We are making the attic into a loft and the ceiling we need to add drywall to has a slight curve. How do we install the drywall without breaking it? The distance from the floor to the top is about 4 feet.

  • 2
    How tight is the curve? – wallyk Jul 4 '14 at 8:20
  • I'm not sure how to describe it. We were told to use the 5/8" for some reason and now I see that we made a mistake on the thickness. – user23525 Jul 5 '14 at 7:21
  • Can you add some pictures please? – The Evil Greebo Jul 8 '14 at 12:07

1/4" drywall will readily bend into a radius and is available at the big box stores. 2 layers of that with glue between the framing and the 2nd layer. A 2X4, as long as the sheet with a few short 2X to hold it while you screw it in place. It must be tight to the framing before you run screws into it to hold it.

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  • +1 But @wallyk 's question remains. It wont take a 6 inch radius, but a 36 inch is a different story. – bib Jul 4 '14 at 15:26
  • If the curve at the top is 4 ft. off the floor, it should not be all that tight of a curve. It rings of a bowed ceiling, or knee wall so to speak. – Jack Jul 4 '14 at 15:27
  • I looked around for 1/4 inch drywall, but no one carries it. 3/8 inch is the thinnest. In what part of the country/world do you find it? – wallyk Jul 5 '14 at 2:48
  • Home Depot in Maryland, should be available in other lumber stores etc. – Jack Jul 5 '14 at 4:16

Around here (PNW), two layers of 3/8 inch drywall applied one at a time and overlapping so no seams coincide is the easy way to do it. Two layers are needed for fire code in the modern world to give a full 60 minute burn-through time.

I have seen 1/2 inch installed in curves of maybe 24 inch diameter by experienced professionals who prepared by leaving it in hot sun (or maybe it was high humidity) to make it easy to bend without breaking or straining. But 3/8 inch is a lot easier.

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  • I have heard of (but not tried personally) actually wetting it to make more pronounced curves possible. – Ecnerwal Jul 5 '14 at 13:58

This video has a great section on installing board on a curve. It will most likely depend on the board size. The link includes the start time of 34m40s.

How to Hang Drywall

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You could install strips of drywall to approximate the curve as facets, then fill in the corners to create a smooth curve during the taping/plastering process.

Or use something more flexible than drywall to create that curved surface (make sure it meets code!), and count on the difference being invisible after it's been painted. I think that's the approach more commonly used for arched doorway surrounds.

Or you could give up on maintaining the curve...

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