Framing and Drywall

Drywall framing is a specialized construction technique used to prepare a wall for installing drywall, or gypsum board. Because drywall sheets are manufactured to a universal size, all framing on which these boards, or sheets, will be installed must comply with specific dimensions. Otherwise, drywall sheets will all need to be custom cut to fit wall and ceiling studs, at additional cost in labor and material. To achieve framing at the most reasonable cost of material and labor, use the information below.

Step 1 – Vertical Wall Studs

Install wall studs according to conventional standards: 16″ from stud center to stud center. Plates for wall top and bottom, door and window double posts should also be installed, as typically done for general construction. As usual, install the first stud center 16″ from the bottom plate’s outside edge. Otherwise, all other measurements will be incorrect, making it necessary to cut each drywall sheet before installing it and creating extra labor and material expense.

Step 2 – Framing Corners

Be sure that each vertical corner includes two vertical framing members with the second 2″ x 4″ resting on the bottom plate, as all frame studs do. Avoid installing studs with the flat side facing forward. This is often done by inexperienced workers who prefer having a wider surface into which to drive their drywall screws or nails. Fasten each stud into place by toenailing the nails at the bottom and top.

Step 3 – Closets

Take necessary steps to ensure that closets are properly framed, keeping in mind the extra vertical studs that are needed.

Step 4 – Bathtubs and Showers

Where water resistant drywall is used around tubs and showers, add extra 2″x 4″ studs where seams are created horizontally between drywall sheets. Blocking of this type should be done at precisely 4′ above the top of the tub level, where the blocking center should be placed. If necessary, use No. 12 nails. Where tiles will be attached above drywall, add additional blocking, as needed. Where horizontal drywall seams exist, block so that each stud center falls on the 4′ mark.

Step 5 – 24″ Stud Blocking

For vertical studs spaced at 24 inches, rather than the standard 16″, add horizontal blocking to provide a secure surface into which you can sink your drywall screws. Measure down from the top 4′ and ¼” and snap a horizontal line at this level. This will be your horizontal block center. In rooms that are higher than the standard 8 feet, you’ll need a second horizontal block, 8′ and ½”. The extra ½” is to allow for the thickness of the drywall sheet. If your drywall is 3/8″, then your horizontal blocks should be 8′ and 3/8″ down from the top.

Step 6 – First Drywall Sheets Attached

To begin attaching your drywall sheets, do the ceiling sheets first. By doing this, all your vertical sheets will be butted up against the ceiling sheets, whose edges will more likely be more even taping of room corners.