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How to install gypsum board walls like a professional

How to install gypsum board walls like a professional

Professional contractors use certain techniques to install gypsum board walls. These methods speed up installation time and make the taping, plastering and painting processes easier. Here are five easy steps to install drywall panels like a professional.

1. Secure the top and side framework

The first step is to mark the position of the wall with a pencil on the floor and ceiling. This will ensure that the drywall panels are straight and correctly aligned. Then, use 52mm Knauf ‘U’ channels for the head and base of the wall. 50mm Knauf Acoustic ‘C’ studs should be used to form any frame openings. Screw these channels to the wall and ceiling.

2. Install the vertical lattice framework

Next, position 50mm Knauf Acoustic ‘C’ studs at regular intervals across the top channels to form a vertical lattice. These studs should be positioned at 900mm centres to coincide with the vertical edge of the Knauf plasterboard panels to be installed. There is no need to secure the metal at this point as this will be achieved once the plasterboards are screw-fixed. 

3. Support for horizontal joints in facings

To back horizontal joints in the lattice, Knauf fixing channel or Knauf flat fixing plate should be fitted across the face of all studs and secured with two Knauf wafer head screws per stud to both faces. This will provide horizontal support for the Knauf plasterboards to be fitted.

4. Cutting plasterboard panels

Most of the plasterboard panels can be fitted whole, with no need for trimming. However, some panels may need to be cut. The best way to trim plasterboard panels is to score the paper face with a craft knife and metre rule. Next, snap the panel away from the scored line. The bottom paper surface will still be intact, so slice through this backing with the craft knife and snap the panel back to cleanly trim off the excess piece.

5. Secure the panels like a professional

All Knauf plasterboard panels should be installed with the face of the board outwards and secured to the vertical lattice with Knauf screws. Start at one end and work across the partition. At the head, floor and abutments, board edges should be bedded onto a continuous bead of Knauf sealant.

The screws should be tight enough to dimple the surface of the plasterboard panel without cracking or breaking the gypsum within. Keep the screws and nails at least one centimetre away from the edge of the panel. Tape and joint for a seamless finish. 

Cutting out holes for switches and plugpoints

To make holes for plug points, switches and other necessary obstructions, you need to carefully mark the location of these holes on the panel. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to rub chalk on the edges of the electrical outlets and then position the drywall panel as if you were securing it. Press the panel against the outlets and obstructions to transfer the chalk to the paper surface. Use a rotary saw or a hacksaw to cut out a hole along the chalk outline. This should align with switches and outlets perfectly once the panels are secured.


Knauf is a German manufacturer of gypsum plasterboard that has operations in Tanzania. We use local materials to produce high-quality drywall products for the construction industry. Knauf takes pride in the quality of products and services that we provide to customers.

We have a world-class team of researchers that have developed ecologically-sound structures and earthquake-resistant systems and materials. These construction solutions are internationally patented and are now available to Tanzanian contractors.

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