Types of Drywall (Uses, Sizes & Tools)

Here we share our guide on the types of drywall including its different dimensions, materials, costs, comparison to sheetrock, and answers to frequently asked drywall questions.
Drywall installation in a home construction with metal framing and sliding glass doorsSeveral decades ago, a lot of homeowners used sheathing and plaster for their wall coverings. As time goes by, people have developed a new product that became available in the market to promote a quicker way to finish walls and ceilings – drywall. It is now the most common finishing material for interior walls and ceilings.

One significant benefit of drywall is the inclusion of trimmed edges on the long side of drywall sheets, which, when connected, create a shallow recess for drywall tape and joint compound, allowing for undetectable finished joints.

Drywall is a multifunctional construction material that can be used to construct or conceal ceilings and walls. It comes in a diverse array of structures and types.

However, what are the various types of drywall? Let us discuss this question in more detail in this article. We will also provide you with all of the important information you need to know about drywall.

What Is Drywall Used For? 

Empty white room under construction with with windows and finished drywallDrywall is a type of construction material that is utilized to protect the framing on ceilings and walls. It is generally made out of gypsum, which is a naturally recurrent mineral that is abundant in production, making it an environmentally-friendly selection. 

The gypsum is combined with other materials to form a slurry, which is then wedged between two layers of paper and left to dry. The type of drywall is determined by the paper type and thickness, as well as the substances in the slurry.

Furthermore, drywall pertains to the sizable, rectangle sheets that could be found layered in shops and on construction projects. It normally comes in white, green, blue, and purple. It is a basic element of your house, office, or store where you make purchases, and nearly every finished structure’s interior.

When you take a quick look at your ceilings and walls, you will notice that they are made of drywall that has been installed over wood studs. It has been finished, patterned, painted, or plastered, however, the walls and ceilings are drywall.

Drywall serves a purpose other than wall and ceiling construction. Aside from its primary purpose, drywall is often used to bring aesthetics to building and house interiors.

Regular Drywall 

Worker hanging drywall on ceilingRegular drywall is the most popular type of drywall that is usually applied in ceilings and walls in houses and business developments. It has no unique features. It is not weaker compared to other types; it performs on par with them all. It simply does not have any additional features.

Regular drywall is the most popular type of drywall that is usually applied in ceilings and walls in houses and business developments. It has no unique features. It is not weaker compared to other types; it performs on par with them all. It simply does not have any additional features.

Customarily, drywall is white on one side and brown on another. It is most likely the most cost-effective drywall type, and it is available in a variety of thicknesses around 0.4 inches to 1 inch. This is typically available in 4 by 8 feet panels.

Mold-Resistant Drywall

Front view of mold-resistant drywall with joints at house construction siteMold-resistant drywall, also known as purple board, is constructed with a denser paper-made backing than standard drywall and is wax-coated for additional moisture resistance. Moreover, it includes a non-organic fiberglass mesh that removes any substances that might trigger mold growth.

Mold-resistant drywall is most commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas as well as as a tile supporter. There is also mold-resistant mud purchasable. It is significant to mention that moisture-resistant drywall is not the same as mold-resistant drywall.

If you live in a high-moisture area, this treated drywall may be an alternative worth considering. It is more expensive than regular drywall, which can rapidly add up, but provided that mold and mildew are disturbing and could cause serious health issues, you can undoubtedly find that added cost to be beneficial.

Moisture-Resistant Drywall

Moisture damage persistently occurs. It is indeed an almost-unavoidable part of owning a home. Fortunately, moisture-resistant drywall offers a specialized surface coating that reduces the severity of moisture damage when it occurs. 

Moisture-resistant drywall, also known as green drywall, offers powerful moisture-resistant attributes. It is very ideal for use in restrooms, kitchens, and any other humid or water-piped environment.

In high-moisture locations including bathtubs and showers, a cement board should be used instead of moisture-resistant drywall. This type of drywall is also known as an indoor-tile backer board and cement board.

Veneer Plaster Drywall

Complete installation of veneer plaster drywall with holes for pipes and electrical wiringA veneer plaster drywall is a form of plaster that is adhered to a surface known as a substrate. It is most typically utilized for a specially prepared gypsum board base, which is comparable to regular drywall.

