Installation Recommendations

Detailed instructions for installation of eXP Sheathing

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Specific recommendations for eXP® Sheathing installation

  • eXP® Sheathing may be attached parallel to or perpendicular to wood or metal framing. For horizontal applications, install eXP® Sheathing with end joints staggered.
  • Use appropriate panel orientation for specific fire assemblies and shear wall applications, as required by the design.
  • Install fire-rated assemblies in accordance with the details found in the UL Fire Resistance Directory or the Gypsum Association’s GA-600, Fire-Resistance Design Manual.
  • Install eXP® Sheathing with vertical edges butting over the center of framing members. Fit sheathing snugly around all openings.
  • Install panels with a 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) gap where non-load-bearing construction abuts structural elements.
  • To prevent wicking, install panels with a 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) gap where they abut masonry or similar materials that might retain moisture.
  • Fasteners (nail or screw heads or the crown of staples) should bear tightly against the face of the sheathing panel but should not cut into the facer. Staples should be driven with the crown parallel to the framing.
  • Fasteners should be no less than 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) from the edges and ends of the panel. When shear values are not required, fasteners should be spaced not more than 8 in. (203 mm) o.c. along the vertical ends or edges and intermediate supports.

General installation guidelines:

  • Install gypsum panels in accordance with methods described in ASTM C840 and GA-216. Note that cutting and scoring should be from the backside of the panels.
  • Examine and inspect framing materials to which gypsum panels are to be applied. Remedy all defects prior to installation of the gypsum board.
  • Apply gypsum panels first to ceilings at right angles to framing members, then to walls. Use boards of maximum practical length so that the minimum number of end joints occur. Bring panel edges into contact with each other but do not force them into place.
  • Install batt or blanket ceiling insulation BEFORE the gypsum panels on ceilings when installing a vapor retarder behind the gypsum panels. Install the insulation IMMEDIATELY after the gypsum panels when using loose-fill insulation. Avoid installation practices that might allow condensation to form behind panels.
  • Locate gypsum panel joints at openings so that no joint will occur within 12 in. (305 mm) of the edges of the opening unless installing control joints at these locations. Stagger vertical end joints. Joints on opposite sides of a partition should not occur on the same stud.
  • Hold gypsum panels in firm contact with the framing member while driving fasteners. Fastening should proceed from the center portion of the panels toward the edges and ends. Set fasteners with heads slightly below the surface of the panels. Take care to avoid breaking the fiberglass mat of the gypsum panel. Remove improperly driven nails or screws.
  • Provide minimum 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) clearance between boards and adjacent concrete or masonry to minimize wicking of moisture.
  • Maintain a room temperature of not less than 40˚F (4˚C) during the application of gypsum panels.


  • Installers should wear long pants and a long-sleeved, loose-fitting shirt. Use protective gloves and special eye protection (goggles or safety glasses with side shield). Wear a dust mask when sanding; you may need additional breathing protection in extremely dusty conditions. Do not use a power saw to cut this product.
  • Caution: Because this product contains fiberglass, dust and glass fibers may be released during normal handling, which could result in eye or skin irritation or cause difficulty in breathing. Wherever possible, avoid contact with the skin and eyes and avoid breathing dust or fibers that may be released during installation. Consult the SDS for this product before use.