Our powder room recently had a chunk of wall removed for some plumbing work. The resulting hole doesn't end at a stud on either side (for scale, that's about 32" side-to-side):

enter image description here

If it was just a rectangle the height of the left side, I would probably consider putting a furring strip behind each edge and anchoring the patch to that, but I'm uncomfortable with the length of the right edge.

Is the correct solution here just to open the hole all the way to the side walls so that I can properly anchor the edges into a stud?

  • 3
    A big drywall patch with sane edges is much easier than a small drywall patch with weird irregular edges. Either way you have to paint, and unless you have a small chunk of drywall sitting around, you have to buy a 4x8 sheet anyway... Might also be a point to consider if the sound isolation benefits of stuffing the accessible parts of the wall with rockwool could be worth considering while it's open.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 27, 2021 at 13:00
  • I would add that on the right side at the corner, do simply add a block or scrap of plywood to back the joint after it is trued up a bit, but still keep it out of the corner. The joint will be simpler to fix in my opinion if the corner taping does not get involved.
    – Jack
    Mar 27, 2021 at 15:04
  • Those studs look over notched. In non bearing studs you are allowed 40% notch. In a 3.5" deep member that is 1.4". That pipe looks to be 2"? You can drill a hole 60% of the width in non bearing. wwpa.org/docs/default-source/secure/… Mar 27, 2021 at 19:07
  • Not relevant to your question but why is the basin drain so big?
    – jay613
    Mar 27, 2021 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


The 2 studs provide excellent main support, and you can use 1/2-in plywoord or other dimensional lumber pieces like left-over "1x4" for support at the drywall transitions.

Backing does not have to run the full length of the seams. In your case, if about 3/4 of the seams are backed that's fine. First screw the backing to the existing sheets, half-on, holding the backing firmly against the back of the drywall. You'll need a screw perhaps every 6in. Then when you apply the patch piece you know where there is backing based on the position of those screws.

Some places sell half-sheets, which with your 32in width and probably less than 48in height should be perfect and easy to transport. You may also be able to get some free plywood strips or 1x4 cuts for the support.

Straighten your cuts and stay at least an inch away form the corner. How straight? A gap up to perhaps 1/4in is totally fine. In fact I find that gaps allow mud to join the edges better, than when drywall tightly butts.

You can cut an "L" as your cutout, or replace a whole 32x48 rectangle. Depends on whether you want to redo your baseboard.

Clean-up the existing edges by bevelling them like a V on both sides (where old butts new) and thus shaving off any loose paper at the tattered edges. After installing you can use mesh tape.

As mentioned in the comments, consider Rockwool noise reduction, and any horizontal support brace (e.g. 2x6 / 2x8 on edge) for a hanging/suspended cabinet before you apply the sheets.

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