This type of drywall necessitates the application of a thin coat or layers of plaster over the whole surface. Because the face paper is absorbent, the plaster finish coat adheres to the drywall stronger.

Plaster veneer is excellent for updating old houses with lath-and-plaster walls. It is indeed a lot simpler, cost-effective, and quicker to put veneer plaster over existing damaged walls than it is to tear those walls out and replace them with regular drywall.

You may come across the term “blue board.” This is a unique item as it is designed to be coated with a veneer plaster to give it a distinctive appearance. Aside from that, plaster veneer drywall is frequently applied in old houses, and you can find experts who are skilled at installing it.

Paperless Drywall

Paperless drywall has largely substituted paper drywall. This sort of drywall is coated with fiberglass rather than paper, which safeguards the gypsum board from decay and provides even greater mildew tolerance.

The board’s efficiency is slightly higher than that of regular drywall, but some structural engineers find it a lot easier to trim. This drywall is impervious to both moisture and fungus.

Paperless drywall, unlike other types of drywall boards, is protected with fiberglass veneers. This is a possibility for your bathrooms and kitchens.

Additionally, paperless drywall offers certain minor styles that will necessitate the use of a joint substance to accomplish a seamless, clean finish drywall quality.

Environmentally Friendly Drywall

Environmentally friendly drywall models have been created and are still being produced nowadays. Such products are not only environmentally friendly in terms of components and manufacturing processes, but they are also high-quality drywall options for your home to make it more valuable and long-lasting.

You can discover drywall models that are purely made from eco-friendly materials. Waste fibers from agricultural production, the newspaper business, and other industries are compressed into sturdy concrete-like panels that serve as household and building ceilings and walls.

VOC-Absorbing Drywall

New home construction interior VOC-absorbing drywall and finish details installed doorThis unique type of drywall called VOC-absorbing is a slightly new product in the market that encompasses chemical substances and certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and snares them inside the drywall, making them inert. 

Such chemicals are derived from other construction materials and cleaning supplies that we use every day. For up to 7 decades, this particular type of drywall can be painted or covered by soft wallcovering.

Fire-Resistant Drywall

In garages and basements, advanced fire-resistant drywall is utilized around potentially flammable equipment. Building codes require the use of fire-resistant materials such as Type X, fireboard, or X board in places like garages, bedrooms, apartment complexes, multi-family residential units, and other commercial structures.

Type X drywall is created from fire-resistant fibers. It is typically 5/8-inch thick, and the extended thickness can enhance its sound-absorbing properties.

Fiberglass is used in fire-resistant drywalls, and it does not burn as quickly as standard gypsum. Type X drywall outperforms other kinds of drywall in terms of fire tolerance. However, type C is more resilient than Type X, offering up to 4 hours of resistance versus Type X’s 1 hour.

Specialized non-combustible fibers are used in fire-resistant drywall. It is also denser than the majority of other forms of drywall. Such features, when combined, delay the burning and dispersion of fire, giving homeowners more time to evacuate and reduce the degree of destruction.

Soundproof Drywall 

Empty room modern interior with concrete floor soundproof drywall and doorSoundproof drywall is similar to standard drywall, but it is laminated and consists of multiple layers of fiberboard, gypsum, and polymeric materials to help lessen sound and increase the sound transmission class (STC).

Its structure makes it firmer than standard drywall, reducing sound vibrations. This is utilized in the construction of walls, ceilings, or floors.

Since this drywall is thicker than standard drywall, it may be more difficult to cut than other forms of drywall. It is applied in areas where noise is an issue or when silence is needed in a room owing to its soundproofing properties.

Drywall Color Code 

• Green board. This color code of green drywall has a green coating that makes it more moisture-resistant than standard drywall. It is slightly more costly, but keep in mind that it is not fully waterproof, so do not use it if it will come into contact with water.

• Blue board. This color code of drywall is also recognized as plaster baseboard. For veneer plasterboard, a blue board is utilized, and the surface paper has distinctive absorption properties. It is highly resistant to moisture and mold, and there are very few key steps in veneer plastering. Blue board drywall is not intended for use with mud, tape, or paint.

