Essential Tools For DIY Drywall Installation
Having the right drywall panel size will always be essential, so it’s important to take the correct measurements. A drywall board usually won’t be more than 16 feet long, and it might be half as long as that. These boards will also usually be about 48 inches wide. Professional drywall installers will often use drywall boards that are 12 feet or 16 feet long when they’re working in residential spaces.
A drywall ruler or T-square can help you take these measurements more successfully. These rulers will be long enough for their intended purpose. It’s also relatively easy to use these rulers. Taking measurements using other measuring tools can be awkward when you’re specifically trying to measure drywall. You can get one of these rulers before making the drywall purchase.
Larger drywall boards can sometimes be more difficult to install. A drywall professional can help you with that part of the process. It’s popular to choose relatively thick drywall boards today since these boards absorb sound more effectively than thinner drywall boards. A thick drywall board will also be more fire-resistant than a thinner one. However, installing a thicker drywall board might be more difficult for people who have less experience with the process since these boards are less flexible than the thin ones.
Starting Your DIY Drywall Project
If you’re going to install drywall as part of a DIY project, you’re going to need the right tools for the job. The good news is you can load up on all the essentials at your local hardware store without having to take out a second mortgage on your house.
Some of the essentials you’ll need include:
- A drywall knife: Drywall knives are specialized, but not expensive. Low-end knives are probably best since you’ll usually need to throw them away and replace them. Depending on what you need, there are several types available including 12, 6 and 4 inch sizes. The 12-inch knife is used for final coats and feathering and 4 and 6 inch knives are used for putting mud into place and for taping.
- A utility knife: Most utility knives will work for a drywall project, except for the ones with snap-off blades. Make sure that the utility blade you use has interchangeable blades.
- A cordless drill: Rather than using a hammer and nails to install drywall, cordless drills allow homeowners or professionals to use screw guns that load screws automatically. Depending on the project, renting a screw gun may be the way to go.
- Sanding Pole and Sanding Sheets: Using these is simple. Sanding sheets fit into the end of a sander with wing nuts and then the sander and sanding pole screw together. Sanding sheets come in two types: ones that look like sandpaper and coarse fiberglass mesh with open holes. The fiberglass mesh allows drywall dust to pass through so as not to muck up the sanding surface. The sandpaper type of sanding sheets is used for finer sanding.
If you’re looking for professional-grade drywall power tools, there are many options available including:
- The Oscillating Multi-Tool: This is one of many professional-grade drywall power tools that’s versatile and can pick up the slack where other tools falter. Cutting drywall panels is a breeze with a tool like this.
- Reciprocating Saw: For those who love professional-grade drywall power tools, a reciprocating saw can make the rough cuts that are needed when it comes to drywall. Depending on the model, reciprocating saws are portable, offering varying speeds and reliable and safe.
- Spiral Saw: Another of the helpful professional-grade drywall power tools available is the spiral saw. This saw lets you cut holes quickly and accurately without the time-consuming measuring and marking that’s usually required when it comes to cutting drywall. A spiral bit allows for slicing rather than chopping or cutting. The angle bit leaves a cleaner cut compared to the straight bit and results in a tighter fit around electrical boxes while eliminating wall repair.
- The Track Saw with Dust Collection: This is one of those professional-grade drywall power tools that isn’t for everyone, but for those who use it, it works wonders. It has accuracy, cleanliness and speed and is used to make many identical length cuts through multiple sheets of drywall. The dust collection feature keeps the dust to a minimum and allows straight accurate cuts, which ultimately saves you time. For those that use them, track saws with dust collection are a tried-and-true tool for cutting drywall.
R value is how insulation is graded. Generally, a higher R value denotes better insulation and can be found when material thickness is divided by thermal conductivity. For example, half-inch drywall has R-Value studs of 0.45 and R-Value Cavity of 0.45.