Hiding Butt Joints
To hide “butt joints” (where two non-tapered ends of drywall meet), you have to build up a hump of joint compound that’s very thin and wide. This is time-consuming and difficult to do well. So if you’re a novice drywall finisher, avoiding butt joints is smart.
The best way to avoid butt joints is to use sheets of drywall that are long enough to cover entire walls and ceilings. As a result, you’ll have only tapered joints to finish. Drywall sheets are commonly available in 8- and 12-ft. lengths. Often, specialty suppliers carry 14-ft. sheets.
If your ceiling is longer than 14-ft., you can’t avoid butt joints. But you can avoid butt joints on a wall that exceeds 14 ft. Simply hang the sheets vertically rather than horizontally. That way, you’ll have several tapered joints to cover, but no butt joints.
Hanging drywall vertically is slower than hanging it horizontally because you have to make sure the tapered edges fall at the centers of the studs. Cut the first sheet to width so the tapered edge lands on the center of a stud. After that, the edges of each sheet should fall perfectly on the studs. If you run into misplaced studs, nail 2x2s to them. If you have 9-ft. ceilings, call a drywall supplier to find 10-ft.-long sheets.