Gravitas Home Design

Just about Home Design and Decorating

The Basics of Drywall

In the recent past, many American homes contained walls that were made of gypsum plaster – a combination of powder and water applied over a wire mesh. This process was rather lengthy and in an effort to meet the demands of a growing population and need for faster building, drywall was invented.

Also known as plasterboard, drywall is made of pre-dried plaster panels: plaster or wood pulp or other materials. Used primarily to form the interior walls of houses, your contractor may erect drywall as part of building a home addition, garage, or even as part of refinishing your basement.

While you’re patiently waiting for your contractor to build your private masterpiece, you’ll appreciate how well things start to come together and look almost complete once drywall is erected.

Drywall Is Fast!

Drywall comes as sheets of plasterboard of various sizes. Depending upon the use of a room, your contractor may choose thicker plasterboard especially in a room for young children and bouncing toys. Thinner plasterboard is appropriate for areas of the house used less frequently. Using these panels, your contractor will essentially line them up against the studs of the wall’s structure and hammer the sides of them into the wood. The process is repeated when applying drywall to the ceiling as well.

Although measurements and secure nailing is important, the artistry of drywall begins during the taping stage. Taping is the process of concealing the joints between drywall panels. It isn’t hard to imagine that placing drywall panels next to each other creates unsightly lines or gaps. These gaps are called joints and taping conceals them. But this isn’t ordinary tape that we’re talking about.

Signs Of A Good Drywall Job

Contractors tape drywall by first covering its joints with cement, then with a paper strip, and then with more cement. After using a few smoothing techniques, it’s hard to distinguish where a drywall panel starts and ends. In a good drywall job, it’s also almost impossible to find where the panels were nailed into the studs behind them.

And a good dry Waller knows how to patch holes as well. In the past, we were told that repairing a hole by stuffing it with newspaper and patching it with material like Spackle is just fine. Professional contractors will tell you however, that although this method works, it leaves weak spots and there’s a better method that requires the expertise of a professional dry Waller.

Two Signs of A Good Drywall Contractor

Good drywall contractors follow up their initial nailing with a set of second long nails or screws. The second set of nails acts as reinforcement – ensuring that your walls won’t fall down during an important family event or while sleeping! They’re also careful to mix up a batch of cement that doesn’t form air bubbles in the wall’s seams upon drying.

These are just a couple of strategies that your drywall contractor will use to create a surrounding just as secure as the foundation that it sits on.