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How Much Does It Cost To Tape, Mud, And Finish Drywall?

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Key Takeaways
The cost to tape, mud, and finish drywall ranges from $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot.
A 12’ x 12’ room can cost between $580 to $1,800 to finish.
Different finishing levels have different costs. Finishing drywall can range from $0.85 to $3.50 per square foot depending on the level.
Labor costs vary by the complexity and quality of the finish required.
DIY can be challenging; hiring professionals ensures a high-quality finish.

$1.50 – $3.50 Cost Per Square Foot

The cost to tape, mud, and finish drywall typically ranges from $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot. This cost can vary based on factors like the size of the project, the level of finish desired, and regional price differences. These prices include materials and labor, providing a general idea of what to expect when budgeting for your project.

$580 – $1,800 Cost To Finish A 12’ x 12’ Room

Finishing a standard 12’ x 12’ room can cost between $580 and $1,800. This price range includes taping, mudding, and finishing the drywall. It’s essential to consider the level of finish required, as this can significantly impact the final cost.

Cost To Finish Drywall

The cost of finishing drywall varies depending on the size of the project. Here is a detailed table showing the average costs for different types of rooms and spaces:

Cost To Finish Drywall

ProjectAverage Cost*
5′ x 8′ Bathroom$300 – $1,000
12′ x 12′ Bedroom$580 – $1,800
12′ x 20′ Primary Bedroom$750 – $2,600
16′ x 20′ Living Room$850 – $3,100
20′ x 20′ Garage$1,000 – $3,900
1,000 SF Basement$1,500 – $7,000
1,500 SF Whole House$5,500 – $22,000
2,000 SF Whole House$8,000 – $30,000
2,500 SF Whole House$9,000 – $35,000
3,000 SF Whole House$10,000 – $45,000

*These costs are averages and can vary based on location, labor rates, and the complexity of the installation.

Cost To Tape, Mud, And Finish Drywall Per Square Foot

Finishing drywall involves several steps, including taping, mudding, and sanding. The cost per square foot to complete these tasks ranges based on the national average, minimum, and maximum costs. Below is a detailed table showing the cost structure:

Cost To Tape, Mud, And Finish Drywall Per Square Foot

National average cost$2.50
Minimum cost$1.00
Maximum cost$6.50
Average cost range$1.50 to $3.50

Cost To Tape And Mud Drywall

When considering the cost to tape and mud drywall, it’s essential to note that these costs are generally included within the overall finishing cost. However, these individual tasks can come with specific prices, depending on the quality and detail required.

Labor Cost To Finish Drywall

Labor costs for finishing drywall can vary significantly based on the level of finish required. Different levels range from Level 0 (no finish) to Level 5 (highest quality finish). Here is a breakdown of the labor costs associated with each finishing level:

Labor Cost To Finish Drywall

LevelCost Per Square FootUsage
0$0.85 – $1.90Drywall with no tape, mud, or finish
1$1.15 – $2.15Concealed areas or attics
2$1.30 – $2.60Storage areas or walls that will be tiled
3$1.50 – $2.75Walls with medium to heavy texture
4$1.70 – $3.20Walls with light texture or flat paint
5$1.75 – $3.50Walls with satin or glossy paint

Level 0 Drywall Finish Cost

Level 0 is the most basic type of finish with no tape, mud, or finish at all. This is often used in areas that do not require a finished appearance, such as during initial construction phases or in concealed spaces.

Level 1 Drywall Finish Cost

Level 1 involves a basic tape application but no further mudding or sanding. This is usually sufficient for areas like attics or concealed spaces.

Level 2 Drywall Finish Cost

Level 2 includes a thin coat of mud over tape and is suitable for storage areas or walls that will be covered by tile. It offers a level of protection and smoothness without extensive effort.

Level 3 Drywall Finish Cost

Level 3 requires a more detailed mud application and sanding. It is typically used for walls that will have a medium to heavy texture.

Level 4 Drywall Finish Cost

Level 4 is a higher-quality finish suitable for walls that will receive a light texture or flat paint. This level involves multiple coats of mud and comprehensive sanding.

Level 5 Drywall Finish Cost

Level 5 is the highest quality and involves a skim coat of mud over the entire surface. This is suitable for walls that will receive satin or glossy paint and requires meticulous effort to ensure a smooth, uniform finish.

Drywall Finishing FAQs

To help understand more about drywall finishing, we address some frequently asked questions.

What Is Drywall Tape?

Drywall tape is a special type of paper or fiberglass mesh used to cover the seams between drywall panels. This tape helps to create a smooth, seamless surface when combined with drywall mud. The tape is critical in preventing cracks and ensuring a long-lasting finish.

What Is Drywall Mud?

Drywall mud, also known as joint compound, is a plaster-like substance used to cover drywall tape and fasteners. It creates a smooth surface ready for painting or texturing. There are different types of drywall mud, including all-purpose, topping, and quick-setting, each serving various purposes in the finishing process.

How Much Drywall Mud And Tape Do I Need?

The amount of drywall mud and tape needed depends on the size of the drywall surface you are finishing. As a general rule:

  • Tape: Approximately 370 feet per 1,000 square feet of drywall.
  • Mud: Approximately 200 pounds per 1,000 square feet of drywall, though additional may be needed for more complex textures or multiple layers.

How Long Does It Take To Finish Drywall?

The time required to finish drywall varies based on the project’s scope and the desired finish level. A simple room might take a few days, including drying time between coats of mud. For more extensive projects or higher finish levels, the process can take a week or more due to additional layers and meticulous sanding.

Do You Have To Tape Drywall Seams And Joints?

Yes, taping drywall seams and joints is crucial for a strong and smooth finish. Without tape, seams are prone to cracks and visible imperfections. Taping ensures a durable, seamless appearance.

Can I Finish Drywall Myself?

While it is possible to finish drywall yourself, it requires skill and patience. Properly taping, mudding, and sanding drywall can be challenging, particularly for beginners. Hiring a professional can often ensure a higher-quality finish and save time and effort.

Tips For Hiring A Drywall Finisher

Hiring a professional drywall finisher can ensure a high-quality result. Here are some tips to consider when hiring:

  • Check References: Ask for references and follow up to see their previous work.
  • Verify Licenses: Ensure the contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Get Multiple Quotes: Obtain quotes from several contractors to compare prices and services.
  • Ask About Experience: Inquire about the contractor’s experience with projects similar to yours.

Questions To Ask Drywall Finishers

  • Can you provide references from past clients?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • What level of finish do you recommend for my project?
  • What is your estimated timeline for completion?
  • Do you offer a warranty on your work?

Choosing the right drywall finisher is crucial to achieving a smooth and professional result. Taking the time to select a skilled contractor can make all the difference in the appearance and durability of your walls.

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