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Types of Drywall and Their Applications

Drywall Types and Applications
For most residential applications drywall will be used on the walls and ceilings. However drywall comes in many different types, thicknesses and sheet sizes depending on its application. Let's review the types of drywall you may find in your home improvement center or lumber yard and how they are used.

Types and Applications

  • Drywall thicknesses include 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" (typical), 5/8", and panel lengths range from 8 feet to 10 feet and can go as long as 16 feet. Panel widths are usually 48" and the most common panel size you will find is a 4'x8' panel in a 1/2" thickness.
  • 1/4" and 3/8" Thick Panel: Recommended application is for residential repair / renovation and is typically used in a single or double layer application when covering a curved surface with a small radius. One common use of these thin and relatively lightweight panels is to go over the top of severely cracked old plaster ceilings to get a nice smooth surface.
  • 1/2" Thick Panel: Most common types used in residential construction. Recommended application is for single-layer applications over studs spaced 16" on center. Most doors frames and window frames are designed for use with 1/2" drywall thickness.
  • 5/8" Thick Panel: Recommended application is for residential single-layer applications over studs spaced 24" on center or where more sound control or a one-hour fire rated wall is required such as between the garage and the house. To achieve the one-hour rating use a Type "X" 5/8 wallboard. Type "X" drywall usually has perlite, vermiculite or boric acid added for added fire resistance.
  • Water Resistant: Special water and mold resistant drywall is used in wet applications such as in bathrooms and usually has a green paper face.

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