• Purple board. This provides the same benefits as standard drywall, but with outstanding moisture, mildew and mold resistance. It can be utilized in all wall and ceiling uses and is suitable for areas that require increased water and mold resistance.

Drywall Dimensions 

Drywall paint and white cabinets in new home constructionDrywall is normally measured in length and thickness. The standard thickness of drywall panels is 1/2 inch. Drywall comes in a variety of lengths. Sheets are available in lengths of 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14 inches. Other lengths are occasionally available as a custom layout.

Thickness is a significant measurement. 4 depth options allow you to select the size that best suits your needs. Drywall is available in 4 thicknesses:

• 1/4 inch. Even though standard drywall is available in this size, panels this thin are unusual.

• 3/8 inch. This width is obtainable in standard drywall. It is prevalent in basements and other areas where a specific form of drywall is not required. Although less costly than denser panels, it is also less durable.

• 1/2 inch. Half-inch drywall is bulkier than the two preceding measurements. Standard, moisture-resistant, and mold-resistant options are obtainable in a depth of 1/2 inch.

• 5/8 inch. This is the thickest type of drywall obtainable. This thickness is available in all kinds of sheetrock, but it is most beneficial in fire-resistant, soundproof, and moisture and mold-resistant boards.

When looking for drywall, you may come across the phrase “standard size.” This pertains to a sheet that measures 1/2″ x 4′ x 8′. This is a popular size, especially among do-it-yourselfers since it is inexpensive, adaptable, and easy to manage.

Drywall Materials

Drywall taping and finishing tools and supplies including a roll of joint tape a hawk sanding sponges and four drywall knivesTo turn your dream home into reality, you will need to apply drywall. However, you will need drywall-specific materials and tools to accomplish this.

Crucial materials will be required when installing drywall. We have emphasized the most important ones below:


Fasteners are the accessories that hold drywall panels to the boards of the ceilings and walls. Construction workers,  carpenters, as well as do-it-yourselfers, employ nails, screws, or sometimes both.

Screws are more costly than nails, however, they are more reliable and will stay firm as the timber ages. Nails will eventually protrude from the wood and appear as a nudge in the wall. Nails, on the other hand, are simpler to work with and can be used quicker than screws.

Several individuals prefer to use screws as well as nails. They use nails around the outside edges and in the edges to secure the metal strips known as beads. Plus, they use screws in every other part of the house including the ceiling.

Corner Bead

Every edge has a corner bead to guarantee a clean 90-degree angle. Tape is then adhered over the beads, followed by the joint compound. Corners would be irregular and untidy without the beads.

Drywall Joint Compound

A joint compound, also known as mud or spackle, is a substance that is adhered to over tape to balance out seams. You will also use it to conceal the nails and screws. It comes pre-made in buckets.


Tape is used to conceal the seams between sheetrock segments. There are two kinds of drywall tape, and those are paper and mesh.

Paper is less expensive than mesh, and it is wrinkled down the center to make taping edges easier. Mesh is excellent for major repairs.

Drywall Tools Checklist

Restoration of an old room with selection of the color swatch ladder paint drywall tools and paint brushes and rollerEvery construction project, including drywall installation, has its own set of tools. If you have the proper tools, your project will be much simpler and more rewarding. We have compiled a list of some of the most useful drywall tools available to help you get started:


A pencil is among the most valuable tools for applying drywall. You will be measuring and marking a lot, so a pencil is indeed a necessity in the entire process.

Drywall Hammer

If you are going to use nails rather than or in addition to screws, this specialized dry hammer has a rounded head to prevent impacting or breaking the sheetrock.

Even if your original plan is to utilize screws throughout the construction process, having a specialized hammer on hand is a smart idea in case you decide that nails are necessary for locations like the exterior areas of a panel.

Framing Square

Numerous projects, which include drywall work, require the use of a framing square. Using this simple device when trimming sheetrock ascertains precise measurements and clean lines.

Hand Sander

Upon adding the joint compound and allowing it to dry, the compound should be sanded to remove lines and start making the compound flush with the drywall. As a result, the wall or ceiling would be flat and smooth.

