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How To Pick Generic Gypsum Wallboard


Gypsum wallboard is one of the most commonly used interior wall facing in homes and businesses today. It is created by compressing gypsum between two paper sheets. With there being so many options for you to pick from, the purpose of this post is to help you sort through the wide selection and pick the type that is perfect for you.


When sorting through the wide selection of gypsum wallboards, one of the methods you can use is that of sorting by performance. You will need to pick from four options when sorting by performance:

  • Standard Drywall
  • Just like the name implies, this is just standard. The standard drywall will work for about 90% of all your wallboard applications. It has had the solid standard for more than 50 years. The best thing about this option is that it goes up quickly and it is easy to work with. The downside, on the other hand, is that it may not hold its structure when it comes to fires and it will sag in damp areas.
  • Water Resistant Wallboard
  • This is also known as the green-board. It is perfect for areas where it can easily come into contact with water for example the kitchen or bathroom. The material works best because of its waterproofing material in its core. It is still breathable so moisture can escape through the wall thus preventing mold. The unique thing is that this wallboard does not gain weight since it is water resistant. It also will not sag like it is the case with the standard drywall.
  • Fire-Resistant Wallboard
  • This is not fire resistant per se but it offers longer burn-through period. This will give you time to whisk your family to safety and control the fire easily. This wallboard is recommended between the living spaces and garages in most building codes. It contains fiberglass in its matrix. This means it will not crumble away when heat is on. The 5/8” option is the recommended one for added protection.
  • Sound-Dampening
  • This has additional air spaces in it. The air spaces help deaden the sound from outside thus giving you more privacy in your home or office.

By Size

You can sort through the gypsum wallboards by size too. The most common size is the 4 x 8 inch. It fits easily in common wall heights and lessens the number of cuts needed. For taller walls, there are bigger sizes which include 9, 10 and 12 inches. You can also place special orders for up to 16 inches.

By Thickness

Choosing gypsum wallboards based on thickness is also an option. The ½ inch drywall is the standard wallboard. It is great for both walls and ceilings. However, you should avoid wider spans on the ceiling since the board may sag when it gains weight. The 5/8 inch drywall is stiffer and ideal for ceiling or wider stud spacing. It is less likely to sag under its weight.

An important point to note when buying the gypsum wallboards is that they can also be used in archways and curved walls and other places where flexibility is needed. The drywall is flexible enough to be bent into any desired shape. Liaise with your supplier to understand your options.