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Sheetrock® is a brand-name wallboard product developed by the U.S. Gypsum Company. Like other brands of drywall, Sheetrock® can be used to build walls and ceilings in both homes and commercial structures. First, the sheets are screwed to wall framing members, then taped and sanded to create a finished look. Effective drywall finishing starts with properly taping the seams of each sheet to create a solid, cohesive surface.
Before taping Sheetrock®, users should ensure walls have been correctly prepared for finishing. Each sheet of drywall should be butted tightly to the adjacent board, with minimal gaps. Screws should be countersunk so they are flush to the surface, but they should not be so tight that they tear the paper surface of the Sheetrock®.
Another tip that can help installers with taping Sheetrock® is to choose the right tools for the job. A tape holder or roller can make it easier to unroll tape. This may consist of a simple belt holder or a hand-held roller that is capable of holding a large quantity of tape. While both paper and mesh tapes are available, mesh tapes often come with built-in adhesive. This helps hold the tape in place during the finishing process, and makes the entire process easier for novice users.
When taping Sheetrock® seams, start with the basic seams found at butt joints, and leave the corners for later. Starting at one end of the seam, unroll the tape to cover the entire joint. The tape should be centered over the seam. Use a drywall knife to press the tape flat over the seam and eliminate any air bubbles.
Once the first piece of tape has been applied, cover the entire width and length of the tape with a layer of drywall mud. Use a small knife to apply this first coat, holding the knife at a 45-degree angle to the wall. Wait for the mud to dry completely before starting the sanding process.
When taping Sheetrock® corners, first check that a corner bead has been used to reinforce each edge. Center the tape over the corner and press it firmly in place. Use a trowel or knife to press tape tightly into the corners of the room so that the tape lies flat.
One of the most important tips to remember when taping Sheetrock® is to allow enough time for the job. A rushed job will show through in the finished drywall, and may result in lumps or uneven walls. A properly-finished drywall job will last for many years with little need for maintenance or refinishing.
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