Glossary of Drywall Terms

The Glossary of Terms For Drywall Installers and Tapers

We know that the drywall industry is filled with terms and lingo for things and learning them all at the same time can be difficult. This is why we put together a full list of terms in a glossary. After reading this glossary you will know all of the drywall lingo and what your partner is finally saying. You might even learn some new ones to teach your crew.

Bulkhead Ceiling

Used as mainly an aesthetic in interior design, bulkhead ceilings are an attractive interior design feature that protrudes from the wall or from the real ceiling. Bulkhead ceilings are typically made from plasterboard.

Other terms for bulkhead ceiling are: ceiling tiles, drop or drop out ceiling, false ceiling, grid ceiling, T-bar ceiling, suspended ceiling, T-bar ceiling.

Butt Joint

Butt joints are joints that meet at the butt end of a sheet of drywall. Butt joints aren’t welcomed by most drywall tapers but if you follow our guide on taping butt joints your taping job will be a breeze.


Crumbs, otherwise known as breadcrumbs, is left over mud that need to be scraped off before it shrinks and hardens. 


Drywall is one of the main building materials used for constructing a commercial or residential building. The panel is made of gypsum plaster. This plaster is pressed in between two thick sheets of paper. Drywall panels are installed as both interior walls and ceilings. Drywall is the preferred material used to create interiors over the lengthy and costly alternative which is plaster and lath. 

Drywall is also known as sheetrock, wallboard, gypsum board, or plasterboard. We have an article that explains the different types of drywall.

Drywall Compound

Drywall compound, otherwise known as joint compound, is a white powder consisting primarily of gypsum dust. This dust is then mixed with water to form a mud that is used during the taping process. The mud is placed on and in the seams before paper or fiber joint tape is applied to the wall. This mud is also applied after to create a seamless base for painting interior walls.

Drywall Cutter

A drywall cutter, rotozip, or cut-out tool is used for cutting drywall in an accurate and effective manner. 

Drywall Primer

Primer is used after a drywall finisher is done and the next step is to paint the drywall. The paint used is normally a PVA (Polyvinyl acetate) which fills porous drywall and seals the pores. Thus, creating a clean leveled surface to apply a topcoat of paint.

Drywall Screws

Drywall screws are a specific type of screw used during installation of drywall boards to studs and tracks.

Drywall Stand

A special stand or lift is used to lift plasterboards up to the ceiling and keep them in place while installing the plasterboards.

Drywall Stud

These are connected to the tracks and are what the plasterboards are connected to, to construct partitions.

Drywall Tape

Drywall tape is a specific type of tape that is used to cover joints in drywall installation. The tape is used to prevent any cracks from forming in the drywall. This tape can be made from both paper and mesh tape.

Drywall Texture

Once you are done applying the last coat you can apply or leave texture in the finish to give the wall more character. This is what drywall texture is.

Drywall Track

Tracks are aluminum tracks installed onto the floor and ceiling which hold the studs in place


Feathering drywall is a technique where a drywall knife is angled to the point where you do not leave thick edges on the joint compound that is applied.


Insulation is a material that is inserted in both metal and wooden frames of a building. Insulation keeps the building warm during the winters in cold climates. There are three major different types of insulation and they are foam, fiberglass, and cellulose. Insulation also helps make drywall soundproof and fireproof to an extent.

Knock Down Knife

Also known as a skimming blade, a knock down knife is a large wide blade used to scrape the excess mud applied to a wall or ceiling while also creating a knock down texture.

Knock Down Texture

Knock down texture is a type of drywall finish that was popularized in the 1990s. The look is made from troweling or rolling drywall compound onto walls and ceilings creating peaks and then flattening the peaks with a knockdown knife.

-> Mud Trowel

Also known as a skip trowel, the technique provides a flatter subtler look compared to stomp or splatter styles.

-> Stomp

Stomp is the most prominent looking texture as it has a higher elevation off the surface than either splatter or mud trowel.

-> Splatter

Splatter is the most common type of knock down texture. It’s created by having the surface sprayed with a drywall hopper gun then wiped down with a 18-inch or wider knockdown knife.


Mud is drywall compound that has been mixed with water and other substances. This mud is then placed in a mud pan, hawk, or other automatic taping tools and semi-automatic taping tools.

Popcorn ceiling

A popcorn ceiling, also known as cottage cheese ceiling or Stucco ceiling or more accurately an Acoustic ceiling, is a term for a spray-on or paint-on ceiling treatment used from the late 1950s into the 1980s in American residential construction.


Commonly referred to as a shitbox, a bench mount mud box is a semi-automatic taping tool that operates like a tape puller. You fill the mud box and feed the tape through the box so that both sides of the tape will have mud applied to it once it is pulled through.


Soundproofing is the act of making a room soundproof. A soundproof room does not leak any sound so no sound can escape the room. A soundproof room is useful for studios and any place that requires clear audio.


Stilts in drywalling are aluminum stilts used to reach ceilings and other high and hard to reach places.


Texture is what the wall and ceiling will eventually look like once the finish is done.

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