Drywall Tip on Installing Drywall on Ceilings and Handling Gaps

The Best Way to deal with Gaps when Installing Drywall

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: I am in the process of installing drywall on the ceiling in a hallway / laundry room area. I dropped the ceiling about 10 inches by nailing a board to the wall studs at each end of the room and hung rafters from the two end boards. The problem I am having is that the ceiling is 8ft 2in in length and standard drywall lengths are 8ft / 12ft. Is there a “best way” to piece the drywall together to make up for the 2in gap on one side of the ceiling?

Answer: When installing drywall it is best to minimize gaps wherever and whenever possible. Though joint compound and tape can do wonders in hiding seams and nail holes they are not, by themselves, really meant to cover large seams.

Overtime these seams will dry and crack leaving you with an unattractive ceiling. Consequently I would not suggest positioning the 8ft drywall section so that you only have a 1 inch gap on both sides of the opening. I would also not recommend cutting the 8ft length of drywall in half and creating three 0.7in seams (both ends and one in the middle).

The best approach when dealing with a gap of this size (e.g. 2 inches), is to buy sufficient enough drywall so that you can either (1) install a 2 inch wide strip of drywall at one end of the ceiling or (2) cut two lengths of drywall 4ft 1 inch in length. Personally I would recommend option number (2) as the cost of sheetrock is relatively inexpensive and you will enhance your ability to get a clean looking ceiling.

When you start installing thin narrow filler drywall strips, the drywall begins to break down when you nail/screw it. When securing the narrow strips the drywall may crumble or bulge around the nail/screw, making it more difficult to tape and mud.

If you elect option number (1), you may be able to find drywall scraps at the home improvement store, versus having to buy an entire additional sheet.

For information on repairing a large drywall hole, see the “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook from HomeAdditionPlus.com.  The “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to repair your damaged wall so that it looks as good as new.

See HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Drywall Calculator

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