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  • Vertical Drywall

    I'm a remodeler. A customer of mine (who I'm too busy to work for right now) drywalled his own living room. He ran the drywall horizontally on the walls, then asked me if he had done it right. I told him my 'preference' on the walls is to run it vertically (as long as the framing is accurate), and avoid the 'butt' seams. He's got a spackler coming in who told him anyone who runs it vertically is a 'hack', he says the joints will crack. Funny, I can take this guy to jobs I've done 15 years ago, and am willing to let him 'watch and wait' til it cracks. Am I missing something? P.S. I'm only talking about walls, not ceilings.

  • #2
    Re: Vertical Drywall

    You might look at drywall hanging and taping by Myron R. Ferguson. He does a good job of explaning methods of hanging drywall. You should not have a problem with what you did. Swan

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    • #3
      Re: Vertical Drywall

      The problem with running the drywall vertically is,As the studs dry they will sometimes twist and buckle.If a seam lands on one of those studs the joint will give you problems.
      In commercial drywall applications,it is the norm to run all drywall vertical as you are always using metal studs that do not warp.I will sometimes take that chance on a very long wall(to stand up all sheets)if wall is longer than 16 feet to dismiss butt joints.

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      • #4
        Re: Vertical Drywall

        even on a 32 foot wall i would rather tape one seam at 4' with a 8' butt at 16' than 8 verticle seams 8' long. ( 40' of seams vs 64' of seams )

        james

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        • #5
          Re: Vertical Drywall

          That finisher is right..never run them vertically. His seams will never be straight and they in time will probably crack or ridge because the stud will shrink. Vertically is the not the right way to do it. If one board is not even with the other in most times that's the case on vertical installation..that finisher will have a tough time doing those seams. I'd probably walk off the job and let someone else do it or ask about 30% more.

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          • #6
            Re: Vertical Drywall

            Steves right, tell him to finish it himself and 30% more only if you don't have to gaurantee it. The science of hanging sheetrock has evolved to where it is today because of cracking. The thing that I can't figure out is why would a guy take on a project and not know how to do it and then expect good results. Drywall must bring that out in people, I've never sat around my house and thought "I think i'll go outside and paint my car!" I'm sure of one thing though, if that guy was a CPA and you brought in your accounting problems that you tried to do yourself, he would ream you a new ass for 'TRYING' to do 'HIS' job, then charge you triple to prove how important he was. Its up to you if your the dumb ole fix it guy or the professional contractor how you handle this one.

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            • #7
              Re: Vertical Drywall

              I appreciate all your anwers, even the last few guys with the heavy chips on their shoulders (my condolences). You last two might want to settle down a little and re-read from the beginning. Anyway, all 'personal' issues aside, the customer hasn't done anything wrong, he just got himself a little worried about the spackling issue. Actually, he did a nice job, I don't think I'll convince him it's 'rocket science' at this point. And although I always am willing to listen to other points of view, I'll stand by the fact that I've been in business 25 years, have always done my own drywall, most of the time vertical, and have never, ever had a single callback for cracks in the seams. Most of my customers are lifelong and I'm always back to do more work and have never seen a problem with the 'old'. I will say that I'm drywalling over my own framing, so admittedly I'm not running into the same problems as some of those stated above. If I drywall over someone else's framing, and it's 'off', I do run horizontally. I also do believe that there's no doubt it's easier to run it horizontal, and that may 'skew' a few opinions. So until when and if I ever have such a problem as several of you are stating does 'exist', I think I'll stick to my methods for now, and maybe reconsider in another 25 years. P.S. If there was any single point that would ever make me change my mind, it would be James Johnson's. Thanks.

