and bought a piece of 2' x 4' x 1/2" plywood and a sheet of 4x8 x1/2" sheetrock. Went to the backyard, made a butt joint on the plywood, got the hose out, sprayed it with water, had a lawn chair that had a round tubular legs like a rocking chair does, sat on the chair and rolled one of the chair legs over the butt joint and got myself a 1" tapered edge on the butt joint. So I thought "that's it!".

Myron is right, to leave a butt joint on 1 1/2" stud is joining the boards on a fault line as the wood will shrink and is never straight. That stud or joist is made to hold the building up and not to join two drywall boards together! A backer board is so much better and using a 5" backer board binds the two butt boards real well and the forces acting on the stud or joist are not present on the backer board.

After all the money I had spent on this as I'm just a poor drywaller it's good to get a reaction like yours because not many can see the beauty of it. Thus, you get one for free and it's going out tomorrow.

"Necessity is the mother of invention."

01-10-2005, 02:15 PM
Looks like a nice tool and process. Being a DIYer with a current project could I use this tool and technique on a second layer of 5/8 drywall?

01-10-2005, 02:42 PM
Yes you could. Just glue and screw the second layer. However, if you haven't taped it, you could just try the Butt taper on the first layer. It definately is better when back boarded. Another approach would be to use a drywall router(could also be easily done with hand saw or knife) to cut in the bay the drywall and then add just a few patches. Make sure to span at least 4 feet and don't let your seams line up. It would still be faster to mud two Butt-taper joints than one standard butt joint. Heck, it would probably be faster to mud 4 butt-taper joints.

I will tear down a set we drywalled next week and will let you know how tough these joints are. I took down part of the set and the standard tapered joints broke very easily.

Kirk G

01-10-2005, 05:25 PM

Yes, you can! You can do it on a stud or in betweern the studs for the 2nd layer and heres how.

- If you want to put the 2nd layer on a stud, then use a thin bead of drywall on the first layer where the butt board will be. Use a thin bead of drywall glue 3/4" inches from the end of the board and another 4" inches from the end of the board. Do this for both of the butt joint boards. This will prevent the board from flexing and use drywall screws on the 2nd layer as you would ordinarily screwing the 2nd layer on the stud so that the two butt joint boards are even.

- Another method is to put the wooden backer board in between the studs on the back of the first layer, mark on the first board where the backer board is and leave the 2nd layer butt joint over the mark you made for the backer on the 1st layer. Then use 2" coarse drywall screws (made for wood) to secure the 2nd layer butt joint boards to the backer board.

- The way that I do it is to leave the 2nd layer over the 1st layer in between the studs using the gluing method described above and then use 1 5/8" cement board screws (available at Home Depot and Lowes). You will not believe how these cement board screws hold drywall to drywall and they sink in on the 2nd layer. Once the glue dries you have a one solid piece of drywall.

The latter method is easier because on the stud method you have to be careful on the placement of the screws..must leave 5/8" space between the screws for the tool to work.

Instead of using drywall glue you can mix up some setting compound and that also holds the two layers on the butt joint real well to the 1st layer.

We recently finished a 1,470 board job mainly with double 5/8" and I did half them in between the studs for the 2nd layer using the cement board screws and the other half on the stud.

Anyone interested in details on the ButtTaper System please e-mail me privately as I don't want to seem like I'm peddling the gizmo here. I'll let Capt. Kirk do it! "The butt joint..the final frontier, to go where man has never gone before.." (hope I got that right from Star Trek).

01-10-2005, 07:14 PM
Hi Steve,
I feel like I sort of know you from your posts in both JLC, and the Walls and Ceilings message board...

Quote: "After all the money I had spent on this as I'm just a poor drywaller it's good to get a reaction like yours because not many can see the beauty of it. Thus, you get one for free and it's going out tomorrow."

Are you sure that you want to do that? I was serious when I said I was going to buy one!
I have been fighting with butt joints for years already, finally just pulling them out three or four feet wide and calling them good. I've come back to some of my jobs after the butts ridged or whatever and almost cried with frustration. After reading a back issue in the Walls and Ceilings mag, and seeing your product featured in the "Adventures in Drywall" column, I knew I'd have to have one!

Tradesmen in general, and drywall workers in particular seem to resist change, but I really think your tool could revolutionize the industry if some of the hard-heads could see the obvious benefits.

I really do wish you the best in getting this thing out there. Hope you make a million on it! Ben.

01-11-2005, 04:42 PM

It's on it's merry way and your wishes are appreciated!