What’s the Big Deal About Buttboard?

For an accessory that appears, on the surface, to be not much more than a plank of OSB, Buttboard causes a lot of hubbub among folks in the drywall trade. But take a closer look, and you’ll see a whole lot worth talking about, from saving time to reducing waste. So what’s the big deal about Buttboard? We’ll let our friends at Refresh Home Improvements show you for themselves.

In this video, RHI’s Steve Tuer takes you through installing Buttboard step-by-step, explaining exactly why Buttboard has made such a mark in the drywall finishing industry:

Create Flatter Walls With Trim-Tex Buttboard!
Create Flatter Walls With Trim-Tex Buttboard!

If you’re newer to the business, you may not know that sheets of drywall have slightly tapered/beveled edges that allow finishers to tape and mud areas where two sheets meet without creating huge humps. (Humps like those mean more time, materials

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and energy spent evening them out for a smooth finish — no good.) However, on a jobsite, you won’t always be using full drywall sheets; inevitably, you’ll need to cut the sheets down to suit your space. Two cut ends form a butt joint, where you won’t have the help from the factory-tapered edges to offset your tape and mud, leaving bulges on each butt joint. What now?

As you might’ve guessed, that’s where Buttboard can save your butt. As Steve showcases, Buttboard is no ordinary piece of OSB — this drywall backing accessory is engineered to narrow toward the middle. This way, when you screw two cut edges of drywall into it, the resulting joint perfectly mimics a seam created by factory-tapered edges.

What advantages does this pose to you, the drywall finisher? Let’s count ’em down.

Floating seams = no cracks & less waste

Normally, you’d be placing two sheets of drywall onto one stud, leaving you only around ¾” per sheet to screw in your drywall. A lot of times, this can cause “toenailing” cracks on the edges of your drywall sheets. Plus, to make sure two pieces of drywall land on the same 1 ½” stud, you’ll often need to make some extra cuts to hit that tiny target, wasting precious gypsum material. Imperfections in the cut edge of the drywall can also cause problems on narrow studs — one end of the sheet could land perfectly on the stud, and the other could be just off-center.

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By screwing your drywall into Buttboard rather than that narrow stud, you’ve got a lot more space to work with, giving you more wiggle room. This is called “floating” your joints, and it both prevents cracks from trying to place your screws too close to the edge of the drywall and saves you from cutting your sheet to land exactly on the stud. Less waste, less effort, less frustration.

Faster finishing

By hanging your drywalling into the slightly V-shaped Buttboard, you create a recessed joint similar to if you were using factory-tapered edges. Without that recessed cavity, your tape and mud would create a bulge you’d have to spend a lot of time sanding down and feathering out to create the illusion of a perfectly flat wall. With Buttboard, no illusions are necessary — you’ll have a flat, even surface that takes half the time to finish as a normal butt joint.

Use less material

Besides saving you from wasting drywall on trying to land on a stud, your mud usage on butt joints is going to significantly decline using Buttboard over a normal butt joint — in addition to taking about half the time, you’ll also use about half the mud. Just check out the photo below, showing the size of the mud used to finish butt joints with and without Buttboard.

with without buttboard

“This makes drywalling a lot easier, and it’s actually faster, and there’s less waste,” says Steve at the end of RHI’s video. “How much more can you ask for?”

If you don’t believe us or the guys at RHI when it comes to the big deal about Buttboard, give it a shot on your next project to see the difference for yourself. Hit the button below to find a trusted dealer near you. Thanks to the Tuer brothers at Refresh Home Improvements for the video — be sure to follow them on Instagram to never miss one of their videos!

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