How Drywall Is Installed and Finished

Drywall Las Vegas is used to construct walls and ceilings. Its installation and finishing requires years of experience to master.


Also known as Sheetrock, wallboard and gypsum board, it’s found in homes and businesses everywhere. Despite its ubiquitous nature, few people know how it’s made or where it comes from. This article will take a look at the components that make up this useful construction material.

Gypsum is a soft, sedimentary sulfate rock that forms in various places on earth. It is mined and used to make a variety of construction materials, including drywall. Drywall is made of long sheets that can be cut, shaped, nailed and screwed, sanded, painted, and molded into unique shapes for hard-to-fit spaces. Its unusual structural properties, such as its ability to absorb shock, make it useful in separating walls, ceilings, and other parts of a building.

Raw gypsum is taken to factories, where it is ground into fine particles and mixed with other ingredients, such as water and thickening agents, to form a paste-like consistency. Different additives can be added to gypsum based on the type of wallboard it is being used for. For example, fire-rated drywall contains fiberglass to increase its fire resistance. The gypsum is then spread evenly over a sheet of Manila paper, and another layer of Manila paper is laid on top. The entire formation is then placed in ovens that heat and dry it. Drywall sheets are typically four feet wide and between eight and 12 feet tall.

Some drywall manufacturers use natural gypsum, while others rely on FGD gypsum that is produced from the byproducts of coal-fired power plants and may contain mercury. HBN guidance prioritizes hazard avoidance, and we encourage contractors to choose drywall that is manufactured from natural gypsum and to participate in drywall scrap recycling programs.

During the manufacturing process, gypsum releases small amounts of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is a respiratory irritant. In addition, if gypsum is disposed of in landfills and gets wet, it can form sulfate that contaminates groundwater. Concentrations of sulfate in drinking water have been observed at many unlined C&D debris landfills.


Drywall has a paper facing that serves several purposes, including providing a surface for painting or wallpapering and helping to hold the gypsum core together. Without the facing, gypsum would crumble and disintegrate. During the fabrication process, starch is added to help the paper facings adhere to the gypsum core and paper pulp is added for strength.

When used in the right application, drywall can provide significant fire protection for buildings. When exposed to direct flame, gypsum will release water, which vaporizes and cools the building structure and surrounding air. This vaporization slows the spread of the fire, allowing occupants to escape through open windows and doors before the gypsum becomes too hot to touch.

Two different types of drywall tape are available, with the choice largely based on individual project requirements and skill level. Mesh tape has a self-adhesive backing and does not require being embedded in a layer of joint compound, which speeds up the taping process and makes it easier for DIYers to handle.

However, the mesh tape is more elastic than paper and has a greater tendency to develop cracks in joints. This can lead to unsightly surface imperfections if not corrected with additional layers of joint compound. Therefore, a layer of setting-type compound should be applied before the final coat of mesh tape to compensate for this elasticity.

As with any construction project, installing drywall is messy. Joint compound and dust will spill, and it is easy to damage surfaces. Using surface protection, such as floor protection boards, carpet film and drop cloths, will help prevent damage and make cleanup much easier. In addition, a containment pole is useful for keeping drywall dust and compounds contained during installation.


Drywall is a common building material for walls and ceilings. When gypsum board panels are joined together, they create joints that need to be finished in order to make a smooth and continuous surface. The first step in this process is to apply a layer of joint compound, also known as mud. It’s important to use a good quality joint compound and mix it thoroughly before applying it. This ensures a smooth, lump-free consistency that is easier to work with and will result in a better finish.

For an interior wall or ceiling, it’s best to use a fire rated drywall joint compound. These compounds are designed to resist moisture and other environmental hazards, such as mold, mildew and vermin. They are also more durable than regular drywall joint compound, making them suitable for high-traffic areas.

There are several different types of drywall joints, but the most commonly used is a tapered joint. These joints are easier to tap than butt joints because the length sides of the drywall are machined down, creating a recessed area where the tape and mud can sit. To build a tapered joint, start by using a 6-inch joint knife to spread a thin layer of mud on the length side of the drywall panel. Then, place a piece of paper drywall tape over the mud and press down firmly.

After the tape is in place, apply a second layer of mud on top of the tape, using the 6” joint knife to make light swipes and feathering the edges. Once the second coat is complete, let it dry overnight. Finally, sand the edges of the joint compound until it’s flush with the rest of the drywall surface.


When working on a construction project, you need fasteners to keep everything together. Drywall is no exception. When hanging drywall, there are various types of fasteners available that contractors and DIYers can choose from to ensure a smooth and successful project.

Drywall screws are a common type of fastener used when working with drywall. They have a bugle head and are self-starting, making them ideal for securing full sheets of drywall in a room or home. They also feature a unique design that helps to distribute bearing stress across the head of the screw, resulting in a stronger and more durable finish.

Other common fasteners include masonry nails, box nails, and brad nails. These fasteners can be used for a variety of applications and materials, including wood, metal, and drywall. Some fasteners even have a decorative head, which can add a nice aesthetic to your finished product.

Another type of fastener used when working with Drywall is a molly bolt. A molly bolt is similar to a regular screw, but it is designed for use in applications with heavy loads or vibrations. Its sleeve features legs that expand out when tightened, which helps to keep the bolt secure.

For other applications, like when you’re trying to hang a heavier item on a wall, you may need a drywall anchor. These anchors come in a variety of designs, but they all work on the same principle. They’re similar to the anchor on a ship, except they’re used in materials like drywall and concrete rather than water. These anchors are a great alternative to nails or screws when working with drywall, as they can support much more weight and don’t loosen over time.


Whether drywall is being used in the home or commercial construction project, it’s important to choose the right finish. Different levels of finish are designated by industry standards, guaranteeing consistency throughout the construction process. These levels range from a preliminary finish to a highly polished, carefully layered finish.

Level 1 is the most basic drywall finish. It’s used in areas that are not open to public view and don’t require a high-quality finish, such as garages or service passageways. This finish is applied by wiping the joints and interior angles, leaving a thin coating of joint compound over them. Excess compound and tool marks are acceptable, but fasteners and accessories must be concealed.

The next drywall finishing level is level 2, which includes all of the steps listed above, but also requires pre-filling any uneven or unfinished areas of the wall with mud (also known as joint compound). The mud must be smoothed and covered, leaving no tool marks or ridges, before it’s allowed to dry.

This is the most commonly used drywall finish level and is typically recommended for residential walls where flat or light textures or paints will be used. It’s also a good choice for spaces where the drywall will be covered by wainscoting or paneling.

Level 3 is used when a gypsum panel product will be used as a tile substrate. It’s also used in areas that will be open to the public, such as lobbies and waiting rooms. In this level, the joints and interior angles have tape in the joint compound, which is then wiped to leave only a thin coating of joint compound over them. In addition, two hands of coats are applied over the flat joints and one hand of coat is applied to the interior angles. The area is then sanded, leaving no ridges or tool marks, before a skim coat of joint compound is applied.