Is there a way to remove drywall without exerting brute force? Being that I live in a condo, I don't want to go all happy with a hammer to my wall and disturb my neighbors. It seems there would be a way to saw lines into the drywall so that it could be easily pulled away. While a saw isn't whisper quiet, it's definitely far less barbaric than a hammer.

3 Answers 3


Well, you really only need to punch one or two holes in the drywall to get it started, then you can simply pull it down with your bare hands. Assuming it's really just drywall and not something heavier.

Sawing lines won't really help, however, as properly installed drywall has screws ALL OVER it - so just go with "punch hole and start pulling"...

  • 1
    Use a utility knife (razor) to cut the starter hole, before pulling it down. That would be quieter than bashing a hole with a hammer or fist.
    – Tester101
    Nov 11, 2011 at 13:28
  • 1
    I dunno - punching a hole takes about 2 seconds - while sawing isn't really all that quiet, and takes longer. Nov 11, 2011 at 14:00
  • 5
    Plus it just feels awesome to put your fist through drywall.
    – Doresoom
    Nov 12, 2011 at 20:49
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    Yep, I eventually ended up punching a hole through with a hammer. After that, I used a drywall saw to cut a 12"x12" hole out of the wall. I then used a utility knife to score sections into the wall. After that, it was all ripping with bare hands from there. Nov 13, 2011 at 14:04
  • Always wanted to do that but always feared punching into a screw or stud. Wounds between knuckles really suck.
    – lsiunsuex
    Nov 14, 2011 at 14:33

Sawing drywall is pretty loud. The drywall acts like an amplifier for the sound. I would not recommend it as a quiet method.

You can use a utility knife to cut the drywall. It would take several passes but it will work. Once a piece is cut you can pull it free. This might work for a small piece but would be a lot of work for a whole wall or room.

You should consider just tearing the drywall down when it would bother your neighbors the least. It goes pretty fast and would be over quickly.

What are you going to do to keep quiet when you replace the drywall? Installing screws or nails are both pretty loud. You could use adhesive, that would be very quiet.

  • Putting screws into studs is far more quiet than busting the wall into pieces. Will definitely not be using nails. I am actually going to be installing Genie Clips and a few hat channels. On those I am going to hang drywall, followed by Green Glue and then a layer of QuietRock (if you wanted to know) Nov 11, 2011 at 13:36
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    do you even need to tear out the current drywall?
    – DA01
    Nov 11, 2011 at 13:43
  • It sounds like you have a good project ahead. Nov 11, 2011 at 13:45
  • Yes, I need to tear the drywall down because I am hanging a new wall with Genie Clips. While the clips can be attached to the studs through the wall, the rep advised against it due to the triple leaf effect. Therefore, I tore the drywall down and will be installing the clips today. Nov 13, 2011 at 14:01

Punching holes and tearing it down is a horrible idea. You create a huge mess with many small pieces. Using a utility knife to cut it is quiet but takes far, far longer.

The best way is in-between. Use a sawzall, or at least a hand saw. You can cut the drywall into manageable pieces that can be carried out by hand--maybe a few large pieces at a time. It's a lot faster and, if you work it out, you might be able to slice it all up in rapid time and carry it out afterwards.

I've done this twice. The first time I helped someone do the hammer it down method for a storefront. It took us forever to shovel up all the small pieces and haul them out to a dumpster.

Whenever I see this commercial on TV where someone takes a sledge hammer to a wall to tear it down, I cringe.

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