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              • #8
                Re: Vertical Drywall

                TR,

                Us two are not with a chip on our shoulders at all, just stating that the proper way to hang rock on wood is horizontal. here are some reasons and then refer yourself to the USG Gypsum Construction Handbook which is online at www.usg.com

                - The strength of the sheetrock is on the long.
                - Anything affixed perpendicular to another is stronger than in parallel.
                - Because the studs are 1 1/2" wide and hardly ever straight you just don't have enough room to secure each board..that's because each screw or nail should be at least 1/2" off the edge. Same with wood, screw or nail at the edge of the wood and the wood will chip. There is no holding power there.
                - Horizontal application results in a straighter wall especially when using drywall glue.
                - In vertical application when one stud is not 100% inline with the other the boards will go "in and out".
                - Difficult to use adequate drywall glue on verticals cause it will ooze out..just more work.
                - The tapered edge on vertical is less than on horizontal because the stud is not perfectly square thus one board will be higher than the other.

                Now you may frame perfectlly straight, but remember studs shrink on their width not on the r length due to the tree "O rings". In vertical applications, the boards must be tight next to each other to allow the enough room for the screws/nails. When the board is tight and since new studs contain about 19% moisture that means that that stud will shrink 19% and if the boards are tight you will have a ridge or crack..it's inevitable.

                Maybe your from an area where they texture and just maybe after all that time no one has called you back. I have yet to see anyone being able to have a perfect flat seam on vertical boards attached to wood..it's impossible unless those studs are PERFECTLY straight and that is almost never.

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                • #9
                  Re: Vertical Drywall

                  SteveH,

                  First of all, after re-reading, I realize my 'chip' comment should have been directed more at 'Jakaman'. Second of all, after thinking about it more and 'unskewing' James Johnson's math, I realized the 'true' numbers are 40' versus 56' (not 64'). The only reason I wrote in the original question is I had never heard of such a thing (as stated, I've never had a problem, and no, no one is coming behind me and texturing. I do all the work, foundation to finish, except the excavation, the HVAC, and the carpeting. I'm talking about additions only, not houses). When they call me back, it's to remodel another section of the house, so I'm always around my previous work. I agree with you about the 'perpendicular' stength of the drywall, but feel it's only an issue on ceilings (drywall isn't installed to 'strengthen anything, it just needs to hold itself), not on walls. As far as the 'straightness' of the studs, it sounds like most of you guys are following production framing (by others), whereas I'm following custom framing by myself. And although you're partially correct about the wood being installed at 19%, once it 'evens' out it's moisture content is around 11 or 12% (it doesn't shrink 19%, it shrinks about 7%). That's why we 'paper-tape', to provide some slight flexibility.
                  P.S. If I were ever to start doing drywall only, I'm sure I too, would run them horizontally, as I would be following others framing, but in the meantime, I guess I'm achieving the 'impossible', because my vertical seems don't crack.
                  Last edited by TR Construction; 08-12-2004, 06:02 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Vertical Drywall

                    I just finished a basement job - 20ga. studs, stand-up board. The ONLY reason I did it this way was because we could only get 8' down the stairs, and if I had it to do over again, I probably would lay 'em down.
                    It is a lot faster to hang as well as finish horizontal.
                    There is NO such thing as a perfectly flat joint, whether tapered or butt.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Vertical Drywall

                      Mike,

                      I don't doubt that it is faster, and don't dispute anyone who prefers the horizontal method, just saying it's not the 'only way'. Your input is much appreciated and your point well taken, but I made no claim of a perfectly flat joint.

