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Thread: Sheetrock and Plywood for walls/ceiling

  1. #1
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    Sheetrock and Plywood for walls/ceiling

    I am thinking about my upcoming garage project to insulate and cover the walls and ceiling. I am torn between putting up all sheetrock, all plywood, or a combination of the two. I like the price of sheetrock, but not the durability and I don't really like OSB, so I was thinking about using a better grade of plywood.

    Here are my thoughts. The wall adjacent to the house (attached garage) is already sheetrocked for fire code. The rest of the walls are bare studs. I am thinking about putting sheetrock on the ceiling and the wall with the garage door and then putting plywood on the back and opposite side wall. Having plywood on these two walls would also give me the flexibility of being able to remove it and adjust/add outlets, etc. since this is where most of my outlets are. I'm not quite sure how the transitions would be handled Would I mud the corners where the sheetrock meets the plywood?

    Am I crazy to think about doing this? Has anyone else attempted this?

  2. #2
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    I'm not a code jockey, but I thought all attached structures must meet fire code on all walls... but maybe the wall adjoining the living space is adequate.
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  3. #3
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    Don't mud, just a) do nothing b) caulk c) trim piece. And I would use OSB but that's just me. It's a garage shop, once it's painted and all the stuff on the walls is up you really won't be able to tell.

  4. #4
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    Being in Minnesota, I am sure you won't forget to slap in some major insullation first. I am in the process of having the stud cavities insulated after the fact, not a big deal, but I sure wish the contractor hadn't put up drywall first (35 years ago). You might consider putting up a water resistant wainscoat to protect the walls from splashing slop in the winter, or when you decide to hose it out. That is if you will ever use it as a garage again. I used prefinished white tempered masonite from the BORG and ran it 1/3 sheet (32") high. If I were starting out, I would probably insulate (cellulose is better than fiberglass in extreme cold) go with fiberglass panels like you see in a carwash (also available at the BORG) up 32 inches and 1/2" ply or OSB, painted, up to the ceiling, and then drywall the ceiling, also with insulation. And boy, is that 75,000 btu unit heater nice for working on the snowmobiles!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hintz View Post
    I'm not a code jockey, but I thought all attached structures must meet fire code on all walls... but maybe the wall adjoining the living space is adequate.
    Things in the more rural areas are more lax on code. The town I grew up near had a population of 250 counting stray cats and code beyond electrical is almost non existent. However, with Litchfield having a population of over 6000 and it proximity to the Twin Cities it may not hurt to quietly inquire about the fire code with a couple of the local contractors.
    Last edited by Clarence Miller; 01-11-2011 at 8:31 PM.
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  6. #6
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    In my area, building code calls for 5/8" sheetrock, taped and mudded between the garage and the living space. I just had a renovation to my house in the garage area and watched how they did it and talked to the inspector. The inspector was kind of a pain but I appreciated everything that he made the contractor do for the fire code and electrical.

  7. #7
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    Since it is an attached garrage, I would go with sheetrock. A bit of a pain to finish, but in the end, it looks well, finished. In my situation, I'm not terribly concerned that the walls will get too much abuse. My shop is a hobby shop, dedicated to wood working, so I don't have to worry about lawn mowers, garden tools, bicycles, sporting, camping, fishing equipment, cars, etc. If I ding up a wall here or there, I can easily repair it. I like the look of a finished drywall over painted plywood or OSB. This isn't to say this is the right answer, just my preference. If you sheath your exterior walls in plywood, then you might want to trim out the corners with inside corners used in paneling applications or 2x1's, or as suggested earlier simply caulk the gaps.

  8. #8
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    Kyle,
    What you are thinking is almost exactly how I finished out my attached shop. I have the 5/8" code sheetrock on the adjoining wall. Sheetrock on the ceiliing. Wainscoat 4' up from the floor. 1/2" plywood above the wainscoat. 9' ceilings. I did this in 2004 and have no regrets. Put in plenty of outlets at the time - before placing insulation. Ultimately I ended up adding a 2nd 220 outlet for the dust collector - conduit on outside of wall.

    I wouldn't mud the connection between ply and rock. Trim or caulk.

    Just my thoughts. Enjoy.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I don't think I've made up my mind yet, but you all definitely gave me some good ideas and answered my questions.

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