Difference between sheetrock, plasterboard, and drywall: Best Explanation

Sheetrock, plasterboard, and drywall, all three types of architectural objects are used as cosmetic walls to beautify homes and other building structures. They are quite similar to each other and are often used interchangeably.


They are much cheaper than cemented walls and many homeowners prefer to install them to keep the construction costs low. They are lightweight walls that can be transported easily from the manufacturing company’s warehouse to the construction site easily. Unlike cement walls, they don’t have to be erected at the construction site, and there is no time required for them to dry up.

All you need to know about drywall

A drywall is a lightweight wall made when two paperboards hold the gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate) mixture in-between. This mixture often is mixed with plasticizers, mica, foaming agents, clay, pesticides, glass wool, and paper. They have high fire-resistant qualities and they absorb sound to quite an extent. Hence they are perfect for media rooms or music rooms inside a home.

In radio stations or TV stations, often the cemented wall is covered with drywall so that the sound does not disturb the rest of the employees working in the office. Since they are very good insulators, they help homeowners to keep their electricity bills low.

Difference between drywall and sheetrock

Both drywall and sheetrock are the same and the terms as mentioned above the terms are used interchangeably. Sheetrock is a brand of drywall. It was manufactured by U.S Gypsum Company (USGC), and they patented the technology in 1917. Except for a few differences in the chemical composition of some of the materials, there is not much of a difference between sheetrock and drywall.

The sheetrock became so popular that people started referring to all types of the drywall as sheetrock. It is just like the way people say, ‘’Get ten Xerox copies of this document”. In reality, Xerox is a brand and they mean to say ‘’get ten photocopies of this document”. However, since the brand became synonymous with the function, people started using it as a noun and verb, just the way they started using the word sheetrock.

USGC acquired the United Kingdom-based company Sackett Plaster Board Company in 1910, and that helped them to come up with this invention of sheetrock. In 1888, the first plasterboard company was started in Rochester, Kent, England. Augustine Sackett and Fred Kane invented Sackett Board in 1894 using four layers of wool felt papers along with plaster.

That’s the way the journey of drywalls and sheetrock started in the United States in the beginning of the 20th century. To date, they are very popular and are used in many modern construction sites.

Drywall got its name as very little water is used during the manufacturing process. During the installation process, there is no requirement for water to be used. Drywalls became more popular than plastered walls because they took a lot of time to dry up. The masons had to wait for a long duration for the plater to dry up and only then they could apply the next coat of plaster. That problem was solved with the invention of drywall.

Difference between drywall and plasterboard

Drywall and plasterboard are again words used to mean the same construction material. Plasterboards are made the same way as drywalls are made. There are two sheets of paper known as facer and backer, and the difference is important while installing it inside a home or building.

Plasterboard is a term which is more popular in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it is referred to as drywall or sheetrock. When it comes to manufacturing them, it is the same materials which are used in both the countries. Just for the sake of patent by the companies, there might be a slight difference between the varieties.

Various types of drywall, sheetrock, and plasterboards-

1.    Standard

These drywalls are not infused with any special chemicals and are typically the cheapest variety of drywalls available in the market. They are perfect to be used in a dry region where the problem of mildew and other microorganisms is less. They can be used to erect walls for regular rooms which are not used as media rooms, or music rooms. Such plasterboards do not need to be sound-proof and there is no point in spending money on getting special types of them.

2.    Mold resistant/Moisture resistant

If you live in a humid area, it is better to go for moldresistant drywall. There will be a special coating at the back of the drywall which will contain chemicals that hinder the growth of mold and other microorganisms. They do not allow water to seep through the drywall and keep your family safe. These are perfect for a bathroom, especially if you take a lot of hot and long showers.

3.    Fire-resistant

Made with glass fibers or glass wool, these drywalls are ideal to be placed in the kitchen or in factories where workers work with fire. Even utility rooms or garages should use these kinds of drywalls to safeguard human lives and the contents of the building in case there is a fire breakout. Drywalls became more popular than plastered walls in the U.S as they could safeguard the homes from any kind of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) related accidents.

4.    Soundproof

As discussed earlier, drywall is a perfect option for media rooms or music rooms at homes or music studios at workplaces. They are thicker than other types of drywall sheets, however, they are much easier to install compared to cement walls. These walls used two layers of gypsum and hence often are sturdier than other kinds of walls. Many people who work night shifts like firemen, nurses, and doctors prefer these kinds of walls in their bedrooms so that outside noise cannot disturb them.

When they are trying to sleep in the daytime, they often get disturbed by the noise of the running vehicles, or kids playing in the play areas of the apartment complexes.

Enclosing your bedroom with drywalls will reduce the noise to travel from within the apartment and outside. If your wife is cooking in the kitchen or your kids are getting ready for school, all the commotion will not disturb you in your bedroom.


Earth hour is celebrated between 8:30 PM and 9:30 PM as per the local time across the globe on the 26th of March every year. We should take a pledge to save mother earth and reduce all kinds of pollutants.

Sheetrock, drywall, and plasterboard are quite eco-friendly. Till a few years back, asbestos was used to manufacture them, however, due to being a known carcinogenic (causes cancer) item, its usage was largely reduced over the years. Prolonged exposure to gypsum and mica dust is bad for health. Hence, let’s take a pledge today to keep our factory workers safe and our environment clean. 

We have outlined the difference between plaster and drywall here.