When you’re planning a new project that involves drywall, how do you know if you have the right material for the job? Though it seems like a simple enough material, it’s available in a range of sizes, thicknesses, and types that can become mind-boggling if you’re not quite sure what you need. Here’s a quick look at four of the major types of sheetrock panels and how they can help you meet your project’s requirements quickly and effectively.
When it comes to most applications, standard drywall is the bread and butter of sheetrock contractors. It’s created by pressing a layer of powdered gypsum between two sheets of heavy paper, creating a smooth, hard surface that installs quickly and is relatively easy to finish. However, even in standard formats, drywall comes in a wide range of options. It’s typically only offered in 4′ widths but has a range of lengths to deal with different wall heights. It also comes in a range of thicknesses. The thinnest, 3/8″, is often used for forming arches and curves, as it’s more flexible than thicker pieces. The most common thickness is 1/2″, and is used for most applications with standard stud spacing. If you’re spanning larger gaps or suspending drywall from the ceiling, 5/8″ thickness will provide a more rigid surface.
One thing you’ll quickly realize about drywall is that it’s heavy – very heavy. If you’re concerned about potential injuries from repetitive lifting, lightweight drywall will help you avoid those issues. At the same time, it’s also a good option if you’re hanging drywall on a somewhat questionable span or in an area where weight must be kept down to a minimum. Generally speaking, drywall that is marketed as lightweight is up to 25% lighter than standard sheetrock. That’s a big difference when you consider that a standard sheet of 1/2″ 4’x8′ drywall is about 52 pounds and lightweight drywall of the same dimension is 39 pounds. If you’re interested in lightweight drywall watch the video below from Continental building products to see their LiftLite drywall in action.
Moisture and Mold Resistant
Often referred to as green board or purple board, moisture and mold resistant variants of drywall are a better option for wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. It’s different from standard options because of the inclusion of waterproofing materials in the core, while the surface remains breathable to dry out in moist areas. However, this doesn’t necessarily make green board waterproof, just more resistant to damage from water. Purple board provides additional protection against moisture and mold damage.
Though it’s harder to cut and work than other drywall types, type X or fire resistant drywall provides superior fire protection. That’s one of the reasons why it’s required between a garage and residential spaces for most codes. It provides fire resistance from 45 minutes for 1/2″ type X board to 1 hour for 5/8″ type X board, with layering possible to build up to a 2-hour fire resistance.
By thinking through what kind of conditions your project will be exposed to, it’s much easier to select the right drywall product at the very beginning and avoid further issues down the road. However, if you’re not quite sure exactly which type and size will work best for your project, the experienced associates at Poulin Lumber are here to help. Please feel free to contact us – using the button below – with any questions, to get a quote or to place an order.