You can fix plasterboard in three different ways, which often depends on the substrate behind it. For timber frames and partitioning walls then you can use screws or nails. For fixing to brickwork and masonry then you need to opt for the dot and dab technique. Dot and dab is known as drylining.

How to dot and dab plasterboard

Before beginning this process, make sure you have your chosen plasterboard adhesive and that all your plasterboard is already cut as above. Don’t forget to cut out spaces for electric sockets and any other fixtures.

  1. Follow the mixing instructions of the plasterboard adhesive until it has a fairly thick and ‘creamy’-like consistency.
  2. Apply a generous ‘dab’ of plasterboard adhesive every 20cm across the plasterboard in dots.
  3. Line up the plasterboard with the desired space using a spirit level to ensure it’s straight.
  4. Make sure to get the first board right as the rest will need to line up with this.
  5. Press firmly until the plasterboard doesn’t move when you move away.

Don’t forget to leave a gap between the floor and the boards for reducing the risk of rising damp. This will be covered by skirting board.

How to fix plasterboard with screws

When using screws to fix plasterboard be mindful of the location of pipes and utilities behind the boards. Opt for screws that are 25mm longer than the plasterboard is thick.

  1. Mark lines on the plasterboard where the timber framework is to make sure you don’t miss the timber with the screws.
  2. Place screws at 100-200mm gaps across the timber framework. Don’t place any screws within 12mm of the board edge.
  3. Slowly drill the screws in until the head is just under the surface of the paper.

How to fix plasterboard with nails

To fix with nails use galvanized nails that are 30mm long for 9.5mm thick plasterboard and 40mm for 12.5mm thick plasterboard.

  1. Mark lines on the plasterboard where the timber framework is to make sure you don’t miss the timber with the nails.
  2. Keep a gap of 150mm between nails and don’t go any closer than 12mm to the edge of the boards.
  3. Slowly hammer in the nails until they are flush with the surface.

When fixing with screws or nails take care not to drill in too far or hammer in too far as this could compromise the integrity of the core of the plasterboard.

Find out more about the different types of plasterboard in our dedicated guide!

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