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How To Compare Types of Drywall

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How To Compare Types of Drywall
Drywall types: moisture-resistant (top) and standard (below)
There are different types of drywall for different applications. Drywall (also known as wallboard, gypsum board, plasterboard and Sheetrock, after a leading brand) consists of a core of gypsum coated on the both sides with paper. The face side of standard drywall is white, while the back is brown.

Standard drywall will usually suffice for garages, as well as most of the rest of the house, but there are occasions when a specialized drywall product is more suitable. Here are some of the major alternatives.

  • Moisture-Resistant Drywall. Commonly called “green board” because of its green-paper face, moisture-resistant drywall is used primarily in bathrooms, basements, and around kitchen sinks and laundry rooms. Newer products like USG’s Mold Tough are particularly resistant to mold.

    Moisture-resistant drywall is not waterproof. Instead, it has special additives in the paper coating and the gypsum core allowing it to stand up better to a moist environment. Like all drywall products, it should be finished and painted to provide the best performance and appearance.

  • Fire-Resistant Drywall. Fire-resistant drywall should be used wherever fire is a bigger than normal concern. It is often recommended, and sometimes even required, in garages, rooms with furnaces and in multifamily buildings. Fire-resistant drywall is not fireproof, but it will withstand higher temperatures than standard drywall before burning.

  • Abuse-Resistant Drywall. Abuse-resistant drywall is most often used in commercial construction. The 5/8-inch thick panels are treated to better resist impact and penetration. It is definitely worth considering for use in a garage or other room that will be used regularly as a workshop or play room (pool cues and long two-by-fours seem to love poking holes in drywall).
Photo © Jeff Beneke
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