4 Important Laws of GIB Stopping

4 Important Laws of GIB Stopping

GIB stopping is one of the most important parts of plasterboard installation in your home or office space. This process involves plastering, textural removal as well as skimming for your walls. So, if you want to have a smooth and sleek finish on your plasterboard walls and ceilings, focusing on GIB stopping is essential.

In order to ensure flawless GIB stopping, following its four fundamental rules are crucial. When you understand these laws, it can help you find a reliable installer for GIB stopping in Wellington. Let’s check out these laws that can help you guide the GIB stopping process and avoid any wrong practices. The laws are:

Law 1: Install GIB to Avoid Light Directly Across the Joints of Plasterboard

The first law of GIB stopping is to ensure that your GIB plasterboards are fixed in such a way that the plasterboard joins do not come in direct contact with light. This is an essential step for the GIB stopping to completely dry. To avoid light, multiple sheets can be fixed over the joins so that they are running in the same direction as the light source.

This means installing the GIB horizontally on the walls can help in achieving the desired result. However, in some cases, light can also fall vertically on the surface if the room is small or dark or if it has skylights. Extra precautions should be taken to avoid the light in such instances.

Law 2: Reduce the Use of Butt or Cut Joins

Butt joins are created when two non-tapering ends meet. To minimise the formation of butt join, it is usually recommended to order a specific GIB (Gypsum Integrated Board) that easily fits the walls and ceilings. Along with this, using the longest practical sheet size can further help this purpose. These sheets have instructions written on the framing members for their proper layout. If you are confused, your plasterboard dealer can clarify the details and recommend the ideal layout as per your sheets.

For your ceilings, but joins should be staggered to make them less visible. It is important to note that avoiding butt joins can be best for GIB stopping. When this is not possible, it can be minimised by placing the GIB above doors and windows. But this can only work if the installation process is followed in accordance with laws 3 and 4.

Law 3: Keep Joins Away from Areas Prone to Movement

Proper GIB stopping cannot be executed if your plasterboard joins are constantly moving or placed in areas that are prone to movement. If this happens, then your joins are likely to get defective. So, it is vital to know the areas that are prone to movement. Some of these areas are:

  • Near the corners of your doors and windows: Experts usually recommend keeping joins at least 200 mm away from these corners to avoid any cracking.
  • The junction between rooms or hallways: A maximum spacing of 12 m is necessary at this junction in order to avoid any sort of movement.
  • Stairwell or mezzanine floors: One of the most common areas where your GIB plasterboard can develop a problem is when your floor is made of a mezzanine. Another problem area can be your stairwell. The defects can arise because of the long lengths of timber in these areas, which shrink over time and have an effect over a long distance. The junction between the two floors is also quite prone to moving. This is where lateral forces come into play as the building settles or moves. That is why it is important to prevent creating joins around the junction of two floors.

Law 4: Use Back-blocking for Ceiling Joins and Stairwells

Back-blocking is an effective method as it strengthens and stabilises joins between plasterboard sheets. According to New Zealand GIB plasterboard standards, back-blocking is necessary when three or more joins occur on a ceiling. Along with the ceiling, all the stairway walls should also be back-blocked with more than two joins that are running in a horizontal direction. The reason is that the timber expands and shrinks, and it reduces the chances of peaking as the timer expands or contracts.

To keep joins away from the movement, planning the positioning of the plasterboard is crucial. By aiming to position the joins away from the areas prone to movement, the sheets can be distributed evenly across the surface. You can also ensure there is no movement by measuring the dimensions of the area where you will be installing the GIB. Use a straightedge and a utility knife to cut the plasterboard sheets in appropriate sizes to prevent them from moving.

Alternatively, experts prefer to apply a thin layer of adhesive or joint compound to the back of the sheets to secure a strong bond with the surface. You can also use screws or nails to strongly hold the GIB in place and follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Another option is that you can apply a layer of plastering tape or joint compound to reinforce the joins between the plasterboard sheets, ensuring no gaps or air bubbles. Using these processes can help in keeping the pressure off the joints to avoid any cracking.

Additional Factors to Consider

Now, you know the 4 laws that are crucial or GIB stopping. For these laws to work, there are some additional steps you can take to ensure the process is completed smoothly.

a) Proper Joint Preparation: The quality of preparing the joints significantly impacts the overall quality of the GIB stopping. Firstly, you need to make sure that the surface is clean and dry before tapering the joints to achieve a smooth finish. The most important part is to use proper jointing compounds so that any holes or cracks in the joint are filled. Using joint tape while the compound is still wet is recommended to ensure the GIB is properly held in its place. You can apply multiple layers of compound coats to ensure a strong joint and smoothen the surface by sanding.

b) Skilful Application Technique: In order to obtain the best results from GIB stopping, it is important to know the proper techniques for applying the joint compound. One of the significant methods is feathering, where the application of the compound is gradually reduced when coming to the edge of the joint to create a seamless transition between the joint and the surrounding surface. You can complete this by using a trowel or a putty knife. Another important step is to ensure you are applying many layers of the compound in thin strokes. This helps the joints to be more stable and reduces the risk of cracking or shrinkage. The use of proper sanding technique is also crucial since this is a necessary step to attain a smooth layer of the wall.

c) Using Quality Materials: There are a variety of materials required for GIB stopping. This includes mixing plaster, different types of trowel, sanding float, and broad knife, among others. It is important to invest in high-quality resources to ensure that the GIB is successfully done and the result is strong and stable joins. The taping materials, along with the joint compounds, should be of high quality as well to help in achieving the desired outcome.

d) Regular Maintenance and Inspection: Through regular checks and inspections, any signs of cracks, damage, peeling, or issues due to weather conditions can be detected. After detecting such issues, you need to act immediately to make sure the cracks are repaired using joint compounds. Fluctuations in the weather, leading to humid conditions, can also impact the GIB. Therefore, you need to moisture-control the joins using dehumidifiers or humidifiers. Ensure that the GIB stopping is always cleaned with a soft sponge or cloth using a mild detergent rather than rough scrubbing. However, if you spot large cracks or issues, seeking professional help is advised.

c) Compliance with Safety Measures: Abiding the industry’s best practices and safety standards is integral when engaged in GIB stopping. Wearing a dust mask and gloves is important to protect your face during the procedure. Maintaining proper ventilation is also necessary as it helps in maintaining a healthier environment and avoiding the dust and fumes emitted from the joint compounds. You also need to take proper precautions in terms of electrical and fire safety and use the industry guidelines to prevent any accidents.


To sum it up, it is essential to follow the four fundamental laws for appropriate GIB stopping. By following these rules, you can ensure that your GIB is smooth and has a long-lasting finish without any cracks or disputes. Furthermore, please ensure the additional factors when GIB stopping is being done!

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