Drywall is an integral part of your home’s construction or renovation. These panels of sheetrock or wallboard are affixed to the studs to create walls in your home. Using the right drywall for your home is important. Not all drywall is the same. Different strengths and designs will depend on how you plan to use your walls. We are here to help you understand how to make the right choice for your next home reno project.
What is Drywall?
Drywall has been a major component in home construction for more than 100 years. Made from gypsum plaster that has been placed between two sheets of thick paper, drywall makes home construction and renovation faster and easier. Its compact and lightweight construction makes it easy to move around. It is easily nailed or screwed into the studs of your home to create walls.
Types of Drywall (for Each One Mention Material, Application, and Uses)
Every home is built to suit a homeowner’s lifestyle and usage. That’s why there are many drywall options to suit how you plan on using a specific space.
- Regular Drywall or White Board – This type of drywall is most commonly used in construction for walls, ceilings, or finishing basements. It is sturdy and provides a smooth finish for painting or hanging pictures.
- Green Board Drywall – Greenboard drywall is ideal for damp areas, but not wet such as basements or bathrooms. You can not affix tiles to the green board.
- Blue Board Drywall – Blueboard is ideal for areas that require a higher level of water absorption such as bathrooms or pool areas. It is traditionally used for veneer plastering and has a high water and mold resistance.
- Paperless Drywall – Another excellent choice for areas that are exposed to higher levels of moisture. Paperless drywall contains gypsum but is wrapped in fibreglass rather than paper.
- Purple Drywall – If you live in a damp climate or experience high moisture levels in your home, purple drywall is the best way to go. Purple drywall offers exceptional production against mold and mildew offering exceptional protection in areas such as bathrooms or pools houses.
- Type X Drywall – Type X drywall is designed using glass fibers to create a barrier against fire. Type X drywall is fire resistant making it a safe choice for buildings such as condos or apartment complexes. It is also the perfect solution for utility rooms, furnace rooms, or areas near wood stoves or barbecues. Consult your local building codes to see if Type X drywall is required for your renovation or building project.
- Soundproof Drywall – Another great choice for multi-unit dwellings is soundproof drywall. This type of drywall is tucker, with two gypsum layers creating a noise-dampening barrier. Soundproof drywall can be as thick as ⅝ inches. Residents can experience maximum noise cancellation by adding fibreglass insulation.
Drywall is designed to fit most building projects and can easily be cut to size. The most common sizes of drywall are:
- 4X8 Foot: Used for most traditional home building and renovation projects. This drywall can be installed vertically or horizontally. This is the most cost-effective and lightest drywall option.
- 4X10 Foot: Ideal for larger spaces or ceilings.
- 4X12 Foot: This is the largest size available. It is perfect for areas with large wall spaces such as entryways, great rooms, or media rooms.
Choosing Drywall Thickness
Drywall is designed to be versatile and accommodate all building and renovation projects. It comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses.
- ¼ Inch: This is the thinnest option and is traditionally used to hide previous construction flaws or in rooms with a slight curve. Its thin profile allows it to be adjusted and bent to fit unique room shapes and designs.
- ⅜ Inch: Another excellent choice for walls with curves or need upgrading. This type of drywall is best used on simple repair jobs and not full-scale renovation or building projects.
- ½ Inch: This is the most commonly used drywall on home construction and renovation projects. It is lightweight and easy to hang.
- ⅝ Inch: Perfect for more complex building projects such as multi-unit dwellings that require fire resident interior walls. It is also an excellent choice for soundproofing. Its strong double gypsum construction ensures long life and no sagging.
Determining How Much Drywall You Need
It can be tricky to determine how much drywall you need for a construction project. Make sure to carefully measure your space to ensure you know how much wall space you need to cover. Keep in mind any fixtures that will need to be cut around and any design features such as alcoves that may require additional drywall.
Make sure you also take into consideration how you will transport your drywall home. Make sure you have a vehicle that is large enough to move a piece of drywall that could be up to 4 X 12 feet.
How Much Does a Sheet of Drywall Weigh?
The weight of drywall can vary depending on the thickness of the drywall you choose. A standard piece of ½ inch drywall can weigh up to 1.6 pounds per square foot or just over 50 pounds per sheet. A drywall sheet that is ⅝ inches can weigh upwards of 70 pounds. Specialized drywall such as fire or sound resistant can weigh even more. The double gypsum panels can almost double the weight of a sheet of drywall reaching nearly 125 pounds.
Square-Edged vs. Taper-Edged Sheets
Drywall comes into two designs that help you get the best fit for your walls.
Square drywall easily fits together between pieces and is then plastered over for a flawless finish. Tapered-edge drywall has edges that are slightly tapered allowing you to fill gaps to suit your specific design needs. Taper-edged drywall is most commonly used on finishing walls.
Alternatives to Drywall
Drywall vs. Plaster – Drywall and plaster each offer effective wall covering solutions that allow you to improve the look and design of your home quickly and affordably. Drywall is the most popular choice for new home builds due to its ease of installation. Plaster requires much more work to apply and is most commonly used in older homes where workers used wood laths to cover the studs and plastered over top.
Advantages of Plaster
Plaster offers several advantages over drywall. It’s denser allowing it to block the sound better. It also gives your home a more luxurious look. It can be applied in a variety of finishes such as smooth, glossy, and stucco. Plaster also offers a flexible application, easily affixing to curved walls.
Disadvantages of Plaster
Despite being denser, plaster still doesn’t offer energy savings and enhanced thermal comfort of drywall. Drywall allows for easier installation of insulation, creating a more comfortable experience for homeowners.
Advantages of Drywall
Drywall has been popular with homeowners for decades for many reasons. It is less expensive than plaster and easier to install. Drywall also comes in a variety of thicknesses so you can enjoy sound and fireproofing at a price that fits your budget. Drywall also offers a large selection of moisture barrier levels so you can find the right drywall to suit your room’s use.
Disadvantages of Drywall
Due to its thinner profile, drywall can be prone to damage. Even small bumps can leave holes or cracks. Over time moisture can also cause the drywall to crack, leaving you in need of repair or patching on a more frequent basis.
Sheetrock vs Drywall
You may hear these terms used interchangeably and in fact, they are. Sheetrock is a brand of drywall offering the same protection and quality as other drywall products. Drywall is also referred to as wallboard, plasterboard, or gypsum. Your hardware store clerk will be able to advise you on which brand of drywall is best for your project.
Disadvantages of Drywall
Before you begin your drywall project, talk to an expert who can help you determine the right size, thickness, and design for your space. Each room in your home experiences different moisture levels, sound waves, and even fireproofing.
Take the time before you begin your new build or renovation to review a few key points to ensure you choose the right drywall for your project.
- What size do I need?
- What thickness do I need?
- How much do I need? Will I need extra for alcoves or other design features?
- What is my budget?
- What are the building codes in my neighbourhood?
- How will I transport it?
- Will I require help installing?
Taking the time to plan out your project will ensure you get the right type of drywall for your home so you can enjoy your newly renovated space. Contact Drywall Company Today!