Drywall is one of the most popular building materials that is in use today.
The use of drywall for covering walls or ceilings has gone on for over 100 years and the industry has grown along with its usage over that time.
Many building contractors use drywall regularly and consumers may not quite know about the different kinds of drywall or the accessories and tools needed to use drywall in construction projects.
Keep reading to find out more about how drywall is used and what kind of accessories are involved in the building process!
The Basics of Drywall
Drywall is a useful building material that can create walls or ceilings in a structure. It has a wide variety of types including drywall that could even be mold-resistant or soundproof.
There was a housing boom after the World War that created a necessity for a faster way to build walls, (and houses) which led to the invention of drywall.
Today, it is the most used material for interior walls of any American houses.
Drywall is made from gypsum, which is a mineral that is naturally occurring and has an extremely large supply available to the world. Gypsum gets mixed with other materials to create a slurry that is put between layers of paper and then dried.
The exact types of paper, chemicals, and thickness all determine what ‘type’ of drywall is created.
Sizes of Drywall
One of the reasons that Drywall is so popular is because it offers fire resistance and soundproofing for walls inside of residential and business properties alike.
One of the biggest ways that drywall gets differentiated is by its thickness. At the thin end of things, drywall can be as thin as a quarter inch. This type of drywall would typically be used on curved walls where it is a bit flexible due to its thin build.
More commonly, you would see half inch drywall which is used by most building contractors in residential and commercial properties.
You will also see 5/8 inch drywall used when a contractor is looking for more protection whether that comes in the form of fire resistance or soundproofing.
Whatever drywall size you are using, make sure to plan ahead and think in terms of what your project is looking to achieve so you can grab the right materials for the job!
Different Types of Drywall
Not surprisingly, the most common type of drywall is known as ‘regular drywall’. You’ll also hear this referred to as ‘whiteboard’; this is seen in plenty of ceilings and walls for houses and business properties.
The typical dimensions are ½ inch a sheet size of 4’ by 8’. You will also see larger sizes up to 16’ for high ceilings and smaller sizes that are sold by home improvement stores for smaller DIY kind of fixes.
The name ‘soundproof drywall’ is a bit of a misnomer, as most drywall has some level of soundproofing qualities. However, this is a type of drywall that is specifically built to add soundproofing, like if it would be needed between living spaces or other heavy traffic areas.
Another type of popular drywall is mold-resistant drywall. Instead of being called white board, mold-resistant drywall gets the title of ‘green board’.
To make drywall mold-resistant, the builders will use thicker paper backing and the drywall receives an extra wax coating to hold back moisture. You’ll also see fiberglass mesh which stops anything that would allow that mold to grow. Mold-resistant drywall is most often used in areas where you would typically see moisture build-up including bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms.
Plasterboard is also known as ‘blue board’ and is seen most often in older homes where it can give a more appropriate look. Plasterboard needs a thin coat of plaster that gets coated over the entire surface.
Necessary Drywall Accessories, Tools, and Supplies
One of the best parts about installing drywall is that it is such an inexpensive process. The materials and the supplies needed to install drywall are quite simple and therefore don’t cost much on the whole.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common items that you’ll need as you head into a drywall project of your own, or if you simply want to understand more about how the drywall process that building contractors use works!
You won’t get very far without the actual drywall panels, themselves! Most of the time, sheets will be in a convenient 4’ by 8’ size.
Keep in mind that many stores will sell smaller varieties if you need to make a quick fix.
This is a material known as ‘mud’ and it is certainly an integral part of the drywall process. You can buy this ‘mud’ either in plastic tubs where you will receive an ‘already-mixed’ version of the product which is ready to go, or it can be dry in paper bags as well.
If you are a beginner in terms of drywall projects, you will want to strongly consider getting a pre-mixed version of joint compound. While it seems easy to mix the water into your dry bag mix, it certainly is deceptively difficult and probably is not worth the cost trade off that you would pay.
Drywall Screws & Nails
The appeal of drywall screws comes down to one statement, which is that poorly fastened nails can pop out, while screws cannot. However, using drywall nails is a much faster process and is technically a little bit easier as well.
Outside Corner Bead
Corner Bead is used for two reasons: to stabilize corners that occur when building walls with drywall as well as covering the seam between the two separate drywall panels. This accessory is only used on the outside corner of drywall because it is quite susceptible to wear and tear.
Pros and Cons of Drywall
Using drywall has plenty of pros and cons for building contractors.
The advantages of using drywall include a fast manufacturing time, a cost effective process, and the fact that drywall can be used for complete walls or can be used as a partition.
On the down side, not all drywall is water resistant. On top of that, the surface can be prone to damage if it isn’t plastered. There is a lot of dust that is generated by the process which can be seen as a downside to those looking to move quickly after the walls are built.
Drywall as a Whole
At the end of the day, drywall is a necessary material for a ton of construction processes for houses, offices, and many other businesses across the country.
You can make the decision as to what kind of thickness or what kind of drywall panels you are looking for now that you know more about things such as ‘white board’, ‘green board’, or even ‘blue board’.
Make sure that if you are choosing to use dry joint compound that you know how to mix it appropriately as this can trip up many inexperienced users.
Working with drywall has a ton of benefits that are available to you when you are properly prepared!