Should the gap between the drywall & floor be caulked?

HappykateDecember 29, 2007

I've heard that sealing the gap between the drywall & the floor, and between the drywall and the ceiling, will drastically cut down the dust in your house.

I'm not a duster and apparently never will be, so if this works I could do this, this weekend. But, can this give rise to moisture issues? something else horrible?

Thanks! Kate.

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No. You need to allow for expansion and contraction. The 'gap' will be covered by the trim. (I want to say quarter-round, but that's not quite right.)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:39AM
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Thanks, chisue. Drywall expands & contracts? We'll have baseboard but no crown molding at the ceiling . . . I can't remember what it looks like now where the drywall meets the ceiling. Wonder if anyone but us knows that there's no crown; wonder if there's a gap at the top? Gah! will run out there and check!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:44AM
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I've never heard of allowing for expansion/contraction of wallboard. On a standard 8' wall the actual wall height w/ the drywall hung on the ceiling is 8'1/4" leaving a gap at the floor as wall board is 4'x8'. On smaller walls or taller walls, ive always seen the rockers just run it tight to the floor.

You might consider dap low expanding/water based foam,(in the blue can). It stays relativaley soft (doesn't harden), and is easy to work with. Because it stays flexible, it will give should there be any movement of the board, even though i've never heard of that, doesn't mean it does not happen.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:50AM
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What kind of ceiling do you have that has a gap?
By the time you install baseboard, and then possibly quarter round or shoe mold there is not a lot of opening left for dust to go through.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Usually you'll caulk the baseboard if painted white and that would cover the gap. Not sure what you mean with the ceiling and not having crownmolding. There shouldn't be a gap there.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 1:04PM
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Sealant at that location would be for acoustic separation. Dust in a house comes from what is brought in on clothing or the wind and detritus from skin and hair. The sealant would have no effect on dust or moisture in your house.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 2:34PM
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Sealing the drywall at this intersection is a good thing, if its done at the right time.

The simplest way, is to gasket it prior to hanging drywall,

(note: Denarco gasketing on the bottom plate of the ouside/insulated wall)

but its too late for that.

Sealing it now, would be a tedious thing to do, if you are in fact wanting to seal the drywall to the bottom plate, (which would stop air infiltration from the stud cavity into the conditioned space) The dust you allude to, is insulation dust that rides along with the air movement.

I dont think that sealing this, would significantly reduce the amount of dusting you will need to do.

Most dust that enters a house thru air leakage, comes thru the ceiling/attic plane, where air movement and gravity facilitate it entering the conditioned space.

Non air tight recessed cans are the most noted offender.

Sealing the bottom plate to the floor sheating is quick easy to do, even if the drywall is hung. While this will eliminate some air leakage, it wont stop much dust, per se, because there isnt much dust that would enter at this point.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 2:50PM
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You can use acoustical caulking at such gaps. But, as the name implies, it's for reducing sound, not dust. Very messy stuff to work with.

What kind of insulation is that rollie? Cellulose batts?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 3:10PM
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SHOE! That's the word I couldn't remember.

I was thinking of our wood flooring when I mentioned leaving room for some movement. Missed the part about the ceiling; shouldn't have a gap there.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 3:26PM
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The insulation above appears to be blown-in fiberglass, or "blowing wool," behind a bib system.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 4:09PM
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Its stabilized cellulose.

no bib

Ditto on the acoustical sealant, Used that stuff once for the seal between the plate and the floor sheathing. No problems, till the carpet layer was "caulking" in the carpet, and his tool got full of the stuff. which came back out onto the carpet when he retracted the tool.

Black Death, we use to call it. "It" being Tremco acoustical sealant.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 6:46PM
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oops...sorry! That insulation looks almost identical to our blown in fiberglass insulation, which is behind a bib. Although, to be precise, we have only managed to insulate one room so far because they cannot get the roof/brick/windows to stop's a cat chasing its' tail at this point!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Oh my! I hope I don't sound like too much of a groupie, but it's wonderful to see your post, Mightyanvil. I'm a dedicated lurker and have sorely missed your input.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 7:16PM
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nuther, you don't sound like a groupie at all. It's always nice to see Rollie, Mighty and Worthy around here.

I hope you all have a good 2008!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:11PM
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I second bungeeii and nutherokie!!! I always value their opinions/suggestions along with Sierraeast :-)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 10:57PM
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I'd do it - it certainly can't hurt. We have a house built in 1998 that has no seal between the drywall and floor - we have hardwoods, not carpet, and in the winter, we can feel significant airflow coming out between the baseboards and the flooring. In fact, we had the house resided (long story, check here if you're curious) and had streaks of drywall dust streaming out from under the baseboards from all the banging on the exterior walls - we could see exactly where the air leaks were by the dust patterns on the floor.

So anyhow, it is now on our list to seal this gap. Because the floor is not even (it is random-width pine) and gappy where it hits the baseboard, caulk by itself is going to look awful, so we either have to remove the baseboards, caulk behind them, then reapply the baseboards. Our other choice would be to caulk then install shoe molding to cover the caulk. We're going to try that first and see if we like the look because we're afraid of damaging the drywall if we try to remove the baseboards. Either way it's a pain in the butt, though, which is why I vote that if you can do it now quick-and-easy-like, do it. What do you have to lose other than the cost of a couple tubes of caulk and a few hours?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 8:16AM
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Not in the same company concerning building sciences as worthy, mighty anvil, rollie, and others but thanks kelntex. Welcome back to you as well. I've learned a great deal from them, you and others on these forums over the years simply by reading the posts and responses as well as corrections when im wrong!

Here's to a great new year to all on your projects, builds, and life in general!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:15PM
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Geeze! Thanks. And the best to everyone else too. I learn at least as much here as I try to share. Plus I get to see some fabulous homes and rooms!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:57PM
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It would be more typical to have the plate/floor intersection caulked, as this will stop air infiltration that would carry the dust into the living space. If the base/floor gap idea is objectionable, have the base installed 3/8" above the flooring and fill the gaps with medium-expanding foam insulation. This will close everything off, but be careful if the finished flooring is already in. The gap is then covered by shoe or quarter round. We typically do this on old draughty houses. It is quite effective for balloon framing where there are no top or bottom plates to caulk to.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 11:13AM
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