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Butt Seams

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  • Butt Seams

    Hello everyone! I would like to hear your opinions on the best installation/finishing method for butt joints. I have a job coming up where all the rooms are very large and will require many butt joints, and anything less than PERFECT will not pass. Any advice?

  • #2
    Re: Butt Seams

    You need those butthangers. I've never really seen one for real, but have been making my own for years. There is no other way to do them nicely for that kind of finish.

    Except I read here about a new tool, some sort of roller you use with water spray to indent the joint. This is interesting to me, but sounded like, perhaps, more work than my method of making plywood "splints" for the butt joints.

    Read back through the threads a ways, this gets discussed.


    • #3
      Re: Butt Seams

      First hiding the but joint starts with hanging. Use the largest sheet posiable 16 or 18 footers. Use " but hangers" or I use " E-Z backer" by trim tex. You can then tape the buts easer than the factory seams. If nothing but perfect will do check the studs befor hanging and have any bows repaired or shimed.

      good luck.


      • #4
        Re: Butt Seams

        I still swear by the Butt-taper. Maybe if you only plan on doing a few joints and never doing drywall again those EZ backers are OK. I just can't see why anyone would want to do house after house buying these things and throwing away the profits on consumable devices when you can get a tool that you can use over and over again and keep the cost of the EZ's in your pocket.
        You sound like you use the EZ backers, what do they cost in your area and how much would you need to put out to do an average house? My next question is if its not speced by the GC how can you compete and win a bid against a guy like me whose not including it. When I started looking for a butt solution I was floored at the cost of 1 EZ, no way could I justify it.
        Like Leon said he has a process he uses, I did it like him before I went looking. All I can say the Butt-taper steps you up to the next level beyond. Today people seem so aware of the critical lighting issue and want flat walls, that it isn't worth the hassle to try to avoid a few extra steps to avoid the subject. I remember when walls were starting to be screwed in instead of nailed. 'No way!' 'Never gonna catch on', good ideas take time to become the everyday norm. These companies out there are thinking up the craziest **** everyday to try to sell us, only the good ones catch on and make it, the Butt-tapers been around for quite awhile, I bought mine years ago.
        Anyway, I hope someone answers me about how they win bids with EZ backer, I keep asking but no one ever answers.


        • #5
          Re: Butt Seams

          But JAKA, how long does it take you with that roller affair? I think you posted a link, which I checked out, but it wasn't very clear on how long it takes to wet and mash down the joint.

          I completely agree with you on the price of those Butthangers, cause I don't see how its an improvement on my homemade ones. I don't see how these could slow me down more than 5 or 6 minutes per joint, total, specially since I don't have to hit the joist. And I don't have to look around for high or low joists. If there is no plywood scrap around, I do have to buy a sheet or two.

          So how long does that butt masher take?


          • #6
            Re: Butt Seams


            If I rocked full time I probably would by a but taper. I am a GC and sub out most of my work now ( I used to hang and tape full time). I only rock a few houses a year and tape half of those my self. Doing so a few hundred a year for but hangers or ez backers dose not amount to much. It dose not slow you down much but I cannot afford to pay help at 15.00/hr to build them. The last I bought cost around $5 /6.00 each( hope my memory is good). I rearly use them on the whole house only in problem areas. Something else to keep in mind is most places wont let you use them if the ceiling rock is supporting weight such as blow in insulation.

            As to how to win bids using them you dont! If your work is a competive bid and low bid gets the job you have to bid minimum allowable work. If nothing but perfect is acceptiable as the original post . You have to sell the job!! And charge for the time it takes for that leval of work.

            As an example 2 years ago I built a custom home , it had about 15,000 sf of rock , smoth walls and ceiling, they wanted perfect walls. This was 4 coat sponge, a wall surficer, touch up spot prime , 2 coat of flat paint. I spent around $1,200.00 for trim and E-Z backers to achieve this. The house also had about 40 LF of curved walls and a hallway that had an S curve in it with a barrel vault ceiling that also made the S curve. This job was not bid by the foot it was priced for the job.


            • #7
              Re: Butt Seams


              I'm a drywaller and I invented the ButtTaper. Go to the website and on the video you can see a demo that is timed. Now I do it in about a minute and a half as follows:

              - Spray the water - 10 seconds
              - Create the beveled edge - 40 seconds
              - Apply first coat - 20 seconds
              - 2nd coat - - 5 seconds
              - Apply 3rd coat - 10 seconds
              - Sand - 5 seconds

              I use setting compound on the first two coats without any tape but guys Like Jaka who bought the first one use the tape, so add 40 seconds for using the tape.

              Most drywall suppliers also sell lumber, just add on a sheet of OSB. Most remodelers already have that wood on a job. Make it a point to have portable circular saw with your drywall tools.

              For repairs it's excellent..just cut a square/rectangle for the patch , put the backer around the whole, use E-Z 20 with a hairdryer and you can finish a patch in 15 minutes..and it's flat. Youi can't do patches with the other butt products!

              The ButtTaper works on double drywall, on curves, and drywall over paneling. Mine has been tested by the NAHB Research Center and I have yet to see any testing on the others. I'm not here to peddle it..the ButtTaper's time will come. There are new products that now use MDF as the backer but they don't tell you that you need a special screw for MDF. Put a drywall screw into MDF and then apply a little force to it..see how it wiggles. Mine system uses setting compound which is not affected by humidity and is stronger than regular mud and tape.

              The trick on butts is to use backer board that will not shrink and that the butt boards are well secured to it. TGI ceiling joists have more than 1 1/2"..I did a job with with a TGI that was 3" wide so I left the butt on it..mine works on it.

              It's one tool one time..ripping the OSB does not take rock faster and your butt will never crack ..more importantly the butts are flat. I use as much mud as will fit into a 5" knife..that's very little. If you do small jobs, keep some OSB rips in your truck/van and for repairs it is the ultimate way of doing them.

              You do your butts first with my system and then you don't have to wait for the seams to dry..simply mine is faster, better, and cheaper.

              Change is hard to come by that's the problem. Guys are used to doing it one way..but to leave a butt on a stud that is 1 1/2" wide, that will skrink and cause ridging is beyond my comprehension. I invented it cause I got tired of all the aggrevation with butts.

              I didn't want to reply to here..I'm here to learn about drywall and also give some advice as I did before (Steve). I got my patent recently so I will now start to sell it..some will like it and some won't..most don't care about quality and a small minority does..that's just the way it is. I just sold 3 of them on a job that I was a big job and the GC had his man do the bathrooms cause he wanted to start to tile them..he saw the way that i did mine and was sold. Another of the GC's guys does patches..he was impressed and bought one. Seeing is believing because it's a novel way of drywalling. They sell these mesh wire repair patches..a 4"x4" COSTS $2.00, A 6" X 6" $3.00 and a 8" x 8" $ does add up and the patch is not flat.


              • #8
                Re: Butt Seams

                I really believe in backblocking and I use butthangers or ez backers on all my butt seams. There is a new style now that cost less called a rocksplicer. Using these saves me time and time is money. Also I get great results and that is what it is all about. The cost is not a factor because I am giving my customers an upgrade and I will often land the job because I am the only drywall contractor offering this option. If I am just taping a job and they haven't used a backblocker I will charge more to tape the job. They work that good! The butttaper is also a good tool and it works best when backblocked.


                • #9
                  Re: Butt Seams

                  I'm with Myron - I use the rockSplicer now ( see our site and pic's at
                  and only do higher end work.

                  I have a panel saw so I'm making my own now. In stead of dadoing, I'll be stapling strips on the edeges.

                  I'm also not doing high volume work.