What is Gypsum Board?

Gypsum Board is also called Drywall, Gyp Board, Rock Lath or Sheetrock. With paper on both sides and a gypsum plaster center, the gypsum board product gained popularity because of ease of installation, compared to plastering. Skilled drywall mechanics achieve reasonably plumb, square and true walls quickly.

The traditional gypsum board panel size was 4′ x 8′. But many more options are now readily available. Lengths of 10′ and 12′ are now common, as are 4′ – 6″ width, which are used for 9′ – 0″ ceiling heights. Type X gypsum board varies from regular gypsum board because Type X has noncombustible fibers added to the gypsum to improve fire resistance.

The tapered edges along the length of the gypsum board allows drywall finishing compound to be placed without creating much of a raised surface between the adjacent boards. Due to these tapered edges, a more true (or straight) wall can be built. Since the ends of gypsum board are not tapered but are square, it’s desirable to eliminate end butt joints when possible. When building rooms with dimensions 12′ or smaller, gypsum board can be hung horizontally (4′ wide boards for an 8′ ceiling height and 4′ – 6″ wide boards for a 9′ ceiling height) with the appropriate length board to not have any butt joints. Even in larger rooms, hanging the gypsum board horizontally has become more popular, because the butt joints can be staggered, which seems to create less of a visibly noticeable joint.