Guide to Installing Drywall on a Ceiling
If you’ve just placed an order with a drywall supplier and it’s for installing it on the ceiling, you’ll probably need some help. At the very least, you’ll need assistance with getting heavy sheets up against the ceiling joists. Even if it’s a typical 4×8 ft. sheet, it will still be bulky, so holding it up against the ceiling is not easy.
The good news is that there are some drywall lifts, which are available from tool rental places. This lift simplifies the process of attaching drywall to the ceiling. You’ll still need help bringing the sheets into the room and setting it on the supports, however.
Here are some tips to help you install drywall on a ceiling:
Before you get started with anything, you should inspect the area for obstructions. Take care to install around ductwork, electrical wires, protruding pipes, etc. Furring strips can be installed to the framing in order to create an even, flat surface for the drywall installation around obstacles.
Specially-Designed Drywall Screws
You must use enough fasteners to ensure that the ceiling doesn’t sag. It’s best to use specially-designed drywall screws instead of nails, because the nails will pop out. When installing drywall that is ½-inch thick, the maximum screw spacing is a foot. Just to be on the safe side, however, you might want to space the screws even more closely. Also, keep the fasteners 3/8-in. away from the edges of each sheet. To be effective, the heads should sink just below the paper without breaking. Simply use a screw gun for depth adjustment instead of a drill.
Planning Drywall Placement
When hanging the drywall, start in the corner, so you’ll be able to use a full sheet. Raise it to the ceiling for an idea of how the placement should work across the joists. Wait until you have a good idea of where each sheet is going to be placed before applying the adhesive to the joists.
Start on the second row with a half-sheet in order to stagger the seams. Doing this will help enforce stability. Use a straightedge to guide the utility knife as you cut the line vertically at the midpoint of the sheet. You’ll want to tip the panel off a table or floor at a slight angle, and then push on it to break it in half.
Make Sure The Tape Is Flat
When it’s time to tape the drywall, it’s vital that you get the tape flat. The best method is to use presoaked paper tape and try to avoid spreading too much compound underneath. There need to be no voids, otherwise the tape will bubble. Immediately after the laying the tape, lay a topcoat on it. There will need to be at least two subsequent coats, which should be scraped with progressively wider blades to get the smoothest seams and feathering.
Texture usually comes as a powder or pre-mixed. Either way, you’ll still need to mix it with water to get the right consistency for texturing. You can make it only slightly looser than the mud you used for taping the seams, or pourable like paint. Unless you are starting out with a powdered joint compound, you will need to use a mixing tool; a regular stir stick is not recommended.
For the most part, a ceiling drywall installation project is something you can do yourself, just as long as you are prepared. Make sure you buy drywall that is high-quality and right for the job.