Found in your home, office, and in virtually every building, drywall is simply a layer of gypsum board sandwiched between a layer of facer and backer paper. Invented in 1916, drywall was originally marketed as “the poor man’s answer to plaster”.
But drywall was not an immediate ‘hit’, it gained popularity due to increased demand for new housing during the baby boom. Today drywall is found in virtually every building constructed after 1946; it offers clear advantages in ease of repairs, building time/ease, resistance to hazards, energy efficiency, and recyclability.
Now that we’ve identified the clear advantages of drywall, we will shift the focus to the different types of drywall, their uses, and their advantages.
Usually available in 4’ x 8’ panels, regular drywall, or white board, is the most common and economic drywall type. It’s thickness ranges from 3/8” to 1”. Regular drywall is commonly used throughout the home in areas where moisture is not readily present.
Covered in a green coat, green board offers higher moisture resistance and should be used in areas where moisture is commonly found; main areas include bathrooms and basements. Green board is slightly more expensive, and it should be noted that it is NOT waterproof; do not use in areas where it will be in direct contact with water. Green board can also be used in kitchens, laundry rooms and utility rooms.
Green board on steroids; this synthetic gypsum mix can withstand direct contact with water. It offers superior moisture and mold resistance.
The name is just as cool as its features. Engineered with a gypsum-glass fiber blend, Type X is a thicker drywall offering high levels of fire resistance. While it is not completely fireproof, Type X drywall offers a 1-hour fire rating. This type of drywall is often required by code in certain areas of both commercial and residential construction; for example, most building codes require the drywall connecting the house and garage to be Type X.
This isn’t the technical term for sound dampening drywall, but maybe it should be. For example, if you were to purchase a ½” sheet of sound dampening drywall, it would consist of 2 layers of ¼” drywall sandwiching a sound-resistant membrane in the middle; it’s significantly more expensive than regular drywall.
With increasing cases of Covid-19 rendering working at the office impossible, sound dampening drywall would be of great use in a home office… that is unless you enjoy the sounds of your kids practicing WWE moves on each other while you’re in a companywide virtual meeting. To each their own.
While costs and thickness and panel size might vary, it’s important to know that all these types of drywall have identical installation.
Using the wrong type of drywall may invite mold damage into unwanted areas or lead to a fire spreading abruptly. Choose wisely!
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