Ultimate Guide To Drylining For 2024

(From planning and prep to maintenance and repairs plus everything drylining in between!)


  1. Introduction to Drylining
  2. Tools & Equipment for Drylining
  3. Planning & Preparation
  4. Installation Techniques
  5. Finishing & Decoration
  6. Maintenance & Repairs
  7. Drylining Misconceptions
  8. Drylining FAQs
  9. Conclusion


Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast about to start your first drylining project, a professional looking to deepen your knowledge, or just curious about the drylining trade, this guide is for you.

We’ll walk you through everything: planning and preparation, installation techniques, finishing touches, maintenance and repairs. We’ll also clear up some common myths and answer frequently asked questions about drylining.

Chapter One – Introduction to Drylining

Introduction to drylining

Introduction to Drylining

Drylining is a construction method used to create smooth and level walls and ceilings. It’s commonly used in new builds, renovations, and remodelling projects to provide a smooth surface for decoration and improve insulation and soundproofing.

In this chapter, we’ll explore the history, benefits, and types of drylining systems and materials.

History of Drylining

Drylining has been around for over a century. It started with plaster, but new materials like gypsum board have made it more efficient and cost-effective.

Today, drylining is used in all kinds of construction projects around the world.

Benefits of Drylining

Drylining offers several benefits, including:

  • Improved insulation and soundproofing: It helps keep heat and sound in (or out) of a room.
  • Increased structural stability: It strengthens walls and ceilings.
  • Faster construction times: It’s quicker to install than traditional plastering.
  • Cost-effective: It uses less material and labour, making it cheaper.

Types of Dry Lining Systems and Materials

There are several materials you can use for drylining, each with its own perks:

  • Gypsum board: The most common material, easy to install, lightweight, and offers good insulation and soundproofing.
  • Fibre board: Made from recycled materials, it’s an eco-friendly option.
  • Cement board: Strong and durable, made from cement and fibres.
  • Plasterboard: Affordable and versatile, made from gypsum and paper.

Choosing the right material depends on your project’s needs. In conclusion, drylining is a versatile, cost-effective, and efficient way to create smooth and level walls and ceilings in any building. Whether you’re building a new home, renovating an old one, or just want to improve insulation and soundproofing, drylining is a great option.

Chapter Two – Tools & Equipment for Drylining

Tools & Equipment for Drylining

To complete a drylining project, you’ll need a range of tools and equipment. Here’s some of the essentials and optional items that can make the job easier.

Essential Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Knife or cutting tool for drywall
  • Screw gun or drill with a drywall screw bit
  • Square or straight edge for making straight cuts
  • Level
  • Joint knife or taping knife
  • Drywall saw or utility knife
  • Sand block or drywall rasp

Optional Tools

  • Electric or manual drill
  • Hole saw or hole cutter
  • Screw gun holder or drill holder
  • Corner bead tool
  • Drywall lift or hoist

You can also replace joint and taping knives with automatic taping tools for larger jobs. Having the right tools makes the drylining process faster, easier, and more accurate. Investing in good tools can also help reduce the risk of injury and damage.

Safety Equipment

When working with drylining materials, it’s important to wear protective gear, including:

  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Hard hat
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Safety boots

Always follow safe working practices and be aware of potential hazards, like sharp edges and dust.

Having the right tools and safety equipment is key to a successful drylining project. By investing in quality tools, wearing proper safety gear, and following safe practices, you can ensure your project is done efficiently and safely.

Chapter Three – Planning & Preparation

Planning and Preparation

Preparing the Surface for Drylining

Before you start your drylining project, it’s important to prepare the surface. This includes cleaning, repairing any damage, and making sure it’s level and debris-free.

Cleaning the Surface

Make sure the surface is free from dust, dirt, and debris. Use a vacuum cleaner or wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Repairing Any Damage

Fix any damage, like cracks or holes, before attaching the drywall. Fill small holes with filler and sand smooth. Larger cracks may need to be reinforced with mesh tape.

Ensuring the Surface is Level

The surface should be level. If it’s not, use shims or attach furring strips to correct it.

