Bathroom Drywall Installation

Drywall being installed in a bathroom.
  • 6-24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $130-200
What You'll Need
Drywall tape
Drywall compound and screws
Power drill
Utility knife
Tape measure
Drywall knives
Drywall mud trough
Drywall screwdriver

The process of hanging bathroom drywall is nearly identical to doing the work in any other room. The biggest difference, aside from the scope of the project, is the type of gypsum board you use. When hanging it in bathrooms or other rooms where moisture is a major factor, a special type of drywall designed to resist the effects of moisture buildup and mold must be used.

Standard drywall consists of a gypsum core sandwiched between a front and back layer of paper. Because of the organic content found in paper, high-moisture areas will eventually cause mold to eat away at it, ruining it over time.

For bathrooms and showers, greenboard is used. It has a thin fiberglass mat instead of paper for the outer layers. This ensures that mold doesn't appear and grow within. Drywall tape must be inorganic as well. Make sure you purchase a mold-resistant variety made from synthetic materials.

Other than the type of material you use, hanging drywall in a bathroom requires the same tools and procedures as any other room.

Step 1 - Take Measurements

Once your tools and materials are in place, begin by taking measurements all around the bathroom. Take note of any light fixtures, power outlets, light switches, or other protrusions from the wall or ceiling that will require pre-cut holes in the greenboard.

Step 2 - Cut Drywall and Openings for Fixtures

Use your tape measure as a straight edge and mark out the dimensions of the cut on the drywall. Then, use a utility knife to cut out the holes or openings. For circular cuts, measure the distance to all four sides and use a compass to draw a perfect circle before cutting.

Step 3 - Hang Drywall

Anywhere you can hang full four by eight foot sheets of drywall, do so first. As previously mentioned, the process of hanging the drywall is the same in the bathroom as in any other room. If you are unfamiliar with the process, follow this link: How to Hang Drywall.

Some experts argue that hanging drywall horizontally ultimately creates fewer joints to tape. Whether you hang drywall horizontally or vertically, it's really just a matter of choice.

Note that if you are hanging drywall on the ceiling by yourself, a drywall jack is useful. Generally, it's better to have a friend help so you avoid any chance of the drywall falling and breaking,

Step 4 - Tape and Mud the Joints

After the drywall is hung, go over every joint with drywall compound or mud, followed by tape. Once this dries, it requires a second and a third coat of mud to completely smooth it out and conceal the tape. All-purpose drywall compound works for all three layers, but you can also use a combination of taping and topping compounds.

Once completed, you are now ready to texture and paint your wall. Add wainscoting or decorate the walls as desired.

Remember, bathroom drywall installation is no different than any other room except for the type of drywall and tape you use. In a high-moisture environment like this, your best bet is to use greenboard and inorganic materials, to avoid future mold growth.