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Thread: Plywood then Drywall for walls?

  1. #1
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    Plywood then Drywall for walls?

    Can I finish a room's walls and ceiling by first sealing the walls with 1/2 plywood and then 1/2 drywall? I mean I know I physically can accomplish it, but I'm askign if this might create problems?

    A friend mentioned to me that I'd be better doing two layers of 1/2 drywall, since putting ply behind dry may prevent proper humidity transfer, etc. I'm dubious since many people put plastic sheeting as a total vapor barrier behind drywall (at least in basements), so what harm in plywood?

    Thanks!
    A Man is incomplete until he gets married ... then he's FINISHED!!!

  2. #2
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    Are these exterior walls? I'm not sure what you hope to gain by using ply and drywall but drywall is a whole lot cheaper and you aren't restricted to 1/2"

  3. #3
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    It might be a problem if you ever need to get into the walls to make a repair. Otherwise, it seems to me that it would be more like a lathe and plaster wall (can't use a stud sensor). You might have issues with getting the edges flush, due to stud warpage.
    She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.

  4. #4
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    What do you mean getting edges flush due to stud warpage? The plywood edges? Yeah, hadn't thought abotu that, but I'd overlap the drywall so that its seams don't lay on top of the ply's seams (except in the corners, etc.)

    But yes, exterior walls and I am trying to exactly duplicate wood lathe and plaster. See, I grew up in the midwest where everything is relatively new. Only knew sheetrocked walls until I was old enough to vote, thought that was the way the world was. Then I moved east, and I discovered plaster. What a revelation. Dead quiet (it should be, what with like over an inch of plaster on your walls on top of wood lathe!). When you rap or bump a wall it doesn't sound cheap, and you don't need anchors or etc. when nailing into the walls. But, I'm no slave to plaster so in my last homes when I demo'd a room down to studs, I insulated (old plaster walled home almost never have insulation in the walls!) and used 1/2 drywall. Big mistake, I could hear everything outside, and the walls felt cheap. I think this might not be as bad in new homes which have much better outside sheaths, etc., but in older wooden clapboard siding on tounge and grove sheaths, without insulation, you get the idea.

    So, in my new, new-to-me but old home I decided rather than to merely sheetrock, what if I ply'ed then rock'd? Of course, I could go double rock, but then I lose the ability to hang things without anchors and I lose the ability to simply hang the rock however I want (without regard to locating a stud - presuming I hang the 1/2 ply properly). Yeah. I'd run 3/4 ply and 3/4 gyp if I could, but that's a bit much and I can't lift 3/4 sheets by myself up and down stairs, etc. In any event, I know ply is more, but if I need 15 sheets total, and only an extra $20 a sheet over gypsum, what's $300 when I'm completely demo'ing a room down to studs, insulation, new double-paned windows (a treat in an older home, thermal transfer on single-paned windows is a beast, not to mention drafts inherent in old windowed homes), new electrical, new trim, new lighting fixtures, redoing the wood floors, teledata hook-ups, etc., etc. Its not even 10% of the budgie, probably not even 5%.
    A Man is incomplete until he gets married ... then he's FINISHED!!!

  5. #5
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    Have you looked into blue board and skim coat plaster? You loose the wood behind everything, but you get a finish that is plster on the top layer, so the feel of the surface is more like traditional plaster. I suppose you could still do the plywood behind if you wanted to.

    Jim

  6. #6
    You will need to use extension boxes on all your electrical fixtures and jamb extensions on all your entry ways and windows, other than that....Have Fun!
    I think in straight lines, but dream in curves

  7. #7
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    For what its worth: It's pretty much standard practice up here in northern NY when rehabing old houses to use OSB and then sheetrock over it. Needs a little brain power to figure out the clearances for inserted items but makes a nice solid wall.
    RuffSawn
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  8. #8
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    When I remodeled my attached garage and turned it into a family room some twenty years ago, I applied plywood to the outer walls and then faced it with sheetrock (drywall). Made for a nice strong wall that one can easily hang shelves or cabinets on. I had also insulated the wall with kraft-paper faced glass wool and then used 5-mill plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier before I put up the plywood.

    Since I treated this as new construction, all the electrical was installed with the plywood and sheetrock considered, so no extensions were required. But as mentioned, if you are rennovating an old room, this would have to be taken into account.

    CWS
    Think it Through Before You Do!

  9. #9
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    Thanks!

    I'll forge ahead with my plan since no problematic issues with ply then dry. Not too worried about the added depth since its not really added. That is, since I had plaster before, the room already has things cut for 1" thick or more walls. In fact, even if I don't want to, I may need to with either 3/4 ply and/or rock if the walls are that thick. I know from a leak in my ceiling that this house had what appears to be like double plaster. I mean, the skim coat which fell down in certain spots was easily as thick as most scratch coats. The new windows are being ordered, so can order deep there, and the electical will be all new boxes and cabling. 85 yr. old electrical not good (even if not knob and tube). Thanks again.
    A Man is incomplete until he gets married ... then he's FINISHED!!!

  10. #10
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    Do not forget to check local code. You can probably get away with it even if it violates code (no-one *forces* you to get a permit for totally interior work unless you tattle on yourself) but it could be a problem if, say, you have an inspector for the electrical or, worse, the house burns down and they blame it on a code violation and refuse to pay. I cannot imagine it is a violation, but definitely worth a quick phone call before buying (and hauling!) a bunch of OSB.

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