yeah, i said butt splice

David will now pick up where I left off last week.


So Joe and I got a bunch of gyp board (aka sheetrock or drywall) hung on the downstairs ceiling. As Brook pointed out, it’s a ⅝”-thick product called QuietRock. I chose it specifically for its soundproofing, noise-reducing qualities as the downstairs will eventually be our entertainment area. We don’t want to hear action movie blasts and techno beats through the floor upstairs.

Quietrock is made up of (from front to back): paper, ⅜” gypsum, a layer of a non-hardening viscoelastic glue, ¼” gypsum and paper. It’s still a Type-X fire-rated product but has much better sound dampening characteristics than standard ⅝” gyp board. It also differs from standard sheetrock in having a paper-wrapped long edge which is not removed upon installation….

paper edge on short side




















No matter what kind of gyp board you use, there’s a trick to getting a really flat wall or ceiling with it. The long edges come from the factory with a taper that allows for the thickness of the joint compound and tape you’re going to add, so that the separate pieces of gyp board become one monolithic, smooth mass. But the short edges have no taper and if left to their own device will make a visible hump when taped. You see this all the time. Here’s a typical wall in our house…

bad tape job




















The solution, if you plan ahead, is to buy one of several products that screw to the back of the adjoining pieces to pull their edges into a taper. Failing that foresight (ahem, I did it again), you can make your own butt splice —  that’s what Joe and I did. Butt splice: splice the gyp boards together with another board behind the gap where they butt up against each other.

To make the butt splice, first I picked up  1/16″ mat board at my local art shop. Then I cut it into 1″ strips and stapled it to plywood planks (same thickness as the drywall, sized 9-1/4″ wide x an inch shorter than the length of the joint) along both long edges…

mat board stapled to plywood




















As each sheet of QuietRock went up, we screwed the finished splices to the backside like so…

ceiling detail shot




















ceiling detail shot 2




















As the two pieces of gyp board are screwed to the plywood along their edges, they flex upwards slightly along the screw line…

where boards butt pulls up to a taper




















That creates a tapered edge which will take tape and compound just like a factory taper. Voila! Super smooth ceiling or wall! Tape and compound still to come…

QuietRock all spliced up




















But first, we have to finish the rest of the ceiling and walls.

[FYI, the process we used above is Fine Homebuilding’s butt splice tip in action. Thanks, FH!]


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One Response to “yeah, i said butt splice”

  1. […] sheetrock saga continues but it’s closing in on the end. Today the QuietRock got sliced and diced some […]

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