                      SteveH,

                      By the way, now that I think about it the shrinkage rate isn't even 7%, that's just the moisture loss rate. I don't know the number off the top of my head, but would venture to say the shrinkage rate is about 3 or 4%, 5% tops. If the wood were to shrink 19%, your 2 X 4's would measure about 1 1/4" X 2 3/4" about a year later. Think about it.
                      Last edited by TR Construction; 08-12-2004, 12:07 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Vertical Drywall

                        TR,
                        CHIP! I re-read my post three times and don't see the chip. I made note that there was a right way and a wrong way. There wasn't anything personal directed towards you, so I don't know who your defending. If it was the homeowner, I don't know why. I thought this conversation was between us and we could express our views about being tradesmen. I like the line. "He hung the drywall and 'then' asked me if he did it right" Now thats confidence! Then hes afraid he might have done it wrong? The whole time he was screwing the drywall on, it never occured to him that he didn't know what he was doing and and then some guy told him he did it wrong and 'NOW' he's gonna worry! I do drywall and plaster work, thats 'ALL' I do. I'm not a pro at every trade in the book. And even now when someone tells me a better way, I'm willing to change. Why would I continue to do it a less better way for the next 30 years just because thats how I've been doing it. Thats why we tune into these sites, to get input and grow. The bottom line is, as a professional tradesman, I don't care about some cheap homeowner who wants to save a buck and then has the nerve to think some professional will come in and bail him out because 'now' he's worried that he might have screwed up his largest investment. Just the mention of guys like this piss me off, let him look to Bob Vila for answers......... Now thats a chip! :-)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Vertical Drywall

                          Jakaman,

                          When referring to the 'chip', I meant getting mad at someone trying to do their own work. I just don't see any sense in getting mad about it, this IS America. When he asked me if he did something wrong, he meant in reference to 'spackling'. He never planned on doing the spackle to begin with, he knew it was out of his league, He didn't do the drywall himself just to save money, he did it because I was too busy and I'm his regular 'go-to' guy. That's why I was saying I don't think you understood my original post. You've mentioned several times that he's calling someone in to 'bail him out', and that's just not the case. He figured he could handle phase I, but would call a professional for phase II. And though I appreciate you sticking up for me, there was no problem to begin with. And no one is doubting your experience or professionalism. I wasn't trying to brag I'm some kind of pro at everything, I was trying to make the point that when one has to 'follow' oneself, the work tends to be more conscientous. In other words, the framers would do a much nicer job if they had to drywall also. And I'll keep in mind your comments about 'changing', I'm sure we all tend to get 'locked in' to certain methods after a while, including myself. It's just that to make a change, I either have to be having a problem with the existing method, or see the 'option' as a clear-cut better method. I'm just not having the problems you guys are talking about. And though I appreciate that you think your way is the 'only' way, I don't see this situation as so 'black and white'.
                          Last edited by TR Construction; 08-12-2004, 08:29 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Vertical Drywall

                            TR,

                            How was my math skewed? 32 foot long wall 8 feet high.... if I hung 16'boards across the studs that would give me one 32 foot seam with one 8' butt (32 + 8 = 40) that would be 40 lineal feet of seam to tape, one nice long seam at waist height and one vertical butt joint that I could use any number of methods to make disappear. If I hung the same room with the rock going vert I would have 64 lf of seam (32 / 4 = 8 x 8 feet high = 64 lineal feet) now in all fairness to your math I am counting the two corners in my vert ct, so a more realistic count would be 56lf vs. 64 lf or 40 lf vs. 48 (slinging mud will do that to you)

                            The seam count is just the beginning, if I am finishing drywall I would rather have one nice long seam that I can walk down than to have to do the floor to ceiling exercise all day. Also your eye would be more apt to pick the repeating pattern of the seams if they were not right on the money, especially with a flat wall and med sheen paint, with the seam at belly level it is less likely to be noticed.

                            No chip here, just trying to pass on the logic that was given to me, I always try to lay out a room so that the seams I have are easy to reach and as few as possible. Time = money.

                            james

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                            • #15
                              Re: Vertical Drywall

                              I also forgot to mention that i use drywall tools ( bazoka,and boxes ( corner and flat )), so going vert for a flat seam makes it very difficult to finish with boxes and also makes running the bazoka a pain, but even if i was hand taping i would rather walk a long seam.

                              next thing we are going to start pissing about top or bottom sheet first ( i do top )

                              james

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