Installing 4x8 panels and I am staggering them perpendicular to the ceiling joists.

My joists are 16" o.c. and I'm wondering is when the panels butt, will the be sharing the center of a joist or will the ends be floating? It looks like a single panel will sit flush with the edge of the joist, therefore the butt joint immediately following that panel will be "floating".

Is that typical and then that joint is just taped and mudded? Or for those cases do I need to install braces between the joists for additional screwing?

1 Answer 1


The edges of drywall must share the stud/joist. If they float, they'll sag, no matter how much tape and mud you put on them. Especially on ceilings where gravity will be the enemy.

If you're having serious issues getting the screws into the edges of the sheets on only 1/2 the joist width, you could add a 2x4 nailer to pick up the edge of the next sheet, but that's a last resort.

  • I'm not sure I would consider an extra nailer a last resort... its a cheap & easy thing to do. If it is attached securely to the joist it shouldn't cause any extra movement between the drywall sheets. Nov 20, 2020 at 16:44
  • So when I put the first panel up in the corner of the room, and its far edge (the one opposite of the corner) covers and entire joist (meaning it doesnt land in the middle), would I just cut the end of that panel so that it leaves 1/2 the joist available for the next panel? I would've thought the panels would've just landed at 16" o.c. by default, my not be the case. Having a panel edge use the entirety of the joist seemed wrong when I first looked at it.
    – pstatix
    Nov 20, 2020 at 16:47
  • 2
    Yes, trim the sheet of drywall and put the cut edge in the corner against the wall.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 20, 2020 at 16:50
  • @UuDdLrLrSs if I start with a full sheet against the wall, I'll need a nailer 4 feet out. Then I'll put up another full sheet and need another nailer, then... One ends up sistering every 4th joist so it gets labor intensive and expensive (relatively). If you've got a joist that's not as straight as it should have been, then by all means put up a nailer to fix the situaion.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 20, 2020 at 17:52
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    @FreeMan I do agree that's not ideal - and if you are able to plan the layout ahead that's certainly easier / better overall. But in remodeling situations I often find there's no "perfect" approach and often working with wood like this example is easier to get right. So that's all I meant by not considering it a "last resort". Nov 20, 2020 at 20:06

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