How to Install Sheetrock

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Sheetrock, or drywall, provides a smooth finish for the interior walls of your home without the complicated mess associated with plaster. Sheetrock is a compressed gypsum product that has moderate strength and, if installed properly, is long-lasting. The sheets of drywall are heavy, so you need to use proper lifting and carrying techniques to ensure you do not sustain an injury during installation. You do not want to cut a Sheetrock sheet into manageable sizes, as this will increase the amount of work involved in the finishing process.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drywall square
  • Utility knife
  • #2 Phillips tip adapter
  • Electric screw gun
  • 1 3/8-inch drywall screws
  • Don your safety glasses.

  • Measure the center line distance between the studs on the wall or ceiling that you are installing the Sheetrock with a tape measure. You will encounter studs that are on either 16- or 24-inch centers.

  • Measure out 48 inches from one corner of the wall or ceiling with the tape measure. If 48 inches falls on the center of a stud, you will not need to cut the first piece of drywall to width. If it falls off a stud, you will need to cut the sheet of drywall to the last stud you passed before reaching the 48-inch measurement. For example, if the center of the last stud you passed is 30 inches from the corner of the wall, you will need cut the sheet of drywall to 30 inches.

  • Stretch the tape measure across the width of the drywall sheet and place a mark at the width you need to cut the sheet with a pencil.

  • Measure the height of the wall or ceiling once at the corner and again at the width you will be cutting the sheet. The measurement should be the same, but walls do not always run square.

  • Pull the tape measure along the edge of the drywall that will be secured in the corner of your wall or ceiling and place a mark at the height you measured in the last step. Repeat the process on the side of the drywall that will be cut to width.

  • Place the short leg of the drywall square against the side of the drywall, align the long leg of the drywall square with the height marks you placed on the drywall sheet in Step 6, and run the pencil along the aligned edge to draw a line.

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  • Set the pencil against the dimension marked on the square's leg that corresponds with the width mark you placed on the drywall sheet in Step 4.

  • Pull the drywall square and pencil along the drywall to mark the cut width with a pencil line.

  • Set the drywall square aside and run the blade of the utility knife along the length line you drew on the surface of the drywall sheet.

  • Stand the drywall sheet on one edge, with the score line facing up. The top of the sheet should be 48 inches off the floor. Hit the backside of the score line with your hand to snap the sheet along the score line.

  • Run the blade of the utility knife along the snapped section of drywall to cut the drywall to width.

  • Move to the height line and repeat the process of snapping and cutting the drywall sheet.

  • Make a line with the pencil and drywall square as described in Step 9 to designate each stud that will reside behind the cut sheet of drywall.

  • Secure the #2 Phillips tip adapter into the electric screw gun.

  • Set the depth gauge of the electric screw gun operating manual. The depth required should recess the head of the drywall screws below the surface of the drywall sheet without tearing the sheet's paper covering.

  • Stand the cut sheet of drywall against the wall, make sure the sheet is sitting tight into the corner, and run a 1 3/8-inch drywall screw through the drywall and into the top of each stud located behind the sheet.

  • Place one screw every 12 inches until you secure the drywall to all studs located behind the sheet from top to bottom.

  • Repeat the process of measuring, marking and cutting until you have the area covered with drywall. make sure that all seams butt tightly together to ease the drywall finishing process.

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  • Photo Credit carpenter`s knife image by Paolo from Fotolia.com
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