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This question came up due to a project I'm working on and it got me thinking, what's the point of using taller sheets of drywall.

I think this is a newer phenomenon since for a long time many homes had 8 feet tall interior ceilings, and any vaulted room likely was custom enough to not have a standard size of drywall. Nowadays, it's quite common to have 9 and 10 feet tall interior rooms. So I wondered how common 9 and 10 foot drywall are.

The reasons I can see going for 9/10 foot drywall if you have a 9/10 foot interior are:

  • Less taping
  • Less cutting
  • Faster (probably really just because of the prior 2 points)

Reasons I can see with going for 8 foot drywall even if you have taller ceilings are:

  • Lighter and easier to work with
  • More availability/Cheaper

Are there pros/cons I'm not thinking of? I would imagine both would come out looking the same, because if you're not good at taping and floating, it's going to show up in either case (unless horizontal seams show up worse).

One reason I ask, is because if you already have one height, I'm trying to justify if the pros of the other height are worth switching to.

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    If you'll look at what's off-topic, you'll see that asking for opinions is considered off topic here and the tour will explain why.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 17, 2023 at 16:04
  • If you change your question to "What are the pros and cons of doing it this way or that way" or "How much extra time and effort would the smaller sheets demand" ... you will hopefully get good answers. "Should I go out and buy" is not an ok question here.
    – jay613
    Aug 17, 2023 at 16:46
  • Thanks for the feedback. I've updated to be less of an opinion question and more along the lines of what's acceptable around here.
    – J Jones
    Aug 17, 2023 at 17:02
  • It's not that 10' is uncommon, it's that vertical seams suck to do, so you don't stand it all up. There's a seam at 4' and 8'. Not 9' tall seams every 4'. - It's not fun to carry, and it can't make it up the stairs anyway in one piece. - Thought this was going to be about using left overs. Which, you can do you, but I'm going to do it the way that makes money, not save it, while wasting time on an ultimately lessor finished product.
    – Mazura
    Aug 18, 2023 at 1:37
  • @Mazura why do vertical seams suck to do? Aug 18, 2023 at 13:22

3 Answers 3

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It will save time, but not a ton of it. I'd count the space retrieved in the garage and the money not spent on new 10 ft (which can sometimes be difficult to maneuver into the room, depending on the access path) as a win .vs. a little more time finishing.

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  • Thanks, this seemed like the right way to go, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious.
    – J Jones
    Aug 17, 2023 at 17:12
  • Getting the 10' also means additional cost. And having the 8' pieces continue to take up storage space. Either of which alone might be enough to discourage that approach.
    – keshlam
    Aug 17, 2023 at 17:47
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Not sure if this is what you were already thinking and this is what you mean by floating it: you could hang the 4x8 sheets horizontally and cut some length-wise to make up the 2 feet at the bottom. So it would look like this.

____________________
|       |        |
|_______|________|__
    |        |      
____|________|______
|_______|________|__

All the horizontal joints are tapered joints and the vertical joints are butt joints. The butt joints can land on studs or you could use a drywall joint backer. They sell them, like this one, but they're pretty easy to make yourself. Using the backer will recess the butt joints making them easier to get flat.

Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know.

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    Even if you were already telling me something I already know, it's helpful to see it reiterated and explained like this. Plus it could be helpful for others. So thank you! I accepted the other answer because it more directly answered my dilemma, however, I'm upvoting yours as well because it adds value to the other answer.
    – J Jones
    Aug 17, 2023 at 17:07
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I'm adding another answer because you changed the question a fair amount. This is largely based on my impression but I haven't been hanging drywall for 30 years. More experienced people will correct me.

Drywall sheets in residential construction are usually hung horizontally. If you look up photos of people hanging drywall they'll show the pattern I gave in my other answer (except they'll probably put a full sheet at the top, that was me thinking backwards (fixed in other answer)). I get the sense that vertical hanging is largely a commercial thing. 4x8 sheets are advantageous for a number of reasons:

  • Smaller means lighter and easier to carry by hand
  • 8' sheets fit nicely in a 6' truck bed with the gate down
  • Smaller means easier to maneuver in tight spaces like around hallways
  • 16" divides into 4 feet nicely so hanging horizontally you end up with both ends on a stud (in an ideal world anyway). If you do that with 10' sheets, one or both ends will float, and 12' are getting really big.

So the longer panels like 10' or 12' are actually for covering more span of wall per 1 sheet and having fewer butt joints. To cover height with fewer sheets, they actually go the other way and make wider 54" sheets so you can span a 9' tall wall floor to ceiling with 2 sheets.

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  • Good points and you're right I commonly see drywall hung horizontally. And sorry to edit the question on you. I'm new here and received feedback that my question was off-topic so I attempted to rephrase it while getting to the heart of my question/problem.
    – J Jones
    Aug 17, 2023 at 17:22
  • @JJones Not a problem, just clarifying why i'm putting up multiple answers. Aug 17, 2023 at 17:24
  • Sadly, 54" drywall is only available in 12' sheets (at least near me). I would have loved to have had those to cover my 9' walls, but I really didn't need a 12' sheet - some of my spaces were small enough that it was tight getting the <8' pieces into place.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 17, 2023 at 17:40
  • Minor quibble but not just ‘probably a full sheet at the top’, definitely a full sheet at the top. (Uses taper to advantage, allows tight fit against ceiling rock, to name a couple key reasons.) Aug 17, 2023 at 19:33
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    @AloysiusDefenestrate True. I fixed the answers. Think the actual best reason to put half-sheets at bottom is you want to put up the top sheets first and if the cut sheet is at the bottom you'll be able to tweak it instead of potentially having to cut bits off a whole sheet. Aug 18, 2023 at 0:09

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