Drywall (or plasterboard) is a lifesaver when it comes to interior construction and renovations. It comes in standard sizes, which makes choosing the right panel pretty easy.
While it’s essential to know the length and width of a drywall sheet before installing it, its thickness is the key factor.
So, if you’re planning on using drywall for your project, the first thing you need to know: how thick is drywall?
To help you with that, we’ll tell you all about drywall and its thickness. Read on to find out.
How Thick Is Drywall?
Drywall comes in different thicknesses from ¼-inch, ½-inch, ⅜-inch to ⅝-inch. However, the standard thickness of drywall is a ½-inch panel. Thanks to its ease of transportation and installation, it’s regularly used for interior walls and ceilings.
While the half-inch panels are the most common version, drywall thickness is chosen based on building codes and the type of application.
Each thickness is more suited to a certain type of application than the other. For example, it’s best to install the 1/4-inch-thick drywall for curved surfaces instead of the 1/2-inch one because it’s more flexible.
We’ll talk about each option in more detail below.
Although the ¼-inch thickness is not widely used, it’s a great option to mount over an existing drywall surface or as a double wall.
Due to its ultra-lightweight, it can save you the trouble of removing a textured surface or an old panel. You can install it on top. Also, it’s super easy to move around and hang.
Its slim form allows it to be stretched more than other drywall panels; you can easily curve it to your liking by dampening it a little. This makes it a great flexible option to hang over curved walls that need bending, such as a spiraling staircase.
This is the standard drywall thickness that most people go for. Half-inch drywall panels can be used for most projects and hung over any surface, whether walls or ceilings. They’re also readily available in most sizes, so they’re ideal for DIY projects and quick fixes.
However, they’re not the best option for curved surfaces.
While a ½-inch panel is easy to carry and install, its ultra-light variations are even more convenient. The ultra-light half-inch panels are lighter than common ones by at least 13 pounds.
The 3/8-inch drywall is in the middle ground between ¼-inch and ½-inch panels. It’s not as flimsy as the ¼ inch nor as thick as the ½ inch. This makes it a great choice to install over preexisting drywall.
It can also be an alternative for half-inch panels if they’re too thick for your application. However, the best use for 3/8-inch panels is for repairs, such as covering up holes in drywall.
This is the thickest form of drywall. 5/8-inch drywall is commonly installed to separate joined interior walls or in furnace rooms because of its fire resistance capabilities.
Thanks to its thickness and strength, it’s used as a preventative measure against sagging between surface joists.
There are moisture-resistant 5/8-inch panels available, so they won’t lose their structural integrity when exposed to humidity or water. Depending on your purpose, you can make great use of this feature.
Length and Width of Drywall
Drywall panels commonly come in multiples of 4 feet. The standard lengths and widths of drywall are 4 x 8 feet, 4 x 12 feet, or 4 x 16 feet boards.
Building codes require certain measurements for drywall thickness; however, they don’t demand specific lengths and widths.
Choosing the appropriate length or width is based on the preferences of the people concerned. There is also a 2 x 2 feet drywall, a small sheet that works best for patching holes or covering nooks and niches.
Which Drywall Thickness Should You Choose for Interior Walls?
The half-inch drywall panel is the front-runner for residential interior walls. It’s a mixture of strength, durability, and lightness. Plus, its ultra-light option offers you a more suitable, lighter alternative.
It’s best for walls with studs that are spaced by 16 inches. However, if the walls have studs or joists set 24 inches apart, then a 5/8-inch drywall panel is better.
Which Drywall Thickness Should You Choose for a Ceiling?
Installing thicker, stronger boards on ceilings is essential to withstand the heat and ambient conditions. That’s especially important if the ceiling has heavy texturing.
The standard thickness of drywall for ceilings is 5/8-inch. It’s the most efficient drywall against sagging.
However, it’s possible to hang other drywall thicknesses, like the ½ inch, ⅜ inch, or the thinnest ¼ inch boards, provided they’re installed properly. Installing drywall on ceilings is best done with the help of a drywall lift or other forms of assistance.
Thick Drywall vs. Thin Drywall
If you are unsure about getting thick or thin drywall, we got you covered with the pros and cons of each one.
Using thicker drywall, such as the 5/8-inch, has its benefits and drawbacks:
-Sturdy against ceiling sagging
-Resistance to fire and moisture
-Heavy to carry and hang
-Rigid, not suitable for curved walls
On the other hand, thinner drywall, like 1/4-inch, has its own set of pros and cons, such as:
-Can be placed over preexisting drywall
-Makes studs visible
-Not strong enough to prevent ceiling sagging
-No noise reduction
How to Measure Drywall Thickness?
If you need to replace or repair your current drywall, it’s essential to measure its thickness first.
-Cut a hole in the damaged panel with a jab saw or a utility knife.
-Measure the panel’s thickness with a measurement tape.
-Recheck the measurements before replacing or repairing them.
Now, how thick is drywall? That depends on what you’re using it for. Drywall has various thicknesses, which are ¼-inch, ½-inch, ⅜-inch, and ⅝-inch. Each thickness has a different application.
All in all, the ½-inch drywall thickness is the most common for both walls and ceilings.
Remember, determining the needed drywall thickness before installing is essential. Also, make sure to check building codes because they require specific thicknesses and stud spacing.