How to Hang Drywall in a Basement

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Drywall sheets
Drywall screws
Masonry screws
Lumber cut to basement wall dimensions
Cordless drill
Tape measure
Drywall cutter

Hanging drywall in a basement can be a bit more involved than other stages of basement finishing, but the results are worth the extra effort. Having a high-quality finished basement creates added living space, whether it is used as a recreation area, guest room, or simply extra storage space.

Many basement walls are made of concrete, so a preliminary base will need to be built out of wood for the drywall. Construction of this lumber frame is fairly straightforward with correctly measured and cut wood pieces, as well as the proper tools. Follow these steps to hang drywall in a basement.

Step 1 - Record Wall Dimensions

Use a carpenter's tape measure to take all lengths and widths of each basement wall section. Noting them accurately is important for constructing and securing your wooden wall frame correctly.

Professional drywall installers recommend using boards that are either 2x2-inches i or 1x4-inches, depending on the overall size and shape of the basement space. A good lumber dealer should be able to calculate and cut the number of required boards based on the measurements which you provide.

Step 2 - Construct Wood Framing

The foundation for your basement drywall should have horizontal runners at the top and bottom, close to the ceiling and floor on each wall section. The vertical boards should be spaced 24-inches apart. It is important to purchase good pressure-treated lumber; the added expense will create a sturdy drywall foundation.

Ensure that there is a secure fit with the ends of each vertical runner between the floor and ceiling. Attach each vertical board as well as the horizontal runners with masonry screws and your cordless drill with the correctly sized screw bit.

Step 3 - Add Drywall Sheets

Select drywall sheeting that is at least 3/8-inches thick and that comes in the standard dimensions of 4x8-feet per sheet for an easy fit on a standard 8-foot basement ceiling. Ensure that your first drywall sheet is squarely positioned by checking it with the level. Secure each drywall sheet with drywall screws spaced 18-inches apart. Close all gaps between the sheets.

Step 4 - Cut Final Sheet to Fit

The last drywall sheet on each wall section usually needs to be trimmed to a smaller size for a snug fit with the rest. First measure the last remaining gap in the wood framing where the smaller sheet will go, then carefully cut the drywall according to these measurements with your drywall cutter. Secure this piece the same way as the rest.

Step 5 - Add Plaster

Once all of the drywall sheets are screwed in place, use the trowel to spread small amounts of plaster over the head of each drywall screw. Then apply a line of plaster over each drywall seam, being careful not to spread it too thickly. Allow the plaster 24 hours to dry, then sand it smooth. Inspect any additional areas of uneven plaster.