What are the Best Tips for Installing Basement Drywall?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Basement drywall is the most important part of finishing a basement, and it gives a sense of completeness to the room. It is not a difficult process, especially if tips such as creating wall framing before inserting the vertical studs are followed. Basement drywall sheets should not be stored in the basement and should always be installed by starting in a corner. The final sheet will need to be cut, and seam tape and mud should be used to finish the job.

The first step when installing basement drywall is to create wall framing. Unfinished basements have concrete walls but basement drywall cannot be attached without wall framing. Bottom and top plates will be required as will vertical studs that are spaced out at intervals. The distance between the vertical studs depends on the size of the drywall sheets.

Although drywall often comes in sheets that are 4 feet wide and 8 feet long, their thickness varies. Larger drywall projects would require exceedingly thick sheets. Basement drywall sheets on the other hand need only be just under half an inch thick.

After purchasing the sheets, ensure they are stacked as close to the basement as possible. Yet they should not be stored in the room where they will be hung. This is because they will have to be moved which is not a pleasant task.


When installing basement drywall, never begin in the center of the wall. Choose one corner of the room and start attaching the sheets. A power drill should then be used to install drywall screws on the plates and studs. This process should be continued until the entire basement wall is covered.

It is very likely that the last drywall sheet will not end perfectly in a corner. When this happens, simply cut the sheet so that it fits on the last stud in the wall. If drywall is being installed on other walls in the basement, follow the exact same routine.

There will be a seam between each sheet and these need to be covered with mud and special seam tape. Using a small knife, apply some mud between the seams. The purpose of the mud is to fill in the gaps between the seams and also allow the seam tape to remain stuck on the drywall. The seam tape should be placed on the mud, and another muddy layer should be placed on the tape to ensure the edges are smooth.

The screws which have been inserted into the basement drywall will leave dents. These should be filled with the mud. Once this layer of mud has dried, use sandpaper to smooth the surface and add paint primer when ready.


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