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How to install and fix plasterboard or drywall

installing plasterboard or drywall

Date created

Thursday, 19 May, 2016 - 15:30

Last updated

Thursday, 19 May, 2016 - 15:30

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Learn how to install plasterboard for walls and ceilings. Also using the different types of plasterboard used for home construction.

Installing and Fixing Plasterboard Lining

When fixing plasterboard there are a few tools you will need to get the job done.

Basic Plastering Tools List

  • Hand saw
  • Hammer
  • A tape measure
  • A straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Tin snips
  • Knife
  • Small to medium step ladder
  • Paint scraper (to put on stud adhesive)
  • Broad knife

Preferred Plastering Tool List: includes all tools above

  • Automatic screw gun
  • Plasterboard sheet lifter
  • Hand staple gun


This tools list is only to fix the plasterboard to the timber studs. The Basic tool list only allows for the plasterboard sheets to be fixed with nails. However an automatic screw gun for plasterboard can be hired and will make fixing the plasterboard so much easier. There are two main types of plasterboard used in home construction. Normal plasterboard wall sheets are 10mm thick with a recessed edge and ceiling plasterboard sheets which are reinforced and have a recessed edge. The tool list above will also help you install cornice and plaster the joins.

Ceiling Plasterboard Sheets:

10mm thick plasterboard sheets are fiber reinforced or 13mm thick sheets are also commonly used for extra strength. The 10mm ceiling plasterboard sheets are guaranteed for battens or ceiling joists up to 600mm spacing. Greater spacing than 600mm and the ceiling sheets will bow thus extra battens will have to be added. Ceiling plasterboard sheets can be used on walls however normal wall sheets cannot be used on ceilings as they will bow down because they are not fiber reinforced. Large ceiling plasterboard sheets are best lifted to the ceiling battens with a plasterboard lifter and these can purchased or hired. When installing the ceiling sheets stagger the joints for the best finish.

Wall Plasterboard Sheets:

10mm thick plasterboard sheets are also installed with staggered joints. These are mainly installed horizontally and most have a recessed edge so that joining is easier. Plasterboard joints are staggered so that when the joints are plastered they will be spread out and will not show through when painted

Curved walls and ceilings have 6mm flexi plasterboard sheets as these are manufactured to bend. These sheets will bend for curved walls and ceilings however they do need extra support in the wall and ceiling so they will not bow or sag. They are installed in the same way as standard plasterboard sheets except they need batten spacing's of 200-300mm in the walls and ceilings.

Other types of Plasterboard:

Water resistant plasterboard, Fire rated plasterboard, Sound proofing plasterboard, and impact resistant plasterboard. The names of these will vary from brand to brand however the uses are the same.

Installing Wall Plasterboard Sheets:

For 2400mm high walls you will need 2 1200mm 10mm plasterboard sheets up to 6 meters in length. For example: if your wall is 3 meters long simply cut your plasterboard to length if required. The glue should then be put onto the studs at approximately 300mm spacing from floor to ceiling on each stud. Install the bottom sheet first and screw every 600mm (edges and middle). Then install the top sheet by resting it on top of the bottom one and screw it off ready to plaster the joins. If your room is longer than your plasterboard sheets you will have vertical joins. Make sure that all vertical joins are staggered.

Installing Ceiling Plasterboard Sheets:

For large sheets use a plasterboard lifter. Cut your plasterboard to size and put the stud glue on your ceiling joists or battens. Put the plasterboard on the sheet lifter and lift into place and screw off. Make sure that your sheet end joins are staggered for the best finish.

Plasterboard Installation Tips

Make sure that all your plasterboard joins are flush and line up with the plasterboard they are next to. This will make plastering the joints a lot easier and a better finish can be obtained when complete.