I am developing my basement into a rec room and I had to cut my drywall into 6' sheets to get them down my staircase. It is unfortunately what it is and I have to make the best of it. I already got my answer on here to hang them horizontally, which is what I intend to do to avoid having to add a 2 foot piece of drywall at the top or bottom of every vertical joint - unless this is recommended due to the shorter boards.

My question for hanging horizontally, since I have to stagger them, can I have the butt joints on the center of studs since the are not tapered? My studs are 24" apart. I have a few walls that are 12' and longer, so not even sure how I am going to stagger them without making too many joints but I am trying to stay optimistic. I am not a skilled drywall hanger by any shape or form, so spacing them etc. will be a bit too difficult. Also, when butting them up, should I try to use the factory butt ends or should I just connect the edges where my boards were cut? I would assume it's better to put the cut edges where the corners will be as they can be hidden better.

I would really appreciate any tips on how to join them together on the studs instead of having to add new studs. Thank you so much for reading.

1 Answer 1


To your questions...

  • Butt joints are almost always centered over studs (or ceiling joists). That's normal, and proper taping* technique (plenty of taper width, on the order of 16" out each way from the joint when all is said and done) makes them all but invisible.

  • Don't worry about staggering every joint. It's not at all critical. Consider vertical installation, where the entire stud height has a joint in the drywall. Just fasten well. Some hangers prefer drywall nails in pairs here since they don't blow out as badly as screws. Use the purpose-made ring-shank nails.

  • Cut butt ends are just fine. Use your knife to slice off the front corner if it's frazzled. A small groove or gap is not an issue and is easier to tape over than fuzz. You'll fill that with joint compound on your first pass anyway.

Other tips...

  • A clever alternative to cutting the sheets as you've done is to simply score and snap them at the 72" mark, leaving the front paper intact. Then you can unfold them and install them without adding butt joints. This takes some careful moves to prevent ripping things up, but is possible as long as you secure both sides of the half-cut well on the studs. Obviously this requires consistent, accurate framing.

    A variation of the above is to score and snap from the back lengthwise. This way you don't have to align the half-cut over framing--you can float a backing block midway between studs to solidify things.

  • As with most quality projects, prep is key. Be sure your framing is flat and that you have backing at all corners as needed. Take photos of the wall beforehand to recall where boxes and other objects reside. More than a few boxes have been unintentionally lost by hasty hangers--sometimes permanently.

  • Borrow or buy the right tools. A 48" tee square is worth the investment as it has many uses. A good utility knife with quick-replace blades is ideal. A drywall rasp (with mesh plate) is worth gold to quickly flatten those butts and other cuts, though a knife also works. A keyhole saw makes corner cuts and electrical cutouts easy. A rotary cutter is nice, but not necessary. They take practice, so the keyhole saw can do as well for a novice.

  • Master the score-and-snap technique. You only have to cut the paper facing on one side, then pop the joint over your knee, to get a nice break. Slice the backside paper and you're done. Of course, compound (corner) cuts require a saw cut on one side.

  • Be sure you get the sheets tight to the framing, and promptly remove any screws that miss framing or even glance off. Those two things are the primary causes of screw pops later.

* Not "taping and mudding". Taping requires mud, so that's more or less redundant, and no pro I've ever encountered uses both terms. Just "taping" or "finishing".

  • 1
    Thank you very much for the incredibly detailed answer. I actually did cut the sheets on the back (brown paper) side only, and folded them over to get them downstairs. So I can unfold them i to 12’ lengths, but the company who will be taping for me said if I don’t cut it completely there will be bubbles. Because my plan was to just unfold them and screw them to the framing so that I don’t have any butt joints. But apparently this wont work because I moved them Nov 29, 2023 at 5:14
  • If the fold falls in a space between framing members, it may help to put blocking there.
    – Huesmann
    Nov 29, 2023 at 13:46

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