How Drywall Works

Types of Drywall


While regular drywall is appropriate for most applications, there are many other types that are better suited for special circumstances. The chart below will help you choose the correct type for your application.

­Once you've determined which type is best for your project, you'll need to figure out how much you'll need. Measure the square footage of the walls and ceilings you need to cover. To accommodate for material waste due to cutting and size restrictions, add 20 percent to your measurement. Divide your square foot measurement by 32 feet (the size of the typical sheet) to find out how many sheets you'll need to purchase.

Of course, no matter which type of drywall you use, it's no good on its own. Joint compound, often called “mud” or “spackle,” goes hand in hand with drywall. It's made from a mixture of limestone, emulsifiers, various polymers, and water. Its smooth texture makes it easy to apply, sand and blend to create an even finish. Because joint compound typically takes about a day to dry, fast setting mixes are available. Drywall mud is typically applied over fiber-mesh or paper drywall tape. This tape is used to close up and tighten seams that occur when drywall sheets are hung side by side.

To find out which tools are useful for drywalling, let's take a look at how drywall installation works.