On the front of the hand sander, sheets of sandpaper, or drywall sanding surface, are positioned. The said surface is available in sheets. When one sheet is no longer functional, replace it on the hand sander and continue performing the process.

Automatic Drywall Sanding Device

Manual sanding offers a sense of thorough supervision as you construct your space, but it can also be exhausting and time-consuming. You can intersperse between manual and automatic sanding, or you can go completely automatic.

Automatic sanding devices are available in both cordless and corded versions. Cordless power devices, like other power equipment, deliver ease and convenience of mobility, whilst corded variants offer greater power with no major disruptions. Both versions use the same sanding screen that hand sanders do.

Numerous automatic drywall sanders are attachment-compatible. Sanders are commonly equipped with both circular and triangular heads, allowing you to conveniently sand both edges and flat stretches of walls and ceiling.

Trowel or Drywall Knife

Drywall knives or trowels will be used to apply and distribute the joint compound. They are available in a multitude of widths that are appropriate for various areas of paneling. To expedite the work, you can use a broader blade in lengthy, open spaces and slimmer blades in narrow spaces.

Drywall Screw Gun or Cordless Screwdriver

As you attach the drywall to the ceiling or wallboards, you will be driving numerous screws into it, hence a cordless, battery-powered screwdriver is extremely important. It will speed up and improve the accuracy of your work.

You could use a drill rather than a cordless screwdriver if you have one. A drill and a screwdriver, on the other hand, are not quite the same thing. A drill can be overly powerful, causing drywall damage. 

Banjo (Drywall Taper)

The drywall taper, also identified as the banjo, is a tool for applying tape over drywall seams. This is a high-performing, heavy-duty taping tool that allows for accurate and rapid taping.


This is not the massive gun for explosions you know. Bazooka is a machine that automatically applies tape and mud. It applies joint compound and tape at the same time. 

With a telescoping pole, you can tape from floor to ceiling, throughout the surface of the panels, and in every corner as well. While a bazooka is not completely essential, particularly for small projects, it does take some of the legwork out of bigger projects.

Utility Knife

Utility knives are among the most multifunctional tools inside a toolkit. A utility knife, in conjunction with a drywall saw, will assist you in making sharp, straight, and even trim in your sheetrock. They are very useful for cutting drywall panels and drilling perforations for switches and outlets.

Purchasing a knife might appear to be a simple task. It is not difficult, but utility knives differ from one another. Thus, you have to ensure that it is of good quality.

Drywall Saw

When sheetrocking any size interior space, a high-quality drywall saw would be a must-have. Trimming the sheetrock correctly will result in minimal waste and edges that are simple to smooth out with the application of the joint compound.

Mud Pan

A mud pan is a basic piece of hardware that is often overlooked. Using a mud pan eliminates the need to carry a heavy bucket of joint compound all over your work area. Just put some mud in a mud pan to make it easier to transport throughout rooms and up-and-down ladders.

Mud pans are available in plastic or stainless steel. It is simply a matter of preference of which one to select.

Drywall Panel Lift

Drywall is indeed heavy, weighing 50 pounds or more. The weight is exacerbated by its size. Even a small sheet (1/2 inch x 4 feet x 8 feet) is difficult to grasp and transport.

If you are performing the task by yourself, this heavy panel of drywall can put a halt to your construction process.

If lifting drywall panels is going to be difficult, a panel lift will be a huge help. You can buy one or, if you prefer not to contain it in your house, just rent one from your local hardware shop.

Safety Items

Your safety and health are the most important things whenever you are applying drywall. Drywall dust could pass into your eyes, nose, and mouth if you are not properly protected.

Gloves protect the hands and are required when using any tool, particularly power tools. Keep ear protection on hand in case you need to use battery-operated or electric screwdrivers or other loud machinery.

Drywall Cost

Interior view of an empty bedroom with fitted wardrobes and en suite bathroomThe average cost of drywall and sheetrock is $15 per 4′ x 8′ panel, with prices ranging from $12 to $20 per panel. This equates to a price range of $0.40 to $0.65 per square foot. You can expect to pay $300 to $500 for ceilings and walls in a 200-square-foot space.

