How to Drywall Butt Joints

  • 4-12 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-500
What You'll Need
Nails or Screws
Drywall Sheets
Tape Measure
Trim Knife
Joint Compound
Taping Knife
Mud Holder
Sand Block

Butt joints are created when two edges of drywall sheets come together to form a joint or seam. Since these joints are not recessed, it may be a bit difficult for a beginner to conceal them afterward. However, drywall with butt joints is a lot easier to install than those with recessed joints. To install drywall using butt joints, follow the simple steps below.

Step 1 - Planning Stage

Before the installation of the drywall, make sure to get an estimate on how many sheets of drywall are needed for the project. Determine how the drywall will be installed as well – vertically or horizontally. Horizontal installation usually produces lesser seams to tape and mud. However, check whether vertical installation works best for the project.

Step 2 - Cutting the Drywall

Measure the dimensions of the surfaces to be installed with drywall accurately, then measure where to cut some of the sheets of drywall. Use a T-square and pencil to mark the lines needed to be cut. Use a sharp trim knife to cut along the lines and remove the excess portion of the drywall. Make sure to cut on the lines at a right angle.

Step 3 - Fitting the Drywall

Start the project by nailing the first sheet of drywall beginning at the top of the wall. Position the sheet in a way that the top edge touches the ceiling and one side touches the edge of the wall completely. Start nailing the drywall onto the wall frame and the studs. Keep each nail a distance of approximately 6 or 7 inches from the other.

To create the butt joints, allow the ends of the drywalls to touch each other without leaving any space in between. Continue nailing the sheets in the same manner until all sheets are put into position. Make sure that the nail heads or the screw heads are set below the surface of the drywall.

Step 4 - Mudding the Butt Joints

Covering the butt joints is a very important thing to consider when the drywall sheets are positioned in such a way. Get a taping knife and press it against the joints. It will be immediately noticed that the joints created to form a hump. Therefore, taping is not necessary. All that is needed is a bucket of joint compound to cover the hump before painting the wall.

To mud the joint, as well as the nail holes, make sure that the joints are free from dust and debris. Place a sufficient amount of compound into the taping knife and apply a uniform coating on the joints. Keep the coating as flat and smooth as possible. Allow the coat to dry first. Sand the coating afterward to ensure that the surface is even. Apply a second and third coating until the butt joints are completely hidden.