Simple But Important Tips for Homeowners Working With Plasterboard
Plasterboard and other such wall materials are relatively easy for homeowners to install on their own. It’s easy to get materials from plasterboard suppliers; however, the materials can be delicate to handle and the job may be more complicated than you realize, which is why it’s good to know how to manage this job properly before work even begins. Note a few simple tips to keep in mind, as well as some common mistakes that homeowners always seem to make when working with plasterboard, so you can properly plan your job and so the finished work looks its best.
1. Don’t hang the sheets vertically
Plasterboard has a type of grain that runs along the length of the board from top to bottom, making the sheets stronger when you hang them horizontally rather than vertically. That grain will better disperse the weight of the board when the sheets are hung horizontally, making them less prone to cracking.
2. Put the board flat when measuring
It’s not unusual for homeowners to try to measure plasterboard when it’s stacked on its side, but this can allow your tape measure to buckle and bend in certain areas so that you get an inaccurate measurement. Put the board flat on the floor when measuring and lay your tape measure down flat on its surface so you know you’re getting the best measurement possible and will be able to cut the board accurately as well.
3. Check the level as you go
It’s never good to just screw or nail the plasterboard sheet into place without checking its level. Always put in a few screws at the top of the board and then check the board with your level to ensure it’s hanging properly. Doing this when the board only has a few screws will allow you to more readily remove them or just remove one and reposition the board as needed.
4. Sand it lightly at first
When plasterboard is in place, you will add tape and joint compound along the seams to cover these. You then sand the boards once the compound is dry. However, many homeowners start with a heavy-duty sander and remove too much tape or compound or rough up the plasterboard itself. Instead, start with a very fine sandpaper and use a light touch. Put a lamp or other light on the floor and aim the light up at the plasterboard so you can more readily see areas that need extra sanding and smoothing as you go.