Should Gaps be placed between Butt Ends of Drywall Panels

To Gap or not to Gap between Butt ends of Drywall Panels

By Mark J. Donovan

QUESTION: I am considering hanging drywall in a room and have a question on hanging drywall. Should I leave a gap between drywall panels when hanging them or, should I butt them together as close as possible?

ANSWER: I have heard some discussion on whether or not there should be a gap between drywall panel butt joints. However, I have always tried to butt the drywall panels as close together as possible.

To be honest, I would be more concerned about the drywall job if there were large gaps between the panels, e.g. if the gaps were greater than or equal to 1/4 inch. If the gaps are too large the strength of the joint will be compromised and cracks will eventually form.

In the situation where there are gaps between the panels, make sure you first fill them with joint compound before applying drywall tape or mesh to the seam.

I believe the argument on having gaps between drywall panels might stem from the belief that getting a sliver of mud in between the joints may help to create a stronger joint seam. However, as long as the drywall is properly secured to the stud walls, and the gap is less than 1/4 inch, there should be no problem in obtaining a strong joint seam.

In order to ensure a strong joint seam, make sure that both butt ends of the drywall panels sit over the stud so that they can each be securely fastened to the stud.

Also, make sure you apply drywall nails or screws approximately every 4-5 inches along the length of the butt joint seam to ensure a strong seam that won’t flex or crack over time.

For information on repairing a large drywall hole, see the “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook from  The “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to repair your damaged wall so that it looks as good as new.

See’s Drywall Calculator

Related Information

Additional Drywall Installation Resources from

Free Home Addition Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on a house addition from one of our prescreened and licensed home addition contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your house addition price estimate.