Facts About Drywall

Drywall was developed as a replacement for lath and plaster construction. This was a method wherein; the studs were covered by wood lath strips nailed to the 2x4s and spaced a half inch or so apart; covered with wire mesh; covered with a brown coat of plaster - this is the foundation for the wall; and then a smooth thin white final coat of plaster was applied. The finished product looked good, but took several days to cure.

This was a time waster as the worker had to wait for the material to dry. Sometimes there were multiple coats of plaster to get the desired degree of finish. Some of these coats could make the wall several inches thick.

Then along came drywall to solve that wasted time problem.

Drywall is a common building material typically made of a layer of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper, then kiln dried. Drywall is used globally for the finish construction of interior walls and ceilings.

I have literally seen a wall go from studs to finished product in the same day with fast drying mud compounds. If the work is completed correctly, the outward appearance will be very similar.

There are four basic types of drywall. They are: the basic paper wrapped for the vast majority of wall coverings; greenboard or MR for moisture resistant drywall, (NOTE: moisture resistant NOT water proof); type X or fire rated or resistant, typically 5/8" thick and the newest, paperless drywall; and Georgia Pacific brand name is DensArmor Plus. This is a glass mat surface front and back and is the ideal replacement for greenboard.

Drywall is available in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" thickness. The 1/2 inch is the most common size and usually the least expensive. Type X is typically 5/8" and is always used in commercial buildings and should be used between floors in multi-story houses to slow the spread of the fire between floors. Depending on which part of the country your home is in, you may or may not have this material installed.


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