Asked on Aug 13, 2016

Hanging drywall in uneven spaces

Tarian Marks
by Tarian Marks
The paint on the wall on the opposite side of my bathroom started to peel, so I figured there was a water leak somewhere in the shower. I couldn't pinpoint the leak, so I demolished the entire plaster wall, including the lathe. I found the leak, cleaned up the mold, then hung 1/4" drywall in the space because there was about 1/4" of space between the stud and the baseboard.
Well, turns out that I was wrong about the spacing. In some spots, the gap was 1/4", some spots, 1/2", others, less than 1/4". What should I do to fix the wall properly?
Went to several Home Depot stores, but only got one definitive answer from someone and that was to slap joint compound on the entire wall to fill up the gaps. I kind of feel as if this isn't the best course of action, but if I can't find a better alternative, this may be the route I have to take.
Auxiliary question: should I put insulation in this wall cavity or does the presence of pipes make that unnecessary? Thanks for all suggestions.
  9 answers
  • Angelique McCoy Angelique McCoy on Aug 14, 2016
    plaster and lathe walls and ceilings had stud configurations that didn't require a 16" center as is needed for drywall. I'm having the same issue right now but it's a ceiling instead. My best suggestion is to hang your drywall (green board should be used in bathrooms) marking stud placement as you go the you'll have to cut away excess that extend past the stud leaving half of the stud exposed for your next panel to attach. you can insulate inside the wall but I suggets leaving out insulation where the actual pipes wil be. I dont have to worry about pipes as my project is a bedroom ceiling which SHOULD have been a piece of cake 12 ft x 11 foot, but my joists are 17 inches on center so any way I orient my sheets I had to make cuts. Should have been an easy 1.5 shhets (8" long) by three sheets wide minus 1 foot on the last set. instead I don't have a full sheet anywhere, but had to make due or else reframe the entire rooms joists which I didn't reall have the time or money to do. It's a bit of a hassle to makes cuts on every sheet but once the tape and finish is applied I don't anticipate that anyone but a pro with a magnifying glass will be able to tell.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Aug 14, 2016
    I really admire your gumption and hard work you took on. But now you face the music of this old house. Nothing is plumb. Make tubs of joint compound your new best friend. I ended up with about 20 empty bucket in my barn.
  • Mike who Mike who on Aug 14, 2016
    Make a false wall and hide it, i did this in my old house, ya i lost a few inches but i have a streight wall to rebuild my shower
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Aug 14, 2016
    I live in a mobile home so the paintable chalking became my friend in some area where I could see a dark gap showing. The corner in my living room looks great now.
  • Teri Teri on Aug 14, 2016
    I would try to hide the gap around the door by adding 1/4 round or some other decorative trim. (I see though how this might not work, what can you nail it to?) If that does work then fill in remaining gabs with caulk.
  • Roger Roger on Aug 14, 2016
    If the Sheetrock isn't on already, you could use pine shims (use 2 for each screw point) to make the studs even. I wouldn't use any insulation as that will just hold the water if you get another leak.
  • Pat Ruge Pat Ruge on Aug 14, 2016
    Personally, I would remove the door frame and fit, either a new one or recycle the one you have to fit the wall. It is just wood after all, and can be cut down to size. Any gap you have should be no more than 1/8-1/4" to be filled with caulk.
  • Charles Prock Charles Prock on Aug 14, 2016
    To fix it properly take the 1/4" sheetrock off the wall...I know, it's a step backwards but it will give you the straight wall you want....then, take a straight edge (like a straight 1/4) and I mean straight that will span the wall...if any of the studs bow out into the room you will have to shave them off with a skill saw....for those that are bowed in measure from the face of the stud to the 1x4 and put blocks alongside the stud that will stick out past it the measurement you took from the stud to the 1x4...Rehang the now have a straight wall....Was it worth it? only you can say.
  • Debra Highfill Debra Highfill on Aug 15, 2016
    i would carefully apply painter's tape over the gap and fill the gap with spray foam and then remove tape and put on the fller as usussl..sand and finish..thr tape will keep the aprY FOm in line qith the gap