1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Drywall Sizes and Thicknesses


Drywall is a miracle material, though most people never give it much thought. Up until the invention of drywall in the early 20th century, plaster and lath was the material of choice for finishing interior walls. But when drywall came along, builders could finish walls very quickly, without waiting for plasterers to do their job, and especially without waiting for the plaster to dry

Drywall gives you a smoother, cleaner surface, and it is much easier for the do it yourself homeowner to install.

One of the main aspects of drywall that you should be aware of are the tapered edges. Even though you may not notice it at first, the long edges of drywall are slightly tapered so that when two sections of drywall are joined (tapered end to tapered end), it will create a slight recess so that drywall tape and drywall mud, otherwise known as joint compound, can be filled into that space. That way, no joints are visible.

Drywall Sizes

The standard and most common size of drywall is 8 feet by 4 feet. Unless you are a commercial builder, with a full crew and special equipment at hand, you may want to stick to the smaller size drywall as much as possible. The reason for this is because drywall is made of different layers of gypsum and paper, and when you are installing multiple sheets of drywall, it can be exceedingly heavy.

However for very tall ceilings, drywall does come in lengths up to 16 feet. The advantage of these longer sheets is that you can create a very smooth surface for cathedral ceilings, and this smooth surface is completely unbroken from floor to ceiling. However, if you are intending to work with 16 foot lengths of drywall, you need to have several people on hand to help you with the installation.

Drywall Thicknesses

Half-inch drywall panels are the standard thickness for interior walls. If you are installing drywall on a ceiling, you will want to use half-inch or even go up to 5/8” inch thick panels to prevent sagging. Even when drywall is properly installed with the requisite quantity of fasteners, sagging can become a problem. Adding popcorn texture or another type of heavy surfacing material can add to the weight problem.

There is a thinner type of drywall available, one-quarter inch thick. This drywall is valuable when you need to install it on slightly curved surfaces. If the drywall is not quite meeting your curve, it is possible to slightly dampen the drywall to make it more flexible.

Thicker drywall, up to three-quarters inch thick is available and it is often called “fire resistant drywall.” In fact, some rooms such as those adjacent to garages are required to have fire resistant drywall, depending on your local building code.
Related Video
How to Fill Drywall Screw Holes
How To Patch Large Holes in Drywall
  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Home Renovations
  4. Walls Ceiling Trim
  5. Drywall (SheetRock)
  6. Types of Drywall
  7. Drywall Size - Drywall Thickness - Drywall Types

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.