Sunday, July 26, 2015

Choosing Drywall (sheetrock)

Choosing drywall aka sheetrock is an important part of a building project. It can be a little confusing and sometimes intimidating. However, look at it as a fun way to start a journey into design and renovation.

Here are some pointers to get you started:

The most popular sizes for drywall are 1/2", 5/8" in thickness and 
4' long x 8' wide. There is also green board which is used in spaces that are moist--like bathrooms and basements.

Although, 1/2" is okay to use, 5/8" is thicker and provides more of a barrier. The advantages of 1/2" is the cost is less than 5/8".

Now, let's talk Fire-rated.

When you are installing drywall, often building code dictates certain types of drywall that must be used. One type of drywall that shows up in building code is fire rated drywall, also known as Type X drywall.
Fire-Rated Is Not Fireproof
Type X is by no means 100% fireproof; simply it is drywall that will stand up against flame longer than regular drywall. If a conventional 1/2" thick sheet of drywall will stand up to 30 minutes of fire, then the added 1/8" (5/8") found in the Type X drywall, along with its other properties, will increase your margin of safety another 30 minutes. For this reason, fire-rated drywall is sometimes called one hour fire wallboard.
Places to Install Type X Drywall

In residences, fire rated drywall is typically required by building codes to be installed near furnace and utility rooms; places where a wood stove is used; in garages; and on ceilings that up against the main living structure.
Thickness, Composition
Drywall typically comes in 1/4" and 1/2" thicknesses. But Type X drywall is 5/8" thick. In addition to the usual gypsum found in regular drywall, fire rated drywall contains glass fibers to form a super-tough core. Not only that, the gypsum and fiberglass are packed in tighter and denser than in regular drywall.
Cost and Availability
Fire rated drywall costs more than the regular drywall. As a rule of thumb, you can count on it costing about 5% to 7% more than conventional drywall of the same thickness. Type X is not a specialty product; it is available at local home improvement stores or contractors' supply houses.

Two added benefits to Type X drywall: it inhibits sound transmission and it stands up well to impact.

If you want fire rated drywall to be installed throughout your home, please request that it is installed. You can also have 1/2" or 5/8" standard drywall installed throughout, type x for the kitchen and furnace area and of course green board for the wet/moist areas. A mix can be cost effective.
Tips to remember about fire rated drywall:

Always 5/8"
Glass fibers added
Denser than normal gypsum-only drywall
Up to 1 hour fire rating
Also called Type X drywall
Absorbs sound well (for all of the music lovers)



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