Drywall (also known as plasterboard, wallboard and sheetrock) is a popular building material for covering framing to make walls and ceilings. There are many different types of drywall, each with unique characteristics for specific uses.
For example, fire-resistant drywall is 5/8 inch thick and has special additives to slow the spread of flames. Soundproof drywall is made to reduce noise from room to room.
While all drywall has fire resistance to some degree, it is important to understand the different kinds of drywall available and purchase them based on their intended applications. This way you can ensure that your project is safe and that the structural supports are protected from fire for long enough for occupants to escape or for a building to be saved.
Generally speaking, regular gypsum drywall is a good choice for most projects as it provides a solid and sturdy surface that is super easy to install. It can be found in various thicknesses but most of the time it is sold as 1/2 inch drywall and it is great for most applications as it helps to prevent sagging over time.
On the other hand, fire rated drywall can be a much better option for certain projects like constructing area separation firewalls or shaft walls. Fire rated drywall has been tested and verified to contain glass fibers and vermiculite that help to slow down the spread of flames and smoke when it is exposed to extreme heat. It is also usually available in 5/8 inches thick and it is a great option for walls that are going to be used for fire barrier construction.
Drywall is a sheet of calcium sulfate dihydrate, also known as gypsum, sandwiched between thick sheets of facer and backer paper. It’s primarily used to create interior walls and ceilings. Gypsum is combined with other materials, such as fiberglass, to offer different qualities for different uses. Some drywall is fire resistant while others are soundproof.
There are many benefits to choosing the right drywall for your building project. Drywall is easy to work with and can be installed with a few simple tools. It’s also relatively affordable and comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.
For commercial buildings, it’s important to use fire-rated drywall to ensure your building meets safety regulations. Fire-rated drywall will protect your space from a fire and can save lives by keeping people safe.
Fire-rated drywall has glass fiber and vermiculite added to the gypsum core. This material expands under high heat rather than shrinking, which helps it stay intact and last longer. It’s often required around boiler rooms and to separate garages from homes in order to prevent the spread of fire. It’s available in standard thicknesses like Type X drywall, but it can be made even thinner for easier handling.
A common material used in schools, hotels, and hospitals, abuse resistant drywall is designed to withstand the occasional beating it may receive from occupants. It is denser than traditional green board and contains fiberglass reinforcement to reduce damage. This type of drywall also has an increased fire resistance rating (Type X or higher) and can tolerate more heat than standard boards before collapsing.
Another benefit of abuse resistant gypsum panels is that they can be installed in areas where frequent impacts or penetrations are likely to occur. This includes hallways, lobbies, classrooms and correctional facilities.
Some brands of drywall can be more mold- and mildew-resistant than traditional green board as well. This specialized material is sometimes referred to as purple board and is usually specified for bathrooms or kitchens. It is also often specified for homes that contain a lot of paints and varnishes because it can better resist the harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are created during the painting or staining process.
Designed for use in areas with high ceilings or on curved walls, flexible drywall has a thinner face and a stronger liner paper. This allows the drywall to bend and curve around structures such as stairways, without sagging or losing its shape.
Specialized fire resistant drywall is made with glass fibers and is 5/8th inch thick (standard drywall is 1/2 inch). It helps to slow the spread of flames and generates less smoke than standard drywall. This type of drywall is often used in utility rooms or garages to help protect equipment that might catch fire.
This drywall has aluminum foil on the back of the panels, which creates an effective vapor barrier and adds to the insulating value of the drywall. It’s often used in cold climates to help prevent moisture from entering wall and ceiling cavities. It can also be painted over with latex, acrylic or epoxy paints. One example is CertainTeed Gypsum’s AirRenew. This drywall claims to absorb formaldehyde and contains a biocide, making it GreenGuard Gold certified. It can be shipped, handled, installed and finished just like normal gypsum drywall. It is available in both fire-rated and non-fire-rated panels.
Moisture and Mold Resistant
Drywall is not immune to mold growth, and it’s a good idea to consider using mold-resistant drywall materials in areas where the drywall is exposed to excessive moisture or humidity. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms, and spaces around appliances or fixtures that use water or create moisture through condensation are typically places where mold can thrive.
Mold-resistant drywall uses a non-organic facing material instead of paper, which prevents mold spores from attaching to and spreading on the surface of the gypsum core. It’s also much more resistant to moisture than standard drywall. It’s important to note, however, that mold-resistant drywall does not stop mold spores from infiltrating organic material inside the wall and providing a food source.
Most manufacturers now offer drywall products that combine both mold resistance and moisture resistance. Some are marketed as “green board,” which has a light green “hospital” tint and is made with paper-based backing and face papers. It is rated higher for moisture than conventional drywall, but it’s not as effective at combatting mold as newer products that are designed specifically to be used in wet areas like basements and bathrooms. These newer products are often called “paperless” drywall.
Using fire retardant materials can help to reduce the spread of flames, thereby giving occupants time to escape a home or business. Fire resistant materials are often a requirement when building or renovating structures such as homes, schools and hospitals. While no drywall is completely fireproof, certain types can slow the progress of a fire by preventing it from spreading around rooms or buildings and protecting structural supports for a longer period.
Regular drywall is not designed to withstand high temperatures, especially when exposed to flames or smoke for extended periods. It will begin to burn and crumble once the temperature reaches around 176 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent this, manufacturers use special core additives to create fire rated drywall.
Several different types of gypsum based wallboards are produced that can provide various fire ratings depending on their construction and additional additives. The most popular is called type X drywall. It contains a mixture of gypsum and glass fibers that give it a minimum 1 hour fire rating. Other options include type C drywall which has a similar design with an even stronger composition of vermiculite and extra glass fibers providing a 2-4 hour fire resistance. These types of drywall are available at your local drywall shop and can be installed just like regular drywall.
If you have ever lived in an apartment or worked in a professional office, then you know that noise travels through walls quite easily. This is why soundproof drywall has become so popular. It is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to keep out the sounds of their neighbors walking above them, music coming through the walls, or a busy street outside.
Unlike traditional drywall, acoustic gypsum boards have an extra layer between two sheets of gypsum drywall to help block out noise. This layer is filled with ceramics, a viscoelastic material, and other materials that absorb sound waves rather than transmitting them. This type of drywall is a great choice for offices, music rooms, bedrooms, and home theaters.
Most of the best drywall brands offer a number of different options when it comes to soundproofing. The differences between these products are in how well they handle certain frequencies and decimal levels of sound, how easy they are to install, and their price.
Some of the most popular choices include QuietRock EZ Snap, SilentFX from CertainTeed, and SoundBreak XP from National Gypsum. All of these drywall products are easy to score and snap so you can save time during the installation process. Some of these drywall materials also have a high STC rating so you can be sure that they will provide you with adequate protection against sound.