Gypsum Wall Installation

Over time, interior walls take a beating. Kids, pets, cooking, and busy living really leave their mark. If your walls are looking a bit rough, here is some information to help you decide how to spruce them up.

Drywall Installation

Nearly every home and business today has walls and ceilings constructed of drywall boards, also called sheetrock, wallboard, or plasterboard. Drywall is pretty simple: the core is primarily composed of gypsum plaster, wrapped on both sides with thick paper. It is manufactured in a few standardized sizes (including extra-thick ones that provide fire resistance), so it is easy to choose the right pieces, as well as easy to transport to any location.

Wall boards are screwed directly onto the wall frame, or studs, with drywall screws. When pieces of board need to be cut, all that’s needed is a measuring tape, a simple T-square, and a utility knife to cut through the board (some installers may use a saw to expedite the process).

When the boards are up, the installation crew goes over the whole thing again, this time with joint tape and joint compound (also known as “float and tape”). The seams between boards are covered with a layer of papery joint tape, and each joint as well as each screw hole is covered with a splash of mudlike joint compound. This process smoothes the surface of the wall and prepares it for the next step.

Drywall Repair and Replacement

One of the perks of using drywall to construct walls is the ease of installation. Another is the ease of replacement. If a wall is damaged, it is simple to fix. For example, imagine a wall that has had a hole knocked in it by a doorknob. Using a drywall saw, your contractor will cut out a square of wall around the hole. He will then carefully measure the hole and cut a corresponding piece of new drywall to fit. It is then a simple thing to fit the new piece into the wall, apply the joint tape and compound, and paint over the repaired area to match the rest of the wall.

What if your wall has bigger problems, like very large holes, mold, or water damage? That’s easy too! Entire sheets of wallboard, or even the entire wall, can be uninstalled quickly and removed from your home. Then it’s just like starting from the beginning like a new installation. If your wall is easily exposed to water, like in a bathroom, you should talk to your contractor about greenboard or cementboard, which are more resistant to water damage.


When your new walls are up, there’s nothing else strictly necessary to be done. If you like grey paper with off-white lines and splotches of joint compound, this is perfect. But if you’d like some color, it’s time for paint! Every hardware and home improvement store has a huge selection of paint brands and paint colors, in any color you could wish for. You can gather chips of each color that you like so you can see what it looks like in your home, and many stores sell sample-size amounts of paint so you can paint a swatch on the wall for a better comparison.

Paint is inexpensive and easy to apply, so you don’t need to feel like you’re committed to one color for life. If you dislike the color you chose or just want a change after a while, paint is easy to change – especially now with advanced primer formulas that make it easier to cover up old colors.

Paint is available in a number of finishes, from flat to ultra gloss. Your contractor can explain the differences and help you decide which is best for your space (for example, glossy paint is easier to clean so it’s great for rooms that get messy).

Painting is a simple process on its surface, and many homeowners opt to do it themselves, with good results. This is an option for you too. But before you go out and buy rollers and brushes and dropcloths, consider hiring a contractor to do it for you. They already own all the equipment, and have lots of experience, so you know the job will be done quickly and correctly, so you can enjoy your new walls even faster!