Gypsum Board

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Specification Details

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8.5" x 11"
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Comprehensive SpecsInteriors SpecsArchitectural Specs

Utilize this section to specify interior gypsum board (often called drywall) panels for walls and ceilings. Acoustical batt insulation is also included.

Exterior gypsum sheathing is specified in SimpleSpecs™ Master Guide Specification Section 06 16 43 – Gypsum Sheathing.

Gypsum board panels are used extensively in construction, primarily as an interior wall and ceiling finish.

Gypsum board can be mechanically attached with nails or screws or with adhesive. Adhesive application is typically limited to the attachment of panels to a solid base such as concrete and in multiple layer assemblies.

After attachment to framing members the panels are prepared to receive the final finish by taping and bedding the joints and fastener holes. Most panels have a tapered edge to assist in this, providing space for the tape and bedding compound to be finished flush with the panel faces.

Traditional gypsum board panels have a paper face. Panels having a glass fiber face have been developed that can withstand exposure to moisture as in toilet rooms and for use where the interior finish-out is started before the building is weathertight.

Gypsum board provides excellent fire resistance and is used in many fire-rated assemblies. Panels with a special core, including Types X and C, are often required in fire rated assemblies.

Shaft wall assemblies allow for gypsum board partitions for elevator, stair, and air shafts to be constructed without the need to erect scaffolding in the shaft.

Corner beads are required to prevent damage to external corners.

Casing beads are placed where gypsum board abuts dissimilar materials or stops with the edge exposed.

Control joints must be installed to minimize cracking. In general control joints should be placed:

  • 50 feet on center maximum at ceilings and where ceiling framing changes direction.
  • 30 feet on center maximum at walls and partitions and at changes in backup construction.
  • Above jambs in openings in walls and partitions.

Following are the levels of finish that are identified in GA-216:

– Level 0 Finish: No tape, joint compound, corner bead, or any other accessories. Used as a temporary barrier or in areas where the finishes have not been determined.

– Level 1 Finish: Tape embedded in a single layer of joint compound at all joints and interior corners. The surfaces free from excess joint compound, but tool marks and ridges are acceptable.  Generally used above ceilings and in back-of-house areas.

– Level 2 Finish: Tape embedded in a layer of joint compound and then tooled with an additional thin layer of joint compound. Fasteners and accessories covered with one layer of joint compound.  Surfaces free from excess joint compound, but tool marks and ridges are acceptable.  Generally used above ceilings and in back-of-house areas, garages, and mechanical rooms.

– Level 3 Finish: Tape embedded and tooled with an additional thin layer of joint compound. An additional coat of joint compound is then applied. Fasteners and accessories covered with two coats of joint compound. All surfaces, including joint compound, smooth and free of tool marks. Used where a heavy wall covering or other heavy textured material will be applied.

– Level 4 Finish: Tape embedded and tooled with an additional thin layer of joint compound. Two additional coats of joint compound applied to joints. Interior corners receive one additional coat of joint compound. Fasteners and accessories covered with three layers of joint compound. All surfaces, including joint compound, smooth and free of tool marks. Used where flat paints and lightweight wall coverings will be applied. This is the most common type of finish.

– Level 5 Finish: Tape embedded and tooled with an additional thin layer of joint compound. Two additional coats of joint compound applied to joints. Interior corners receive one additional coat of joint compound. Fasteners and accessories covered with three layers of joint compound. A thin skim coat of joint compound is applied to the entire surface. All surfaces smooth and free of tool marks. This is the highest level of finish, used where semi-gloss, gloss, or other non-textured paints are used and where lighting conditions such as wall-wash light fixtures or light from a nearby window will highlight the surface.

To learn more about drywall, visit Wikipedia.

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