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January 11, 2016

If your restaurant, house or office was built in the past 50-60 years, chances are your walls and ceilings were created using different types of drywalls. Though prevalent, drywalls are an unfamiliar concept to homeowners and restaurateurs — starting from their different types, uses and installation process.

Invented in the early 1900s, drywall is a construction material made of gypsum plastered sandwiched between two thick sheets of paper. It’s used in almost all modern buildings because drywalling a house or restaurant takes around two days. This makes them an easier, quicker more visually pleasant alternative to the traditional lath and plaster duo, which takes a week to apply.

Usages of drywall include covering metal structures and electrical wiring lining the walls and ceilings of your property. It provides insulation and is therefore considered energy-efficient. The different types of drywall can also be used to create architectural design features like eaves and arches. Drywall can serve as good partitions. It’s waterproof and fire-resistant, because gypsum is an inflammable mineral. On top of all these benefits, drywall is affordable.

The different types of drywalls include: standard square-edged; taper-edged; moisture-resistant (ideal for washrooms and kitchens); foil-backed (for cold climates); abuse-resistant (thicker in size, it’s suitable for garages); and soundproof drywalls.

Each comes in sheets of various sizes, the most common being 4 by 8 feet. The goal in choosing sizes is to get one that will result in the least amount of visible seams or joints in the finished product. Remember that choosing larger sizes means it would be physically more challenging to lift and install the panels.

Drywall also comes in various thicknesses, ¼ inch being the thinnest and 3/8 and ½ inch the most common. The further apart the nails or screws are, the thicker the drywall should be.

While drywall is a popular option, the gypsum inside is porous and therefore vulnerable to moisture, extended water immersion as in the cases of floods and mould growth. Drywall breaks easily when not taken proper care of. Repair is costly, which is why it’s best to get your drywall properly installed by professionals from the beginning. With the right contractors, you will get a satisfying, sturdy and affordable result for your property.

By Natasha Gan