What Is Drywall?


 What Is Drywall?

Drywall is a material which is usually made out of paper, gypsum board, or fiberglass. It is often used as the main layer (or cover) in interior walls and ceilings to create a flat surface. With its unique properties, it’s able to provide a sturdy and attractive base for covering walls and ceilings with paint or wallpaper.

If you're looking for an easy way to add some life to your living space then drywall is the perfect solution. In this article we'll explain what drywall actually is, where it comes from, how it's constructed and installed, as well as some common problems that can arise with this type of surface material.

Where Does Drywall Come From?

Drywall is actually most commonly made of gypsum board. This material is created through the combination of calcium sulfate, water and chemicals. In the past, lumber was commonly used as a base material for drywall. However, wood has many drawbacks including warping, brittleness and bowing. It's because of these factors that the use of wood for drywall is very uncommon in modern construction projects. Today most businesses prefer to use fiberglass or gypsum materials for their boards because they're much stronger and sturdier than any wood product on the market today.

Drywall also has a slightly different texture compared to wood, even though they are both made from minerals.

How Is It Made?

First, the gypsum board is made by taking raw material such as gypsum, water and other chemicals and mixing them together in a manufacturing plant. After the mixture is formed into blocks of color (which can be a variety of colors) these blocks are sent to the production line where they are cut into drywall sheets. The sheets are then shipped to manufacturers who create the finishing coat for the drywall sheet.

The finishing coat is applied to the sheets in a thin layer. This coating is very important for creating a smooth surface. The top coat also creates a protective barrier that helps to reinforce the material and prolong its life.

How Is Drywall Used?

After the sheets are covered with the top coat, they're ready to be installed over any traditional wood frame (such as two by fours). Before drywall was used in construction projects, insulation and wooden boards were installed as coverings for interior walls. With drywall there isn't any wood used or exposed, which can help save on heating costs and prevent fire hazards from wood damage.

"Drywall is a great insulator and it stops drafts flowing through the wall." - Mike Rozycki from Everdry  

The thickness of the drywall is also important. Sometimes you can find sheet sections that are made up of three or four sheets, and these sheets might be two-by-twos with one-inch gaps between them. Other times, most commonly in exterior applications, the walls are made up of two-by-fours. In these cases, additional ribs (called jacks) are used to add extra support to the drywall panels. I guess it's kind of like building your own deck by stacking up boards around a frame and attaching plywood over top.


Drywall is an often misunderstood surface material and is often confused with its more expensive cousin, Sheetrock. Although you might not realize it, the two are very different. Drywall is really just gypsum board which has a protective layer of topcoat added to it in the final stages of production. Sheetrock (and other similar sheet products) also adds an additional layer of materials and creates a heavier wall building material, commonly used in exterior wall construction. It's because of these differences that many people tend to think any type of wall covering product that has a texture on the surface must be Sheetrock (or another similar product).

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