Interior Finishes

Phase 3: Interior Wall and Ceiling

Now comes one of the most satisfying part of building your own home; completing the interior finishes for the wall and ceilings. At this point, you will see things come together and the vision your home will be close to complete. Typically, contractors will use drywall (aka gypsum board) for the wall and ceiling frame, but you can also use lumber, hardboard, plywood and lated veneer hardboard.  

Drywall is the finish of preference for many because it is low cost, takes less time to install when compared to other finishes, and yields consistent results.  It is a sheet material that is made up of gypsum filler between two layers of paper and the edges along the length are typically tapered on one side so that it is easy to apply tape and joint compound. Drywall is also manufactured in different forms for use, such as water resistant, fire rated and prefinished and is supplied in 4 ft. (1.22 m) widths, with varying lengths.

Usually, the finish boards are applied horizontally rather than vertically since it minimizes the amount of nailing. When using gypsum board, it is best to apply the board in such a way that a minimum amount of supplementary fasteners are needed. The boards can be attached to woof members by double nailing, screwing, single or double nailing, or glue and nailing. Nails should be set slightly below the surface without damaging the paper.  Sometimes, lumber is used as a decorative finish to walls and ceilings.

In terms of Healthy Housing Principles, the kind of wall and ceiling finish you use will have certain implications for those livening in the house you are building, and will live in for many years. Also, thinking about how easy it will be to clean and maintain the materials you use will be an important factor in your material choice. When we chose our materials, we did our best to purchase local materials that were not synthetic and are recyclable. Also, we picked materials that were highly durable, easy to maintain (such as solid wood paneling and ceramic tile).

Next, you will need to complete the floor coverings. Two things you need to keep in mind when deciding what material to use are durability and how easy it will be to clean. You can use flooring in sheet or tile form, ceramic tile (typically used in kitchens, washrooms, main entrances since they are water resistant), carpets, and hardwood (most commonly used in living and dining areas, bedrooms, and corridors).