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Strapping The Ceiling

Strapping the ceiling can not only make drywall placement easier, it can actually strengthen the floor above.

Learning Curve 15

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Mike on March 09, 2022 17:44

Iam put up 5/8 drywall in my garage on a old ceiling, That i do not to take down Should i use strapping or screw it to the old ceiling Thanks for any information,Jon

Hello Mike,

Your screws need to mechanically fix to the joists, not the old ceiling material. Strapping allows for long wood screws through an existing ceiling into the joists, be that wood or even a combination of wood and insulation. Then shorter drywall screws through the 5/8 drywall into the strapping.

If you use very long screws to hold the drywall, you have to very careful to drive them just flush (really had to do with 3" screws), and use Philips screws as you find on all drywall screws, because square socket Robertson screws will spit back out the drywall compound.

Hope that helps,

Clarke on January 29, 2021 09:03

Do you need to nail or screw the end of the strapping to something ? Do you need to add blocking to the end somehow?

Hello Clarke
Whenever fastening near the end of softwood, especially thin strapping, you should drill a pilot hole for either a nail or a screw as without a pilot hole it will very likely split a 1x2 even a 1x3. Several inches from the end it should be ok.


David on July 10, 2020 19:17

Thank you for the very clear explanation!

Jim on October 28, 2014 15:32

can I use 2x4's for strapping

Hello Jim,
Sure - but why spend the money and loose the headroom?
-- Jon

Jon on October 21, 2012 12:50

Hello Doug,

According to the CGC handbook - when drywall is placed parallel to the strapping, the strapping must be on 16" centres, when placed perpendicular to the strapping it can go to 24" centres -- but this is not recommended if water based texturing material (like stucco) is to be applied. 

When applying texturing materials, it is a good idea to use Sag Resitant drywall panels.

Jon on October 21, 2012 12:44

1-1/4" penetration into the wood -- hence with 3/4" strapping, a minimum of 2" long screws.  If you are using very dry 1x3s for the strapping it would be wise to pre-drill through the strapping to avoid splitting.

Doug on October 10, 2012 14:25

How far apart can ceiling joists be to support 1/2 drywall without sagging?

Jim on August 29, 2012 11:32

Jon I am starting a gareage ceiling, and want to use screws. What length/type screws to use to attach the 1x3 strapping to the overhead trusses?Thanks for any information,Jim

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