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How Far Should Drywall Be Off The Floor?

Drywall is quite possibly the most used material when building or renovating homes. It is an invaluable material that helps create walls and ceilings. Drywall is pretty easy to install, making it a great DIY project for many homeowners. You might wonder how far off the floor to install drywall. We've delved into the details on drywall installation to get the answer for you.

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Generally, it would be best to keep the drywall about half an inch off the floor. This should give you enough space for the drywall to expand and contract without affecting the flooring. Keeping a half-inch gap also prevents the drywall from absorbing any moisture that may be on the floor.

Installing drywall in the home is quick and simple, but it also requires a few requirements to make sure that it will last for a long time. There may be other questions that you have in mind about putting up your drywall, and we've researched the answers to these questions. Keep on reading to learn more about drywall installation for your home.

drywall are prepared for working process of installing plasterboard, How Far Should Drywall Be Off The Floor?

How Far Should Drywall Be Off The Floor?

Drywall material is used to build walls and ceilings. It is also used to create design features in the home like arches and eaves or other architectural designs. It's a very durable material that is easy to install, and it does not require too much maintenance.

Most home builders find that it is very easy to install drywall on their own, especially for those looking to do their own home improvement projects. Drywall, though easy to install, still requires a few dos and don'ts to ensure that it will not affect the other materials you will be using for your home.

When installing drywall, it is important to know that it should be kept about 1/2 to 3/8 inches off the floor. This small gap will ensure that your drywall and the floor have the space to expand and contract when it is screwed onto the studs. It will also prevent moisture from the floor from being absorbed by the drywall.

Renovation of an old house with plaster board and insulation material

Is It Alright If The Drywall Touches The Floor?

One problem a lot of drywall installations face is when the drywall crumbles or bows because it was installed flush against the floor. This is caused by the natural expansion and contraction of the drywall as caused by its surroundings.

Without a small gap to allow for this natural movement, the drywall tends to crack and bend. This causes drywall to look unsightly.

Another issue that you might face if you butt the drywall against the floor is moisture absorption. In the unlikely event that there is water on the floor or there are leaks underneath the floor, this water will easily be absorbed by the drywall's porous nature. This leads to mold building up on your drywall, causing it to rot.

Should The Drywall Or The Flooring Go First?

installing timber laminate floor in the room

When remodeling the home, it is always best to work from the top down. This would mean that all ceiling jobs should be done first before the drywall, with the flooring last to be installed. This makes the construction work less messy. It also prevents any damage that drywall installation might cause to your floors.

Installing the flooring last also makes it easier for you to see marks and visual guides for certain elements in the room. The marks for studs and electrical boxes can be made on the subfloor, making this an easy guide for the drywall to be installed. When everything is done, the new flooring should be able to cover up these marks with no trouble at all.

How Do You Seal The Gap Between The Drywall And The Floor?

The best way to seal the gap between your flooring and drywall is by placing a baseboard on top of it. This baseboard will provide ample cover for your floor and drywall, as well as add a little design element to your space. Having a baseboard will essentially protect your lower floors and walls from damage and scuffs from the daily bumps it receives.

When installing a baseboard for your drywall, it is also important to properly seal and cover all cracks and gaps to prevent moisture or pests from entering the house. A small bead of clear silicone caulk should help seal all these spaces to make sure that infiltrations will stay out.

Check out this silicone caulk on Amazon.

To make it easy for you to put caulk on your baseboards, place a strip of painter's tape next to the wall that needs caulking. Fill the gap with caulk, using your fingers to smooth it out and to further spread it through the gaps. The painter's tape should help you get a nice, crisp line when you take them off after the caulk has dried.

Are Baseboards Necessary?

Putting skirting board to a fresh paint wall

Technically, you should be able to install your drywall and your flooring without the need for a baseboard to cover the gap in between them. However, doing so will most likely cause your project to cost more.

Plus, it requires precision and skill to make it look straight and even. In the long run, having a baseboard is much easier, and it provides better protection for your walls.

Fortunately, there are a lot of new baseboard materials and designs that will work for any style of home that you have. There are now modern styles; you can also choose from various materials to match your interior design.

Different Baseboard Profiles

Baseboards now have the option to have different shapes, sizes, and heights, depending on your choice. Some baseboards are installed with a single piece, while others come in multiple pieces to provide a specific look to your space. Here are some baseboard options you may want to look into:

Flat Baseboards

Flat baseboards are the most basic out of all types. These baseboards have straight, square edges, and do not have decorations, bevels, or designs. Homeowners seeking a "no-baseboard look" prefer this type because it can be recessed on the wall.

Clamshell Baseboards

A clamshell baseboard is also a premier choice for many homeowners who are looking for a clean look for their trim. This baseboard is easy to install and clean because it only has a rounded beveled edge on the top which makes it look perfect in modern homes.

Ornate Baseboards

Ornate baseboards are a little bit more dramatic as they involve several miter cuts and bevels to achieve that unique profile. While these baseboards look beautiful, especially in traditional and classic homes, it may be difficult to find a match years after installation.

It is also a little harder to clean as it typically has a few edges where dust may be hard to remove.

Baseboard Materials

Set of skirting different form on a wood

Traditionally, baseboards are made of wood—typically pine and oak, although other lumber has also been used. However, modern and newer baseboards also come in different materials and are better to use in certain areas of the house.

MDF Baseboards

MDF is a composite material from wood and adhesive, and these baseboards are generally cheaper than regular wood. While it is more cost-efficient, it isn't the most durable because it tends to absorb moisture and it will swell after being exposed to water.

Vinyl Baseboards

These baseboards are flexible and water-resistant, making vinyl a perfect choice for high moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms. This is also an excellent choice for areas that need frequent mopping, like dining areas and living rooms. It creates a seam between the walls and the floor to prevent moisture seepage in prone areas.

PVC and Urethane Baseboards

For areas that are very water-prone, PVC and urethane baseboards are perfect. These baseboards expand and contract less than regular wood. They are less prone to cracking. They are also easily installed by simply screwing them into place before priming and painting. 

Final Thoughts

drywall are prepared for working process of installing plasterboard

When the drywall is used for your home, you will notice that it is typically hung about 1/2-inch off the floor. This is because the drywall is given ample space to expand and contract. This gap prevents any damage to it and the flooring material. The drywall should never be installed flush against the floor because it may cause more problems in the future.

Looking to know more about using drywall for your home? We've got the perfect articles for you to read:

Drywall Screws Showing Through Paint – What To Do?

How Long Does It Take To Drywall A New House?