Should drywall hanging be vertical or horizontal? No matter which way you want to do it, it can be a time consuming process. Many homeowners prefer to leave the job to a drywall company or professional rather than try to tackle the project on their own.
You need to consider what would look best in your home. Horizontal and vertical hanging each has its own pros and cons. Here is a look at what each type of installation has to offer:
Horizontal Drywall Installation
In a typical residential home, the distance from floor to ceiling is an average of 8-feet. Drywall sheets usually come in 4-foot widths in either 8-foot lengths or 12-foot lengths. Horizontal hanging allows for a nice fit with one sheet installed on top of the other.
A good rule of thumb is that for walls that are 8’2” tall or less, a horizontal application would be ideal. The universal spacing of wood studs in a home frame is 16-inhes on center. The fewer amount of joints, the stronger the drywall installation will be. In a small to average sized room, there will be fewer joints with a horizontal application. A vertical installation in a smaller room will have more joints, and may therefore be weaker.
In areas of the home where the wall may be higher, such as in the stairwell or in a cathedral room, some experts still recommend horizontal. The seams are at a more convenient height for easy finishing. Even if any studs are not positioned properly, they will be easier to correct. Rather than having to trim the full-length of a finished beveled edge, you would only have to trim a short non-beveled edge.
In rooms with natural lighting, you won’t have to worry about the vertical seams showing if you hang the drywall horizontally.
Vertical Drywall Installation
There are still those who prefer vertical installation – especially in rooms with high walls. This type of installation is also practical for non-load bearing walls, such as those in an office environment requiring metal studs. If you need to install drywall on a wall that is 4-feet wide or less, vertical is ideal, as you would only need a single sheet without any joint to worry about.
Aesthetically speaking, a vertical installation also looks nice when there are no butt joints to look at between two non-beveled edges. Speaking of which, butt joints are often difficult for amateur DIY-ers. The most difficult part of a vertical installation would be to fit the drywall to the studs with screws. Since the bottom sheet is much higher on the wall, you would need a step stool to reach the top corners.
Which is Right for You?
Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and experience level with finishing. If you don’t have the experience or patience to deal with butt joints, you could end up wasting drywall supplies on a horizontal finish. On the other hand, you could end up with extra unnecessary studs with a vertical installation if the layout is off.
If you’re still feeling confused or overwhelmed, you might want to just have a drywall company do the work for you – or at least offer you a consultation.