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Estimating how much drywall I need to buy.

I am getting ready to remodel the interior of my home. The walls and ceiling started out as lathe and plaster but I am going to do them with sheetrock once I get the lathe and plaster out. My question is, how do I calculate the amount of drywall sheets I need for both walls and ceiling? Is it simply a matter of measuring walls feet and dividing by 8 feet? How do account for the ceilings? By area? Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Posted 2011-11-23T05:38:38+0000  by koomie66 koomie66

Measure the area of all walls and ceilings, don't be concerned about windows and doors.  For example:  you have a 10' x 10' room with 8 foot high ceilings.  Each wall would be 80 square feet so four walls equals 320 square feet (sf) of drywall needed.  The ceiling is 10' x 10' or an additional 100 square feet.  Sheets of drywall are either 4 x 8's (32 sf each) or 4 x 12's (48 sf each).  If you add the 320 sf needed for walls and the 100 sf needed for ceilings, you get 420 sf of drywall needed.  Divide the 420 by 32 for 13.125 or 14 sheets of 4 x 8 drywall.  Divide 420 by 48 for 8.75 or 9 sheets of 4 x 12 drywall.  Since the wall studs are running vertically, it's best to run the drywall horizontally.  Run the ceiling drywall the same way...across the floor joists or roof trusses and not with them.  Stagger your end joints at installation, too, both walls and ceillings.  Do yourself a favor and save your back by renting a drywall lift for the ceiling installations.


Nail It! Home Improvements     

Best Answer

Posted 2011-11-23T15:26:27+0000  by nailitllc

First decide which direction you want to run the drywall - either horizontally or vertically. Then draw out the room on a piece of paper and note all of the dimensions. Then start to draw on to each area the drywall sheets and note down how many full sheets you will need. If you want to be really clever you can then calculate where you can fill in gaps with the cut off pieces but generally for a large project you wouldn't do that. It's usually easier to overestimate by a few sheets and then take back any excess.

Posted 2011-11-23T14:41:02+0000  by scottansell

Hello koomie66,


Welcome to the community.


My house is also lathe and plaster but I have not taken all of it off to re-sheet it in drywall. I only did the living room due to multiple cracks. It was a lot of work but it’s worth it.


It looks like you have a couple of great responses already. I just wanted to give you a couple of other resources.


So to find the square footage that you will need for drywall is as simple as…


Walls - Width X Height = square footage


Ceiling - Length X Width = square footage


Add them all together for the total square footage.


Divide it by however many square feet that’s in each drywall sheet that you’re using to get the total number of sheets needed.     For example:  4’x8’=32 sq.ft.   or    4’x12’=48 sq.ft. (just as nailitlc stated)


Here are a few links that I think might help you with your project.


Drywall Buying Guild.

Drywall Fasteners.

Installing Drywall.


I also wanted to give the links to some of the products that you will need. Drywall, joint compound, joint tape, and drywall tools. This way when you’re at your local Home Depot you will know what you’re looking for.:smileywink:


I hope this has helped you figure out how many sheets of drywall you will need to redo your home.


Let me know if you have any other questions. I would love to help.

Posted 2011-11-23T21:30:59+0000  by Christine_HD_OC
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