Putting Up Sheetrock

mathmuseDecember 15, 2009

I am in the process of purchasing a house and one of the things I am looking at doing is having a firewall installed in the garage. The wall a framing are there, just not the sheetrock. I have had two estimates: one was outrageous and the other was stated this way "sheetrock with 5/8" fire rated Type x and one coat joint compounding, no sanding. Include heat temp."

Now - it has been awhile since I've seen anyone put up sheetrock, but I remember that the joint compounding was allowed to dry, sanded, then a second layer was applied and sanded.

My question is how important is the sanding and second layer? Are these steps for priming walls that are to be painted?

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A second coat is almost always needed to get a true finished look. If you are hoping for a clean look that you would expect to see in the rest of your house, a second coat is essential. As far as the sanding goes- well, there is some difference of opinion on that. My stepdad does joints on sheetrock so well that there is no sanding needed 99% of the time. If the guy is that good, it may not be too bad, if he isn't..... You get the idea.

And FYI, the way it was worded, there is nothing there about priming the wall. Period. Priming can be done by spraying or by rolling, but if they are not doing a second coat or sanding, they definitely aren't doing the priming.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 10:52PM
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It's pretty common (at least where I live) for sheetrock in garages to be only done with the first coating, which basically fills in the fastener heads and the joints are done with paper tape and joint compound. It seals everything from a functional standpoint, but it looks pretty primitive, ad you wouldn't want to paint over it without further work.

A finished sheetrock job typically involves three applications of joint compound, each time with a wider knife to feather out the seams, and then a final sanding so it's ready for priming and painting. The quote you got means that the contractor will come in, put up the sheetrock, and do the first of the three coats, which will probably allow him to do the whole thing in one day, since that all can be done quickly. He can offer you a reasonable price because he's not going to have to wait for it to dry, come back and do a second coat, let it dry and come back and do a third coat, let it dry, and then sand. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing...it's just not what you'd want in your living room. If it were me and I wanted to save money, I'd take his bid and see what you think after he's done. If you want a more finished look, and want to paint it, get yourself a bucket of joint compound and a set of knives and learn how to finish and sand sheetrock.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 2:56AM
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"...each time with a wider knife to feather out the seams..."

If you are good at a single 6 inch knife is all you need and sanding is not required.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 9:10AM
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This is a classic case of being able to compare apples to apples and it's important to make sure each of your potential contractors is bidding on the same job.

It's pretty common to see a single coat of mud plus tape in a garage. Around here it's often called a "fire coat" because it's all that's required to meet code. Depending on the skill and effort put forth by the drywaller, a "fire coat" can be pretty rough or look half decent. Although it's never going to look like your living room with just one coat. You might give some thought to what you're trying to achieve and then ask each contractor for a new price. Then you'll be comparing apples to apples.

You might want to take a look at link which describes the levels of drywall finish. For a garage I'd think a level 2 finish would be acceptable to most people. A "fire coat" is level 1.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drywall Finish Levels

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 3:22PM
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does anyone know is ultralight sheetrock is suitable for kitchens

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Should be a new topic. But the answer is yes. The ultralight gypsum panels from Sheetrock and others are designed to be functionally equivalent to the regular weight panels.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

"If you are good at a single 6 inch knife is all you need and sanding is not required."

after 10 or 15 years at it (:,)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:06AM
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It doesn't affect the above answers but it is always a good idea to use the correct terms when asking someone to bid a job.

Fire walls are at least 2 hour rated and are only required between dwellings so they are not required in a single-family residence. The wall separating the house from an attached garage is is usually required to have at least one layer of 1/2" drywall on each side which essentially makes it an unrated "smoke partition".

Putting a layer of Type X drywall (which is always 5/8" thick) on one side still doesn't make it a "fire wall" although it would last a bit longer in a fire. If it had the same finish on the other side and a 20 minute or solid core wood door it would meet the definition of a 1-hour "fire-separation wall" which is more than any residential code requires.

You can check your code to see what it requires but because the wall is already constructed you are allowed to do whatever you want.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:06PM
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