Drywall installation costs between $1 and $3 per square foot. Contractors typically charge by the number of hours required for installation, but they may also charge by each panel.

Remember that a fundamental estimate might not include the removal or disposal of old drywall. You will have to pay an extra $300 to $500 for such services.

Prices vary depending on the type of drywall as well. Thicker boards and soundproofing are likely to cost up to $60 per panel. However, here are the other usual costs of several types of drywall and other essential materials needed:

• Green board drywall cost – $14 to $18 per panel

• Blue board drywall cost – $12 to $15 per panel

• Purple drywall –  $15 to $60 per panel

• Gypsum board – $12 to $60 per panel 

• Fire-resistant drywall – $20 to $30 per panel

• Sheetrock –  $12 to $25 per panel

What Type Of Drywall To Use

Empty apartment om with glossy panel floor white walls lighting fixtures air conditioner and a sliding glass doorsType of Drywall for Bathroom 

Since bathrooms are persistently in contact with water, it is a very smart idea to use moisture or mold-resistant drywall.

Such types of drywall are made with a denser paper backing than standard drywall and are wax-coated for additional moisture resistance. Moisture resistant drywall is often referred to as green drywall while purple drywall is moisture, mildew and mold resistant.

Type of Drywall for Garage 

Well organized three car garage attached to a home with shiplap walls shelves bicycle racks work area storage cabinets and a flat screen tv on the wallYou can use regular 1/2-inch drywall for a large portion of your garage. Use 5/8-inch sheetrock or type X fire-rated drywall for the wall and ceiling adjoining the house.

Regular drywall sheets can be used for the walls that do not adjoin the house. It does lessen sound as well as offer additional surface to hold things on, but drywall does not provide much waterproofing and can be bothersome in humid weather. Using 1/2-inch sheetrock saves money and makes installation easier, particularly if you are doing the process alone.

Fire-resistant drywall is also known as fire-rated drywall, and type X drywall could be a good alternative for your garage, particularly on the wall against your house and the garage ceiling. It is not totally “fireproof,” but it is composed of specialized non-combustible fibers that help to delay fires. It is thicker and normally thicker than most drywall. It generally measures 5/8 inch.

Type of Drywall for Ceiling 

Fire-resistant drywall panels are mainly used in ceilings to prevent them from falling in the event of a fire.

5/8-inch-thick fire-resistant panels that are installed on ceilings are less prone to collapsing between the joists than 1/2-inch panels. Incorporating another type of massive surfacing material can exacerbate the weight issue, so 5/8-inch drywall is a better option for ceilings.

Moisture-resistant drywall, also known as purple drywall, has the same benefits as regular drywall but is more resistant to moisture and mold. It is also commonly applied in the construction of ceilings. Visit our ceiling texture types guide for more information.

Furthermore, it can be used in all ceiling uses and is excellent for areas that require increased moisture and mold resistance. 

Type of Drywall for Basement 

Tiled stairs to empty basement with white walls lighting fixtures and concrete floorsFire-resistant drywall is often used in basements as well as around potentially flammable equipment. It includes fiberglass, which decelerates the spread of fire and does not burn as quickly as standard gypsum.

Type C is more durable than Type X, supplying up to 4 hours of resistance versus X’s 1 hour. Hence, Type C is much more recommended for basements.

3/8-inch regular drywall panels are also well-known in basements and other areas where a specific type of drywall is not required.

While less costly than thicker panels, unfortunately, it can also also be less durable. Visit our guide on the best types of basement wall panels for more related article. 

What Is The Best Drywall To Use?

Wide hallway of home basement with paintings on light gray walls carpet floor and white doorsIf your house or room is facing moisture and mold-related issues, green board and purple can be the best drywall options to use. Green board drywall is commonly used in applications where moisture is a concern, such as bathrooms. 

Purple drywall is also impervious to moisture, mold, and mildew. Aside from that, purple drywall is resistant to scratches, scuffs, and dents, making it an excellent selection for high-traffic areas.

However, if you wish to put drywall in areas where there is flammable equipment around, make sure to install fire-resistant drywall. To delay the spread of fire more efficiently, consider installing type C drywall panels.

