Installing Drywall Which way to hang????

lizabugFebruary 10, 2006

Hi All!

O.K. I know the right way to hang drywall, but I'd like to know what is wrong with hanging it vertically? Is there a reason for not doing this? We are preparing to work on another room in the basement, and the walls are not even 8ft tall so hanging vertically would be an easy way to go and there would be less seams to deal with in the end. Makes sence to me.... What am I missing here??

Thanks to all for any information. ~Liz~

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Because of the way that it is produced, drywall has a dimensional strength bias, comparable to how wood differs in strength across versus with the grain.

Drywall's "grain", so to speak, it along it's length.

For the strongest installation, install it perpendicular to the framing. For walls, that would be horizontally and not vertically.

Regardless, people do install it vertically all the time. No drywall crews that I've ever used do it, though.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 9:58PM
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The other reason to hang it horizontally is that you have less to tape. If it's vertical, you have an 8' high seam every 4'. If you hang it horizontally, you have an 8' seam every 8'. (Of course, you have the same length of taping where the wall meets the ceiling, regardless of which way you go.) The one argument for going vertical is that the seams all fall on the studs, while horizontal means that the joint spans studs and you may have a little more flex if it's not well done.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 10:16PM
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Now it makes sence to me.... No one had bothered to explain to me what the difference was and now I feel like I have a lil bit more knowledge on the subject. And yep, I guess the mudding does all equal out in the end. Thanks guy's. Finish framing and start the drywalling in the morn. Wish me luck! ~Liz~

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 11:21PM
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Installing drywall vertically actually results in more poped seams and a weaker wall. When done horizontally you and to offset your verticle seams so you bridge studs. This helps to stiffen the studs and make a stronger wall. If a stud twists and that happens to be where your verticle join is, the joint may well break. I have never seen a drywall crew hang drywall vertically. Also I suggest you use 4 x 12 panels and eliminate 50% of your verticle seams.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 11:28PM
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From my understanding, hanging drywall horizontally provides more strength, provided pieces are staggered. For a basement (block wall?) this would not be an issue, so vertical hanging would make it easiest to finish. If you hang vertical, all the seams will be in the recessed edges and will be easier to finish. If you hang horizontally, you will have butt joints that are not in recessed areas and they are harder to finish. 4x12 sheets are nice for horizontal hanging but you will need at least two people to handle them and you may have a very difficult time maneuvering them around, especially in a basement. If you are taping and finishing yourself, check out the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Taping Drywall Joints

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 9:37AM
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BTW, anybody have any info on the paperless "drywall"?

HD sudden;y has skids of this stuff - but I don't recall noticing it before. Labeling says "DON'T FEED MOLD" or something like that. Is this stuff new? Says that it cuts and finshes "just like drywall".

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 12:36PM
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Commercial drywall is installed vertically almost exclusively - except on tall warehouse walls where strenth is a requirement. The object is speed and low cost. Butt joints add costs to the taping. I would rather tape tapered seams every 4' than a butt joint every 8'. For a DIY'er with little experience in taping - good luck with all the butts. The standard method is 3or4-12" knife blades of width over the butts to hide the hump in the wall.

Residential hangers usually do 'stack the drywall'. I hang vertically in my remodeling projects and have never had problems.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 1:19PM
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If your goal is to minimize taping - here is an example:

You have a wall 8' high and 24' long.

If you hang vertically, you have 40 lineal feet of flat tapered seams to tape ( not including corners and ceiling angle which would be the same in both options).

If you stack and stagger the drywall you will have 24 lineal feet of flat tapered seam plus 20 lineal feet of butt joints for a total of 44 lineal feet. The upside is strength, the downside is additional taping and much more involved taping.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 11:54AM
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i've only seen one residential remodel do it vertically, and the rest horizontally. All new construction i've seen it horizontally. Having said that, I plan on doing mine vertically, since I am drywall taping challenged. :()

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 5:21PM
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Horizontally??? Well I'll be. I put in a horizontal joint and have been fretting for days thinking it wasn't as good. (using the drywall patch method on my old house walls)

What if you cut a piece of drywall in half so its 4' x 4'? Does it matter then which way it's hung? In other words-- does it keep its "grain" no matter how you cut it (like wood does) .... or is it that you always want to keep the long edge horizontal whether its the tape edge or not?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 6:12PM
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If you cut a 4'x8' sheet in half and hung one 4'x4' section vertically and the other horizontally, the horizontal one would be stronger.

When drywall is manufactured, it is made in one continuous sheet. As it goes through the rollers that compress it to its final thickness, it's the rolling pressure along the long axis that give it it's "grain", so to speak.

That said, if I had a patch to place in a wall, or was piecing something together, I wouldn't pass up a piece because of its grain orientation.

In the whole-house scenario it makes sense to hang horizontally, and to go for 12' sheets for fewer butt joints.

On a small scale, to heck with the grain and use the piece of scrap that fits.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 6:53PM
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From what I've read, drywall has a 'grain' that makes it stronger when hung horizontally. That said, if you're using 1/2 or thicker on 16" OC non load-bearing walls, you may be better off hanging it vertically. You'll be taping/mudding along the tapered edges instead of having butt joints which will make it easier. If you use sheets longer than 8 feet, you can reduce the number of seams by hanging it horizontally.

Here is a link that might be useful: Finish a A DIY Remodeling Adventure!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:58AM
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An old post but I have been digging into other factors. Seems the best way to hang drywall is a touchy debate.

Best can mean different things for different people. After doing a ton of research on the subject it seams that a certain degree of increased shear strength is gained by the drywall installation itself. This strength is increased with the use of proper fasteners and added blocking.

If you live in an increased earthquake zone these benefits can go South fast if the "S%$T" hits the fan but the increased Shear Strength has been documented by many universities and research groups.

Here in Vancouver, many people are scared of the "The Big One" a huge earthquake scheduled to arrive soon...

Many of our homes are not earthquake proof and many homes built prior to the 70's don't even have foundation bolts holding the home to it's foundation.

Look at your drywall project, look for ways to increase your homes strength and go from there.

I have a discussion here about the subject;

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Way to Hang Drywall

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 11:20AM
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