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Should Drywall Touch the Floor? (All You Need to Know)

Drywall does the best job when you want to have a personal touch in your home by creating personalized design features for the walls and ceilings.

Since, drywall is basically wallboard and not the actual wall, while securing it to the framing of your home, you may ask yourself whether it should touch the floor or not. Therefore, let’s end this confusing question here and find out the exact answers. 

Should Drywall Touch The Floor?

Drywall shouldn’t touch the floor, as the floor can get damped and this gypsum-made drywall can soak up the moisture which can result in mold growth or warp. So, always keep a ½” gap between the underside of the drywall and the floor so that both materials can expand without breaking the drywall.

Drywall aka wallboard should never go all the way to the floor. The reason is that most floors are made of concrete and concrete are potential to become damp, thereby, if the wallboard’s bottom touches the floor, the gypsum in wallboard will soak the moisture.

As a result, mold can grow on the walls or near to the walls, and obviously mold growth will damage the drywall. Also, the plasterboard can get bubbled up or turn yellowish when it will absorb moisture.

So to avoid moisture wicking into the wallboard and spur mold growth or warp, there always should be a half an inch gap between the lower drywall panel’s bottom and the finished floor.

This gap will allow enough space for seasonal extension and constriction of the frame on what plasterboard is attached as well as any cracking up of the drywall will be prevented. Besides, leaving a little gap will provide sufficient “wiggle room” after installation. 

Moreover, for your additional information know that drywall has several names and Sheetrock is one of them which means both are exactly the same. But precisely to say, Sheetrock is mainly a brand of plasterboard/drywall sheet. So don’t get flustered by different names of the drywall. 

Should There Be A Gap Between Drywall And Floor?

There must always be a half-inch gap between the drywall and the floor, but the gap shouldn’t exceed more than this size. 

Plasterboard/drywall is pretty notorious when it comes to absorbing moisture. Thus, if it sits on the concrete floor, any moisture in the concrete floor will wick up in the plasterboard. Thereby, it can develop mold growth, also can get decayed. 

Another reason is that not all concrete floors are accurately level, so if the drywall is set directly on top of the concrete floor, even the smaller ridge in the floor can make an entire sheet of wallboard out of the level.

Thereby, big gaps can arise between the sheets, or else between the ceiling and wallboard. 

Lastly, due to seasonal expansion and contraction, drywall can crack up if it’s settled directly on top of the floor as during expansion they both will pressurize each other. So there should be a gap between the drywall and the floor. 

Why Does Drywall Not Go To The Floor?

Drywall doesn’t go directly to the floor because it’s highly prone to absorb moisture from the floor, especially from concrete floor and this can lead to mold growth and warping, thereby, there is a gap between drywall and the floor so that the drywall remains protected. 

Moreover, not all floors’ surface is even which can lead to bigger gaps between the drywall sheets or between the ceiling and drywall. 

Most importantly, during seasonal weather change, expansion and contraction can happen and direct contact between the drywall and the concrete floor can pressurize each other which then can result in cracked drywall. 

How Far Off The Floor Should Drywall Be?

Regardless of the floor type, the bottom of the drywall should be half an inch off the surface of the floor.

It’s because this much gap leaves an adequate space between the floor and the drywall that ensures free movement while seasonal expanding and contracting of both the materials. 

Also, in cases where some drywallers have confused you saying that drywall should be 5/8” off the floor, consider leaving ½ inches space in such situations as well to stay on the safe side. 

How Far Should Drywall Be Off The Ceiling?

The industry professionals suggest that the drywall edges should be 8” far from the ceiling. However, some like to keep a 7” gap between the drywall and the ceiling. 

How Big Of A Drywall Gap Is Too Big?

The ideal gap between the drywall sheets is considered to be a ½ inch gap, so any gap that is bigger than ½ inch wide is just too big as the space for the drywall .

And such big gaps can’t be fixed with only tape without filling the hollow space as the tape may flex as well as the joint compound that’s covering may chip away. 

Why There Is A Large Gap Between Drywall And Floor? 

The concrete floor in houses is likely to get damped or can leak, especially if it’s the basement floor.

As a result, the moisture from the concrete floor can wick into the sheets of drywall making them absorb the moisture, bubble up, and create a suitable environment for mold growth. Besides, the drywall can even warp if there’s any expansion and contraction happens. 

Therefore, to prevent all these potential risks and ensure a more useful lifespan of the drywall, drywall professionals and manufacturing brands always suggest leaving around a ½” large gap between the floor and the drywall.

How To Fill A Gap Between Drywall And Floor?

Certain steps are needed to be followed while filling a gap between drywall and the floor, therefore, step-by-step instructions are provided below to help you fix the gap. 

Scrape Off Old Caulk: 

Take a putty/utility knife and run it on the edges to scrape any old caulk off. If there is any stubborn caulk bit, use a 180-grit sandpaper to scrape that off. 

Vacuum Dust And Dir: 

Then you can either use a vacuum cleaner with a hose extension to vacuum along that gap between the drywall and floor to clean any dirt, leftover pieces of caulk, debris. 

In case, you don’t own a vacuum with a hose attachment, take a damp cloth to clean dirt, debris, caulk pieces from the gap. 

Then, sanitize the gap using rubbing alcohol and a clean sponge so that it can help prevent mold growth. 

Caulk The Gap: 

Now take your chosen caulk according to your needs, it can either be an acrylic latex caulk (to match with the wall’s color) or silicone caulk (for waterproof sealing). Then, insert the tube of caulk into the caulk machine, and make sure the nozzle is facing away. 

After that cut the caulk machine’s nozzle at a 45° angle and pierce the caulk tube with a long pin or metal nail.

Then insert the nozzle into the gap and pull the caulk machine’s trigger to push caulk out and fill the gap. Use a caulking equipment to smooth out the caulk and let it dry for 24 hours At least. 

How Big A Gap Can You Fill With Caulk?

As long as a gap is ¼” in width, you can fill it up with caulk and one bead of caulk would be enough to fill such a big gap. But remember to choose a caulk color matching the grout if there is tile on your wall abutting the tub. 

Also, know that you can fill up a slightly larger gap than ¼” too, but in this case, first you have to take one bead of caulk and fill deeper in that hole After that let the caulk cure totally and then apply a coat of surface bead on the surface.

What Kind Of Caulk Do You Use For Baseboard?

Among all types of caulk for baseboard, acrylic latex caulk is the best type of caulk for using on the baseboard. As Acrylic latex caulk not only provide protection from moisture and mold growth in the baseboard but also allows the caulking to adapt to seasonal expansion/movement 

Another caulk option for you is silicone caulk. Silicone caulk is a very durable and stickiest one among all caulks that’re being sold in the market.

However, there are limitations as silicone caulk will ideally work on metal and plastic baseboards but do not work nicely with wooden baseboards. 

Also, to make choosing caulk easier for you, the following name of a few best caulk for baseboard is added here- Gorilla White 100% Silicone Sealant Caulk, DAP INC 18152 Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk, Sascho 10016 Big Stretch Caulk 10.5- Ounce, etc. 

Final Thoughts 

Drywall shouldn’t ever touch the floor because the moisture from the concrete floor can wick up into the wallboard, thereby, mold can grow, can rot, or can even warp. Also, seasonal expansion and contraction can crack the drywall, so it’s better to keep a ½” gap between the drywall and floor.