How to fit plasterboard

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Learn the ins and outs of how to plasterboard a new stud wall
Installing plasterboard

You will need:
Tape Measure
Stanley knife
Drill driver or screwgun
Spirit level
Drywall screws

Stud walls need to be finished in some way. Plasterboard is a popular chioce, thanks to its speed and relatively straightforward installation.

One of the key things to remember when tackling this job is to hang your plasterboard horizontally rather than vertically. Because of the way the boards are manufactured, they have a ‘grain’ along their length, which means that the best strength is achieved when they’re secured perpendicular to the studwork.

You should also stagger the boards so that, where possible, your seams don’t end up on the same stud. This will reduce the risk of cracks developing after you’ve applied your skim plaster finish.

A standard 2,400 x 1,200 x 9.5mm plasterboard sheet costs around £5, with discounts available on bulk buys. Specialist waterproof, acoustic, insulating and fire-resisting boards are also available.


Plasterboard project guide:

Step 1 positioning the boardsStep 1:

As a rule, each board should be positioned so that its edges are the centre of the uprights and noggins. However, at door openings and adjoining walls the plasterboard must fit tight up to the edges


Step 2 measure and cut plasterboardStep 2:

Start from the door opening and work towards the furthest wall. When measuring for a cut board, do so from the edge of a stud to the centre of the noggin. With the board flat, use your tape measure as a rule to mark up


Step 3 score the plasterboardStep 3:

Take your spirit level or straight edge and place it on the marks. Score a line along the intended cut using your stanley knife, then stand the board up and give it a tap on the back to start the split


Step 4 get a clean edge on plasterboardStep 4:

Fold the split edge back on itself, then cut down the remaining paper with your knife. You should end up with a nice clean edge. If your cut is slightly overlength, use a plaster rasp to trim the board to size


Step 5 screw the plasterboardStep 5:

Offer the board up to the studwork, ensure it’s in the correct position. Drive a couple of screws into the edges of the board where you can see a noggin or upright – but only enough to hold the board in place


StepStep 6:

Take your spirit level or straight edge and mark lines down and across your board at the centre of the studs and noggins. This will help you to secure the plasterboard without missing the timber behind


Step 7 screw plasterboard at regular intervalsStep 7:

Place screws at about 100-200mm gaps along the lines you drew in step 6. Drive them in just enough so they break the surface of the paper. Don’t go too far, as this will crush the plaster and prevent a secure fix


Step 8 cut end boards to lengthStep 8:

Your end boards are likely to need cutting to length. Measure from the furthest edge to the centre of the noggin to ensure a tight fit, then mark up, score and split the board as described in steps 2–3


Step 9 keep factory edges of plasterboard togetherStep 9:

Fit the remaining boards as described in steps 5–7. When placing end boards, try to keep the factory edges together – this will minimise any need for filling in the next stage of the project


Step 10 Cut plasterboard in situStep 10:

If a board extends into an opening, it’s best to cut it in situ. Use the studwork as a guide to make the horizontal saw cut, before scoring and splitting the board vertically. Finish edges with a surform


This step by step guide is supplied courtesy of TradesSupermarket

Also related to this article


Posted on

Sorry, but drywall fixings should never *break the paper*. They should *dimple* it just enough to allow for filling. Once the paper is broken a significant amount of holding strength is lost.

Posted on

My husband wants to wallpaper straight over plasterboard without plastering - can this be done ?

Posted on

Great post! thought you made some really great points. I especially liked that you broke it down into 10 easy steps. If you have a chance, I’d love it if you’d take a look at for the plasterboard.
I think it might be of interest to your readers. Cheers!

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