Removing Obstacles

Remove any obstacles, like electrical outlets or light switches, before attaching the drywall. This makes the process easier and reduces the risk of damaging electrical wiring. In conclusion, preparing the surface is crucial. By cleaning, repairing, levelling, and removing obstacles, you can ensure your project goes smoothly.

Chapter Four – Installation Techniques

Installation Techniques

Attaching the Drywall

Once the surface is prepped, the next step is attaching the drywall. This involves measuring and cutting the drywall to the right size and attaching it using screws or adhesive.

Measuring and Cutting the Drywall

Measure and cut the drywall to the correct size using a measuring tape, straight edge, and utility knife. Cut it slightly larger than the opening to allow for adjustments.

Attaching the Drywall with Screws

Screws are the most common method. Space them every 12-16 inches along the edges and every 8-12 inches in the field to ensure a secure attachment.

Attaching the Drywall with Adhesive

In some cases, adhesive is used instead of screws, especially for surfaces like masonry or concrete. Apply adhesive to the back of the drywall and press it firmly against the surface.

Hanging the Drywall

Carefully position the drywall against the surface and secure it in place.

Attaching the drywall is a critical step. By measuring, cutting, and attaching it correctly, you ensure a secure and ready-to-finish surface.

Chapter Five – Finishing & Decoration

Finishing & Decoration

Finishing the Drywall

The final step is finishing the drywall, which involves covering joints and screws with joint compound and sanding the surface smooth.

Joint Compound

Apply joint compound in thin, even layers over joints and screws. Let it dry completely before sanding.

Sanding the Surface

Once dry, sand the surface smooth with fine-grit sandpaper or a power sander. Be careful to avoid damaging the drywall.

Priming the Surface

After sanding, prime the surface to prepare it for painting or wallpapering. This seals the surface and prevents unwanted absorption.

Finishing Touches

Inspect the surface to ensure it’s smooth and blemish-free. Once complete, the drywall is ready for painting or wallpapering.

Finishing the drywall is crucial. By properly applying joint compound, sanding, and priming, you create a smooth, ready-to-finish surface.

Chapter Six – Maintenance & Repairs

Maintenance & Repairs

Regular maintenance involves inspecting for damage and making necessary repairs. Fill small holes with filler, and reinforce larger cracks if needed.

Proper maintenance keeps your drylined surfaces looking good and functioning well.

Chapter Seven –  Drylining Misconceptions

Drylining Misconceptions

Common Misconceptions

  • Not permanent: Drylining is durable and long-lasting.
  • Only for modern homes: It’s suitable for all types of buildings.
  • Difficult to install: It can be done with basic DIY skills.
  • Expensive: Often more affordable than traditional plastering.
  • Not fire-resistant: It offers good fire resistance.

Drylining is often misunderstood. It’s not just a temporary or modern solution. Instead, it’s a versatile, durable, and cost-effective method that can be used in various building types, offering good fire resistance and insulation properties.

Chapter Eight – Drylining FAQs

Drylining FAQs

What is drylining?

Drylining is a method of creating a smooth, level surface in a building by fixing plasterboard sheets to walls or ceilings.

What are the benefits of drylining?

Drylining improves insulation, fire resistance, soundproofing, and makes decoration easier.

What tools do I need for drylining?

Basic tools include a measuring tape, spirit level, screwdriver, drill, saw, cutter, and ladder.

How long does it take to dryline a room?

Drylining a room typically takes one to two days.

Is drylining expensive?

The cost ranges from £500 to £1,000 per room, depending on size and complexity.

Can I dryline my own home?

Yes, but it requires some skill and experience, so consider hiring a professional if unsure.

Is drylining safe?

Yes, if proper safety precautions and PPE are used, especially during sanding.

Can drylining be used to soundproof a room?

Yes, with plasterboard sheets and additional soundproofing materials and sealing gaps.



We’ve reached the end of our drylining guide. We hope it’s given you a solid understanding of this important trade.

From planning and preparation, to installation, finishing, and maintenance, we’ve covered it all. By clearing up common misconceptions and answering key questions, we aim to be a valuable resource for your drylining projects.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, knowing the ins and outs of drylining is crucial for success – good luck!