Drywall is an insulating material, plasterboard covered in fiberglass, cellulose, or paper. Drywall is also referred to as framing wallboard, gypsum board, or drywall board. Drywall has been in use since the 1950s in the United States, and in some parts of the world, drywall is now used instead of sheet metal roofing.
Drywall has many advantages over other types of building material, but it’s a great choice for those who are renovating or building a new home. The low cost and long durability make drywall a great choice for both interior and exterior uses. Drywall is composed of calcium sulfate mixed with cement or sand that can be applied directly to wooden frames or between plasterboard panels. Drywall can also be purchased as a wide range of interlocking sheets installed, just like standard drywall. The drywall may be painted with a special acrylic primer or used with decorative paint for an interior wall.
Drywall is constructed by gluing sheets of plastic, fiberglass, or wood together using a silicone compound. Each layer has a different thickness and compound applications, called “compounds.” Commonly, the compound is made up of finely ground sand or wood fibers. The fine ground material provides an excellent seal and allows for flexibility and contraction. The drywall sheets are fitted together with a special joint compound with a tiny airtight pocket that keeps the sheet from expanding or contracting when heated.
A drywall panel is cut to the correct size and height and held in tacky glue or with nails. Panels are available in different widths and wall thicknesses and can be painted with a wide array of colors. When selecting a color for your drywall, consider your intended application and the decor of your room. Painting a thicker wall may add weight and bulk, so consider the look you want to achieve before choosing a paint color. For a light, airy look to a room, consider using a pale blue or beige color.
Drying time depends on the application method you use and how you lay your drywall. For the gypsum board that needs to be painted, it usually takes two or three hours. Exercising will help to speed up the drying time but is not necessary. However, using a power washer will remove any bubbles or moisture from the surface of your drywall material.
Drywall and plaster work best together for traditional homes that have a more modern or contemporary design style. The mixing of drywall and plaster can be a challenge, so make sure that you follow all instructions carefully. The best combination for both drywall and plaster is to start mixing your building material a day before you will need it to finish your walls. This allows the walls to dry completely between coats.
For masonry drywall, plasterboard and gypsum board it is best to work in smaller increments. Determining how much drywall material to purchase, and where to place each piece, is an important part of the planning process. A standard 16 inch by 16 inch drywall panel works well for most applications. Laying your own drywall can save money and take a lot of guesswork out of the process, but is not recommended for those who are not confident in their abilities.
Finding the right type of drywall for your application can be confusing. There are drywall types designed for interior walls only, sheet music and tile, sheet metal. If your drywall will be exposed to moisture, there are two types to consider: gypsum board and oil-based drywall adhesive. Sheet music and sheet metal are available in both long and short lengths. Engineered wood and aluminum drywall panels are engineered to last longer than typical drywall.