Behind every fresh coat of paint in your house is drywall – large sheets of building material made from gypsum. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), gypsum is one of the most heavily extracted minerals utilized in residential and commercial construction.
In fact, the average American home contains 7 metric tons of gypsum. It can also be found in concrete destined for buildings, bridges, and highways.
However, drywall is not a one-size-fits-all plaster alternative. Depending on which room you’re installing it in, you may need to choose from different types of drywall products.
7 Types of Drywall to Use at Home
Unlike other interior wall sheeting, drywall creates a seamless look when conjoined, delivering a smooth and clean consistency. Here are seven types of drywall you should consider and when it’s most appropriate to use them.
1. Regular Drywall
Regular drywall is the most common and affordable material to construct your walls, with one white side and one brown side. Although it contains gypsum, it lacks other advanced components that would otherwise make it mold-resistant or fire-retardant.
It’s best to use regular drywall in a bedroom, living room, or hallway with little moisture exposure. For instance, you wouldn’t want to install regular drywall in a bathroom or kitchen where you’re running the water regularly.
Regular drywall comes in various sizes. Most standard panels are about a half-inch thick to provide the best application and appearance.
2. Mold-Resistant Drywall
“Green board” is mold-resistant drywall with a thicker paper backing than regular drywall. It also contains a wax coating for locking out excessive moisture.
Although not considered fully moisture-resistant, it has a fiberglass mesh that removes suitable mold and mildew growth conditions.
Use green board in the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen. You can also purchase mold-resistant mud for smoothing out the seams.
3. Plasterboard Drywall
Plasterboard – also known as “blue board” – requires thin plaster applications for a veneer plaster surface. Drywall installers may apply blue board drywall in older homes to resemble lath and plaster.
Plasterboard drywall is highly absorbent, making it mold- and moisture-resistant, and it may be most suitable for bathrooms.
You do not need to apply mud or paint with plasterboard drywall, as the veneer finish delivers a complete look.
4. Eco-Friendly Drywall
Most construction debris ends up in municipal landfills, taking decades to biodegrade. Manufacturing building materials also emits harmful fossil fuels.
Eco-friendly alternatives to conventional building materials have become more popular throughout recent years. Fortunately, this means you have greener drywall options for your home.
Eco-friendly drywall combines various recycled construction byproducts with water and filler, creating new drywall panels that are mold- and pest-resistant.
5. Soundproof Drywall
All types of drywall reduce some noise, but soundproof panels add an extra layer of soundproofing beyond regular drywall.
While thicker and more challenging to install, soundproof drywall contains more gypsum, polymers, and wood fibers to create a more complete noise barrier.
Installing soundproof drywall between bedrooms or multi-family housing structures can enhance privacy and at-home comfort.
6. Fire Resistant Drywall
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires accounted for 26% of reported fires between 2015 and 2019. Of those, 72% resulted in fire-related injuries and 75% led to fire-related deaths.
Fire-resistant drywalls contain non-combustible fiberglass to slow the spread of flames and prevent severe house fires.
You can apply fire-resistant drywall in various rooms of your home, such as garages and bedrooms. It’s also commonly used in commercial construction and multi-family housing structures.
7. VOC-Absorbing Drywall
Paint adds style and interest to any room – yet many products contain toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can lead to respiratory issues and asthmatic reactions. You might also find VOCs in everyday household items such as cleaning supplies.
VOC-absorbing drywall is a relatively new material technology that traps and neutralizes VOCs within the drywall. Installing VOC-absorbing drywall helps reduce indoor pollution and protects your household’s health.
Choose the Best Types of Drywall for Your Home Project
It’s critical to select the correct types of drywall based on the room in which it’s being installed. For example, you wouldn’t want to install regular drywall in a bathroom. Likewise, plasterboard drywall will deliver a unique look and protect your walls from moisture exposure.
If you’re unsure what type of drywall to use, it might be best to inquire about the different products with your local home improvement store or an experienced contractor.