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If you’re new to drylining you may find this information useful.

Of course, if you’re a member of FATE and dryliner you should already be well aware of the basics.

What is Dry lining? – a question often asked by many. Here we go some way to offer you an introduction to dry lining and what the basics of dry lining consist of:

What is Dry lining? – an overview:

Dry lining is the modern way of covering a surface with a plaster substitute; Application of a lining to a background instead of the more traditional two coat plasters or sand and cement.

It’s disputed whether the word is all one – drylining or is split into the two words ‘dry’ and ‘lining’. However, its’ correct spelling dry lining is now hugely popular, being quick and relatively clean to apply. Dry lining is the application of plasterboard or a board material to any surface instead of a plaster. The substrate or background which receives the plasterboard can be block work, timber or metal, each using a different fixing method. There are many types of plasterboard used when dry lining and a myriad of options. Rigid insulation can be glued to the back surface of a plaster board giving the user an insulation board which means an insulation and plasterboard can be fixed in one movement or visit rather than two. When dry lining to studs, whether they are metal or timber studs, insulation can be fitted between the studs in the cavity created.


What is Dry lining – timber or metal studs:

When Drylining Timber or metal we call this ‘tacking’ if using nails, or ‘screwing’ when screws are used. Of course, nails cannot be used when fixing boards to metal. Dry lining to timber or metal is reasonably straightforward providing you follow a few basic rules.

Always choose the best plasterboard or board suited to the job. If you’re dry lining a wet area like a bathroom or certain areas of a kitchen consider the additional value moisture resistant plasterboard will give you. Moisture resistant plasterboard is usually green just for recognition purposes. The paper that encases the plaster within the plasterboard is treated with a wax making moisture penetration almost impossible under normal conditions. However, moisture resistant plasterboard will not stand being submersed in water for long periods and the core will be like any other board making unbound or cut edges susceptible to water penetration. Knauf produce an ‘Aquapanel’ plasterboard and Siniat manufacture an aqua board. The Siniat aqua board can even be used in external lining applications.

Plasterboard is produced with a plaster core for natural sound and fire properties and some types have increased core density and fibres added for extra strength.

Choosing the right kind of plasterboard for your dry lining project can be a minefield and we suggest you carry out sufficient research before ordering up the quantity and type you need. Remember also that plasterboard comes in different widths, lengths and thicknesses. When you are setting out, the stud centres must suit the size of plasterboard you are ordering.


Drylining for beginners:

Dry lining or fitting board to a substrate is relatively easy when fixing to timber studs. Having chosen the right type of plasterboard or other lining board to suit the necessary height and stud centres, proceed as follows:

Measure the sheet of plasterboard; make any necessary cuts for services, sockets or penetrations. Allow approximately a 10mm gap at the bottom of the board for ease of fit. Work from an edge inwards whether it is an abutment to another wall or an internal angle. If you must start from the middle of a wall out make sure the first board is plumb or you risk creating yourself problems with square, creating unnecessary cuts. Offer the plasterboard to the stud wall lifting off the floor to meet the ceiling juncture if there is one. Fix the plasterboard to the timber stud walls using 40mm clout nails or preferably drywall screws for better strength. As a rule of thumb the screw length chosen should penetrate the timber stud by 25mm to maintain fire integrity.

The board can be lifted to the desired height using a proprietary footlifter or a crowbar or even chocks and a wedge of timber offcut. When you have the board positioned as you want ‘tack’ it working centre out and place the first two fixings relatively close to each other, say 100mm apart. By doing so with just 2 or 3 fixings the board will be held in position and any lifting pressure can be released leaving you to concentrate on fixing the rest of the board correctly. Fix the rest of the boards up and around the studs – working from the centre of each board. Screws should be positioned not less than 10mm from the board edge, at 300mm centres – reducing to 200mm centres at external corners. and/or 150mm centres if you’re using clout nails. Take care not to bruise the board with a hammer head or to screw the fixings in too far, piercing the paper envelope.

If you’re dry lining to a curved wall it is far easier to lay the boards down with the narrow side vertical. Again, with a curved wall or indeed a curved ceiling, plasterboard is relatively brittle and it may be far easier to use a thinner board rather than to snap the thicker plasterboards in a threepenny bit or 50p manner. If your fire rating requires say 12.5mm plasterboard and it won’t bend to the curve, you need to consider using 2 layers of a 6mm contour or Glasroc board to give you the same overall thickness to meet the rating. You must always ensure the board edges drop on a stud or support. The plasterers or tapers will never forgive you if you have flapping board edges.

Timber ceilings can be dry lined in very much the same way as timber stud walls with a few not so subtle differences. Plasterboards are heavy and it may be worth considering using a smaller board. As with stud walls it is imperative to set off with the first board square and this can generally be achieved by starting in a corner allowing a small but uniform gap for any building tolerances. Believe it or not, as with wall boards, ceiling boards can be held in position with just a few correctly placed fixings allowing you to rest your tired arms.

In recent years and on many commercial dry lining projects we have seen the introduction of metal stud partitions. Metal stud can have benefits over timber stud not least sound attenuation, accuracy of the substrate and an improved and certificated fire performance. Building metal stud partitions, though not beyond the scope of the well skilled is generally best left to a partition or dry lining contractor. The options and choice of metal stud is pretty much endless and there are door and particularly abutment details to contend with. Building a series of metal stud walls proficiently will almost always involve buying additional tools for your toolbox and extra expense.

There are several metal ceiling systems available too. Metal ceiling components can be used to create plasterboard lined suspended ceiling or indeed cross battened over a timber ceiling to improve sound performance or to accommodate services.

When dry lining masonry this is commonly referred to as ‘dot and dab’. Much more skilled than dry lining to timber studs this involves using plasterboard or drywall adhesive. The adhesive is applied to the wall using a trowel and hawk as trowel size dabs standing off the wall in a uniform pattern. Having carried out all the checks, measurements etc. appertaining to fitting plasterboard to a stud wall the plasterboard is then offered onto the evenly spaced dabs and tamped back using a straight edge and level. The plasterboard is then checked for level and square both vertically and horizontally before progressing across the wall.

Join FATE as a member for a host of helpful tools, sign off sheets, risk assessments, method statements – where to find a supplier and more.

Check out the FATE Free Advice page for further help.


This page is proudly sponsored by T & T INTERNAL FITOUTS

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