What Type Of Sandpaper For Drywall? 

Aluminum oxide sandpaper wears slower and lasts longer, so it’s the best option for sanding drywall. Furthermore, the surface of aluminum oxide sandpaper is denser than that of garnet paper, so it does not get damaged easily.

Start by sanding down the joint compound with 120-grit sandpaper. However, you might be urged to use a coarser grit to complete the job faster, but anything coarser than 100-grit will end up leaving noticeable scratch marks in your joint compound.

After you have sanded down your seams, you could go over everything again with 150-grit drywall sanding paper if you want.

Anything finer than 100-grit will take far too long to get sanded properly. This presumes you are manually sanding with a hand sander or drywall pole sanders.

What Type Of Mud For Drywall?

A-type ladder and drywall interior of home at construction siteAfter the two initial coats of taping substance have been adhered to a taped drywall joint, you can try to apply the topping compound as it is the best mud to use. Topping compound is a low-shrinking substance that applies seamlessly and forms a firm bond. It is also very practical to work with.

Moreover, the topping compound is commonly sold as a dry powder that must be mixed with water. This makes it less practical than premixed compounds, but it enables you to mix only what you need.

Plus, the remainder of the dry powder can be saved for upcoming usages. Topping compound is also available in pre-mixed containers or pails, so you can buy whatever type you would want. 

Are Sheetrock And Drywall The Same? 

Drywall, which also includes sheetrock, is used to construct interior walls in the majority of conventional, contemporary houses nowadays. 

Sheetrock, on the other hand, is a brand name for drywall that encompasses a wide range of different types of drywall in varying thicknesses and lengths.

One of the benefits of sheetrock drywall is that it is subjected to industry-leading quality assurance screening, as opposed to generic drywall brands, which may fall short of certain important measures.

In a nutshell, drywall can refer to different drywall brands and types, while sheetrock is merely a drywall brand. Read more about our sheetrock vs drywall guide for a more in-depth comparison.

Can You Paint Over Drywall?

Interior view of beautiful living room with brick fireplace windows and beige wallsYes, you can safely paint drywall. It is important to note, nevertheless, that freshly mounted drywall should first be treated and prepared to ensure optimum results.

Taping and finishing all seams, as well as priming mud and drywall, are all part of the preparation procedure. Finishing paint can adhere after the project has been finalized and dried. Self-priming wall paint can help to speed up the process and provide greater results.

Take into account using a high-quality acrylic latex primer before adding a new coat of paint to previously painted drywall. The application of a stain-blocking primer aids in the concealment of marks, drywall blemishes, and other discolorations that could lead to a less-than-perfect finish.

When selecting a finishing paint, keep in mind that higher sheen paints are easier to clean and maintain. So, if you have young children at home, this information can save you time and effort.

What Goes Over Drywall?

The compound, also known as mud or spackle, is a significant element used to go over drywall. After hanging and fastening drywall to wall framing, you can use a 4-inch-wide utility knife to apply the compound to the drywall board seams.

How Do You Prep Drywall?

Room interior with french doors windows and drywall installed in a new house under constructionDrywall should be primed before being painted or customized to guarantee that the paint and any other elements adhered remain in place and are not impacted by temperature fluctuations in the space or environment.

To prepare your drywall, first, clean it by sanding it using high-quality sandpaper, vacuuming it, and wiping it down with a dark cloth to remove any dust. After that, you can start applying primer to your drywall.

Do You Mud The Entire Drywall?

It could be very inappropriate to mud an entire wall. The edges of drywall panels are beveled. Thus, there will be a minor indentation where the drywall parts fit together once the panels are assembled.

Aside from filling small gaps and concealing certain flaws, the goal of mudding is to fill these indented segments to generate a flawlessly flat and seamless surface. This implies you will mud a few inches around each joint and also over tape and holes, but not the entire panel.

Visit our guide on different wall texture types for more related content.

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Written by Khaycelyn - Author

Khaycelyn Dimaano is a Bachelor of Science and Information Technology graduate who pursues her dream to work from home as a skilled interior design writer.

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