INTERIOR FINISH OF WALLS AND CEILINGS
Builders are responsible for finishing the interior of
the buildings of a construction project. Interior finish
consists mainly of the coverings of the rough walls,
ceilings, and floors, and installing doors and windows
with trim and hardware. In this chapter, well discuss
wall and ceiling coverings, including the closely related
topics of insulation and ventilation. In the next chapter,
well look at floor coverings, stairway construction, and
interior door and wood trim installation.
DRYWALL AND OTHER
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Upon completing
this section, you should be able to describe
drywall installation and finishing procedures,
and identify various types of wall and ceiling
coverings and the tools, fasteners, and
accessories used in installation.
Though lath-and-plaster finish is still used in
building construction today, drywall finish has become
the most popular. Drywall finish saves time in
construction, whereas plaster finish requires drying time
before other interior work can be started. Drywall finish
requires only short drying time since little, if any, water
is required for application. However, a gypsum drywall
demands a moderately low moisture content of the
framing members to prevent nail-pops. Nail-pops
result when frame members dry out to moisture
equilibrium, causing the nailhead to form small
humps on the surface of the board. Stud alignment is
also important for single-layer gypsum finish to prevent
a wavy, uneven appearance. Thus, there are advantages
to both plaster and gypsum drywall finishes and each
should be considered along with the initial cost and
There are many types of drywall. One of the most
widely used is gypsum board in 4- by 8-foot sheets.
Gypsum board is also available in lengths up to 16 feet.
These lengths are used in horizontal application.
Plywood, hardboard, fiberboard, particleboard, wood
paneling, and similar types are also used. Many of these
drywall finishes come prefinished.
The use of thin sheet materials, such as gypsum
board or plywood, requires that studs and ceiling joists
have good alignment to provide a smooth, even surface.
Wood sheathing often corrects misaligned studs on
exterior walls. A strongback (fig. 5-1) provides for
alignment of ceiling joists of unfinished attics. It can
also be used at the center of a span when ceiling joists
Gypsum wallboard is the most commonly used wall
and ceiling covering in construction today. Because
gypsum is nonflammable and durable, it is appropriate
for application inmost building types. Sheets of drywall
are nailed or screwed into place, and nail indentions or
dimples are filled with joint compound. Joints
between adjoining sheets are built up with special tape
and several layers (usually three) of joint compound.
Drywall is easily installed, though joint work can be
Drywall varies in composition, thickness, and edge
shape. The most common sizes with tapered edges are
1/2 inch by 4 feet by 8 feet and 1/2 inch by 4 feet by
Regular gypsum board is commonly used on walls
and ceilings and is available in various thicknesses. The
most common thicknesses are 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch.
Type X gypsum board has special additives that make it
Figure 5-1.Strongback for alignment of ceiling joists.