How to Finish Bottom of Drywall In Garage

How to Finish Bottom of Drywall in Garage

How to Finish Bottom of Drywall In Garage

Your garage is likely your haven, where you can get some work done, and maybe relax, too. Even if you only use the space for storage, you are still going to want to be sure that it is well protected from moisture and pests. After all, they can damage your tools, your car, and the garage structure itself! Read on to learn about some of the ways you can finish your drywall to ensure that your garage is protected and stays in tip-top shape. 

Why Do I Need to Protect the Bottom of My Drywall?

First things first, why does drywall need to be protected or finished, anyway? Isn’t the drywall supposed to protect the garage? It is true that drywall helps to make the garage space more fireproof, and is the easier, cost-effective material to use when sheathing your walls. However, drywall also has poor impact resistance. On top of this, it is hygroscopic and can absorb moisture very easily. 

You certainly don’t want to get water damage or develop rot or mould on your drywall! This is why it is important to finish the drywall properly by waterproofing it. There is more than one way to do this. 

How to Finish the Bottom of Drywall

Now that you understand why it is so important to protect your drywall, you may be wondering how to best do so. There are a few different routes you can take, and luckily, they are all methods that you can do yourself with free tools from the store. Take a look below for a roundup of some of the most effective– and easiest– strategies for finishing the bottom of your garage’s drywall. 

Metal or Rubber Strip

General practice is to leave a gap between the finished floor and the drywall of a garage. Typically, this gap is between ½ to 2” high. You should attach an L-shaped strip here to protect the drywall from any rot, mould spores, or more from developing. These strips come in water-resistant materials like metal, rubber, or vinyl, and can be found at your local hardware store. When installing the strip, you should use Joint compound, or drywall mud, so that you can blend it into the drywall. 

Waterproof Primer

Another thing to do in order to finish and protect the bottom of your drywall is to use a waterproof primer. There are plenty of brands and options out there for you to choose from, and they are pretty easily found at the home improvement or hardware store. Paint high enough so that the water that will pool on the floor of your garage will not rise above the layer of waterproofing that you are applying.

Typically, you will only need a coat or two of the primer to treat your drywall, so one container should be more than enough. Of course, this does depend on how large your space is, so be sure to take that into consideration. 

Baseboards or Garage Floor Trim

Most experts believe that a combination of trim– such as baseboards or wainscotting– and waterproofing is the best way to go when you are finishing the bottom of your drywall. Garage floor trim is available in a few different materials, such as vinyl, and two types of rubber. Because of the low height of baseboards– the largest come at about 6” high–, they are not going to be effective at protecting all of the drywall from high flood levels or impacts. This is why waterproofing is recommended in conjunction with this. They are an aesthetic choice, but not necessarily the most effective or practical. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I put baseboard in the garage?

When deciding on whether or not to put a baseboard in your garage, you’ll want to know what these trims do in your home. A baseboard is primarily designed to protect the drywall from any sort of water damage or foreign invasion, like pests. It is another layer of protection. This can be very helpful in areas like your garage, where the space is more exposed to the elements. 

How do you finish the inside of a garage wall?

There is more than one way for you to finish the inside of your garage wall. The most effective and most common of these methods, however, is by using drywall. It is easy to install and can help to increase the fire resistance of your walls. If you do not want to use drywall, you could use a method called oriental strand board, or OSB for short. This can simply be screwed to your wall framing, and does not need taping or finishing! 

Do I need to finish drywall in the garage?

When it comes to the drywall inside your home, this is typically prepped and finished more than the drywall within your garage. That is, in part, because you actually live in your home, and do not live in the garage space. You want to make sure that your home is cozy and nothing is able to get in. Plus, it is more attractive when properly finished! While you do not necessarily need to finish your garage drywall, it will look nicer if you do– so, the decision is largely up to you. 

How do you waterproof the bottom of a garage?

If your area is at risk of flooding, or you get a lot of heavy rain, waterproofing the garage may be on your mind. One of the easiest ways to waterproof the bottom of your garage is to get waterproof paint or epoxy. With these, all you have to do is apply the paint or epoxy directly to the area that you want to waterproof. Then, leave it alone for a few days so that it can dry and cure. Another thing to try is using a waterproof membrane– this must be applied to the concrete slab when building your garage, and prevents moisture flow right at the source!