Drywall comprises of a thin layer of gypsum between two layers of heavy paper. Drywall is used to make ceilings and walls in most buildings because it is cheaper and faster to install than plaster.
Nature of Work
Drywall workers are divided into two categories, tapers and installers. However, most of the workers perform both tasks. Installers are also called hangers or framers. They fasten drywall panels to the interior framework of houses and other buildings. Finishers or tapers prepare these panels for painting by finishing and taping imperfections and joints. Additionally, drywall workers need to work with lathers and ceiling tile installers to build ceilings and walls.
Drywall panels are being manufactured in standard sizes. Drywall workers have to fit, cut, measure, and fasten these panels to the interior framework of buildings. Workers have to cut smaller pieces to go around windows and doors. Installers drill, saw, or cut holes in panels for electrical outlets, plumbing, and air-conditioning units.
After making these modifications, installers may nail, glue, or screw the wallboard panels to the metal or wood framework. As drywall is cumbersome and heavy, many workers help the installer to secure and position the panel. An installer has to use a lift while placing ceiling panels.
Once the drywall is installed, tapers connect panels with joint compound, which is called �mud' or �spackle'. Installers use the flat and wide tip of a special trowel for spreading the compound into every side of joint with brush-like strokes. They use trowel to press a paper tape, which is used to enhance drywalls and cover imperfections. Screw depressions and nail are also covered with this compound.
Finishers may use automatic taping tools on a large project. These tools are used to apply the joint compound and tape in one step. Tapers use wider trowels to apply second and third coats of the compound.
Ceiling tile installers are also called acoustical carpenters. Their work is to mount or apply acoustical blocks or tiles, strips or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to walls and ceilings of a building. This is done with the intention of reducing reflection of sound or to decorate rooms. These installers mark and measure the surface according to drawings and blueprints. Consequently, they screw or nail moldings to the walls to seal and support the joint between the wall and the ceiling tile. Finally, installers mount the tile by applying cement glue to the back of the tile and after that pressing tile into place, nailing, stapling, screwing or wire-tying the lath to the structural framework.
The work of lathers is to apply the support base for fireproofing, plaster coatings, or acoustical materials. This support base is known as lath. It is put on the ceilings; ornamental framework, walls, and partition of buildings before plaster and other coatings are applied. Lathers have to use portable power tools and hand tools to screw, nail, staple, and wire tie the lath to the structural framework of buildings. In the past, lath was made of wooden strips, but today, it is normally made of metal mesh, wire or gypsum. It is also known as rock-board.
Sometimes, this work may become physically strenuous. Ceiling tile installers, drywall installers, tapers, and lathers spend ample amount of time by standing, kneeling, stretching, and bending. Some of the tapers use stilts to measure and finish angle joints and ceilings. The responsibility of an installer is to fit and maneuver cumbersome and heavy drywall panels. Hazards comprise of fall from scaffolds and ladders.
Installers have to use tools with care as there are chances of injury. Construction tools such as sharp utility knives should be handled with great care. These workers have to use goggles and masks to avoid dust at the work place. Installers and other workers work forty hours a week. However, the workweeks often vary depending upon the workload. Drywall and ceiling tile installers have to carry out the following responsibilities.