What Goes on Top of Drywall?

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Several types of materials hold drywall sheets together and make walls decorative and functional.

Installing drywall is a laborious task that requires physical strength and patience, as drywall is heavy and bulky to maneuver. This project involves hanging drywall sheets on studs and screwing them down, making sure the side edges of the sheets are centered on studs to ensure stability. However, the materials that go on top of the drywall are what produce the finished product and allow the drywall to remain intact.


Compound, also called spackle or mud, is an important item that goes on top of drywall. After hanging and screwing drywall to wall studs, you must apply the compound to the drywall board seams using a 4-inch-wide knife. Pouring the compound from its original container into a portable mud bucket makes the application process easier, as the bucket is easier to carry around. When applying the compound to the drywall joints, holding the knife at a 25-degree angle and applying a smooth layer of compound in one pass yields the best results. Removing excess compound from this area also is necessary. You must sand the first coat prior to applying two more coats of the compound to the drywall.


Tape goes on top of the compound you applied to the drywall's surface. The purpose of drywall tape is to cover voids and seal drywall sheets together. Applying drywall tape involves pulling tape off the roll and placing it on top of each drywall seam. The tape must be centered over the seam before you press it down into the compound. Press the knife against the tape to flatten it even more, by holding the knife at a 25-degree angle to the drywall's surface.


Veneer plaster is another substance that goes over drywall, as long as the drywall is a blueboard -- drywall that has a waterproof coating. Veneer plaster creates a smooth or textured finish that is resistant to abrasion. This type of material is useful in high-traffic areas because of its durability. The veneer plaster finish goes over the drywall mud and tape.


Tiles also can go on top of drywall. For example, after hanging cement board -- a water-resistant form of drywall -- in the shower, you can then install tile on top. Tiles are suitable in bathrooms and kitchens, because they resist water, they are easy to clean, and they resist stains. Gluing the tiles to the cement board with latex tile mastic rather than with mortar prevents the tiles from sliding around during the project, as the mastic is stickier than mortar.


YaShekia King

YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.