Gypsum boards are some of the easiest construction material to install in offices and homes due to their simplicity and effortlessness of installation. But despite of this, many gypsum board installers still commit numerous but avoidable mistakes in installation. In this article, we will discuss different mistakes most installers make and how to easily avoid them.
Over-sanding the gypsum board
Gypsum boards surface paper are naturally rough and thick to facilitate sanding to achieve a smooth surface; however, when the installer is not careful they might over-sand the surface paper vigorously compromising the overall integrity of the material. Over-sanding can also affect the fiberglass tape covering the seams and into the actual gypsum material in between the board. Too much aggressive sanding might also force the installer to re-tape the seams so that it can undo or hide the damages thereby losing the quality of the gypsum board. To avoid over-sanding the material, install lightings on low angle directed to the material prior to the installation. This will emphasize the rises and bumps on the material and the sanding estimation can be easily achieved.
Over-puncturing the gypsum board paper
The most common method in securing the gypsum board material especially in wallboard installation is using nails or screws as fasteners. Although this is considered a good method in fastening the material to the wall, over-puncturing it causes a big problem since the paper surface is the one that primarily holds the material to the wall. Once the nail or screw is over-punctured to the material, the gypsum board might easily fall off or worse, damage the entire installation. To avoid this, make sure to drive the screw head just barely on the same level as the surface paper then drive it an extra half-turn to properly secure it. When using screw-guns, make sure to use the clutch attachment that will help you set the depth of the drive.
Electrical boxes misalignment
Aligning and cutting a hole in a gypsum board for electrical boxes and expecting it to line up perfectly is extremely difficult. This can only be done when the gypsum board is already installed and fixed on the studs thereby complicating things since you only have one chance to do it perfectly. There are three common methods in achieving this; one is to slather lipstick or any similar marking on the edge of the receptacle and pressing it leave an impression. This is where you will cut a hole for the electrical boxes. Although not that accurate, this is the easiest and fastest method especially if the installer is already used to doing it.
The second method involves running the electrical cables to the desired location, but the receptacle must not be installed yet. Install the gypsum board to the wall and cut a hole for the electrical receptacle boxes. After this, the receptacles can now be installed in the hole ensuring that it is perfectly fitted to the gypsum board. Take note that this method only works on retrofit electrical boxes, receptacles that are attached directly to the studs are not applicable in this type of method since you need to install them to the wall before installing the gypsum board.
The last method involves using a special tool called a Blindmark. A Blindmark is a magnetic insert that is put inside the electrical receptacle while the gypsum board is installed in the wall. Using another magnetic part that is the same size as the insert you can easily locate the exact location of the receptacle. From there, the installer can now draw an outline and cut a perfectly aligned hole for the electrical box.
Over-tightness of gypsum board joints
Many installers overlook the tightness of the gypsum board joints and some might even consider that fitting it snugly to each other is the best method. However, you need to consider that the framing members underneath the boards can and will expand and contract depending on the environment. If the gypsum boards are installed too tightly and the framing expands or contracts, there is a possibility that it will crack even though it has already undergone plastering. Although there is no quick fix for this, this mistake can be avoided by ensuring that there is at least 1/8-inch space between the sheets. Using thin strips of woods as spacing guides is an effective method in doing this.
Too many gypsum board joints
Having too many joints in between gypsum boards is not only impractical but can also increase the possibility of underlying problems in the future. Taping the gypsum board is also time-consuming and more expensive than purchasing the largest and longest sheets possible. Remember that having extra materials is better than having not enough. Consider 54” wide gypsum boards in your walling installations to avoid extra joints on the process. The less taping process, the less possibility of accidentally cracking the material when installing them on the frame. The labor cost could also be minimized since you can cover more spaces in a short amount of time.