Under construction - information may be incomplete, or just plain wrong
General plasterboarding information, tips and tricks
- Typical thicknesses are 9.5mm and 12.5mm. Thicker sizes , eg 15mm or 18mm exist as well as thinner, eg 6mm.
- Sheet sizes are commonly 2.4 x 1.2m (aka 8ft by 4ft, most usual size), and 1.8m x 0.9m (for easier handling, especially on ceilings).
- Plain - paper both sides. Usually beige or grey in colour.
- Vapour barrier or vapour check - usually with a metallised plastic film (which may degrade radio signals such as cordless telephones or Wifi).
- Fire check - usually pink in colour
- Moisture shield - for areas of high humidity, usually green.
- Sound block or acoustic plasterboard - usually blue.
- Various combinations of the above properties, dependant on manufacturer.
- Taper - for filling prior to painting direct.
- Square edge - used when a skim coat of plaster is going to be applied.
Not every permutation of edge, type, size and thickness are available so you should check with your local supplier before committing to a particular design.
For certain applications, you may need to meet certain levels of fire resistance or acoustic performance. For now, this is an area too involved to cover here, so please seek the advice of your local Building Control department at your Borough/District Council if you have any doubts.
There are three basic types of cut most commonly needed:
Straight cut across full board
- Used all the time when boarding large areas
- Very easy and clean to do.
- Place board across a couple of supports (eg sawhorses, workmates or even lumps of timber or bricks if nothing else to hand). Be sure the board is well supported near the new cut and stable.
- Mark the cut line
- Score through the cardboard layer on one side of the board with a sharp stanley type knife. A couple of lighter strokes are better (and safer) than applying serious pressure. Always work the knife away from your body and hands - it's very easy for the knife to slip.
- Position the board so that one of the supports runs parallel and just behind the score line.
- Put the knife away(!)
- Using both hands (better two people, if the cut is long, eg 2.4m board), gently rotate the board edge downwards. The board should snap cleanly along the scored line.
- The cut section of the board will continue to hang on the layer of cardboard on the back. Do not attempt to rip by tearing the cut section off - it will make a mess.
- Retrieve the knife and whilst supporting the cut section at 45-90 degrees, simply cut through the remaining cardboard. The result should be a clean straight edge, mostly square with almost no dust.
- If desired the edge may be cleaned up with sandpaper, a coarse file or a coarse hand stone (this bit makes some mess).
See section on Holesaw
- Generally you will need some sort of saw. A hacksaw blade in a suitable holder will suffice for small works.
- For extended work or cutting square holes for lightswitches, proper plasterboard saws are available.
Removing a rectangular section from a corner or edge can be done with a combination of sawing and scoring for the final cut.