A Pro’s Guide to Choosing the Best Drywall to Use

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For best results make sure the board is designed to meet the performance needs of the space

At one time, drywall board might have been drywall board but over the years the number of product options on the market has grown significantly. Now drywall contractors have the opportunity to customize the space to meet the performance needs of the project, but with so many options available, it can be hard to determine the best product for the job at hand. Products specified need to take into consideration the unique demands of the space, and should be selected with regard to how it will impact the functions of the room. This is especially important when choosing the right drywall for the job.

When choosing a drywall board it’s important to know three things:

  1. How the space will be used

  2. What boards are available

  3. The benefit each board can bring to a project

Now, let’s take a closer look at some common demands on a space as it relates to drywall and determine what options are available and the benefits of each.

For areas prone to heightened mold and moisture exposure:

Selecting the right type of drywall for a bathroom project

  • Moisture-and-mold resistant drywall is best used for interior walls, especially in areas like kitchens, bathrooms or basements.
  • The best drywall boards for these areas have moisture-resistant cores that prevent water and moisture intrusion from seeping into the board itself.
  • Moisture-and-mold
    resistant drywall
    should also be coupled with fiberglass mesh finishing tapes, rather than standard tapes. Standard paper tapes may actually erode the value of the drywall by inadvertently housing moisture within the paper.
  • A product like CertainTeed’s M2Tech® Moisture & Mold Resistant Drywall is a great all-around choice because it can achieve the highest standards for mold-and-moisture resistance set by ASTM International while protecting against mold, which can be expensive and time-consuming to fix.

For projects requiring fire-rated gypsum boards:

fire rated type x drywall gypsum board

  • Fire-rated design is required in many commercial and multi-family
    residential buildings
    , a result of increasingly stringent safety standards intended to help better protect building occupants when disaster strikes. When undertaking these kinds of builds, it’s critical that products used meet the standards set by ASTM International, to stay up to code while benefiting the occupant.
  • Fire-resistant gypsum or drywall boards consist of a specially-formulated, dense core compared to traditional gypsum boards, creating a barrier that’s harder for fire to penetrate.
  • While not completely fireproof, fire-rated gypsum boards are designed to delay the spread of fire and extend the time a person has to leave the building. As an added benefit, these boards are typically stronger and resistant to repeated use and abuse.
  • Products with a fire-resistant core, like CertainTeed’s Type X fire-resistant drywall consist of a solid-set gypsum core enclosed with a strong liner back paper, able to resist increased heat better than traditional gypsum boards.

For spaces where sound and privacy are top concern:

Selecting the right type of drywall for a bedroom or media center media room home theater

  • For residential builds, like in-home theaters, home offices, or basements, sound-dampening drywall or gypsum boards are ideal for retaining sound and acoustics in a confined space.
  • For commercial spaces, like offices, patient waiting rooms or school classrooms, sound-dampening drywall boards are ideal because they provide privacy and improve the occupant’s focus.
  • Products like CertainTeed’s SilentFX® QuickCut™ noise-reducing drywall features two specially formulated gypsum cores designed to improve sound attenuation and dampen unwanted noises, all while meeting STC (Sound Transmission Class) standards.

As a drywall professional it is important to take a minute with each job and make sure you are selecting the best board to meet the needs of the project.

Have a question about these or any of our products? Give us a call.

CertainTeed Customer Service number

Plus, horizontal or vertical – what’s the best way to hang drywall? and winter’s not over yet, brush up the modifications you’ll need to make to use drywall products in extreme weather.

Julian Ketchum is Technical Marketing Manager for CertainTeed Gypsum.

9 Comments

  1. My basement isn’t completely finished and it would be nice to put in some drywall. I like how you mentioned that drywall can help dampen noises. What tips do you have for hiring a drywall contractor?

  2. I never realized there were so many different types of drywall..thanks for the education. I’ll take this into consideration and research a bit more.

  3. I didn’t think about how basements might need moisture-and-mold resistant drywall so I’m glad you mentioned it! I knew kitchens and bathrooms would. This is why I think it would be best for me to hire a professional. They know a lot more about drywall than I do.

  4. Awesome content! Easy to see how somebody might think one type of drywall is good for an entire property, but it’s more nuanced than that. Choosing the proper material goes a long way in deciding the effectiveness and durability of your walls. Thanks for this handy guide

  5. Anybody that reads this looking to do DIY drywall is in luck because this is a gold mine! Very straightforward and easy to know the key considerations, options, and what they all entail.

    I’ve even seen the work of some experienced drywall contractors who could have benefitted from this guide! It’s so easy to get stuck in the rut of using the same materials, methods, etc each time without considering the project’s unique requirements. Continuous learning is the key!

  6. Access Doors and Panels on

    Thanks for the detailed guide! If for commercial purposes, it’s really not good to make mistakes at it leads to delay and affects commercial numbers! Drywall access panels also help as one of the building materials for this type of work actually. They provide convenient access and storage when it comes to drywall work. Nonetheless, this is great.

  7. There’s also abuse resistant drywall that is good for hallways and stairwells where scuffs marks are more likely to occur!

  8. In South America this constructive system is being used with great force, it takes a long time for the owners of houses and businesses to decide to trust for this quick option to build, I have a company in Lima – Peru, I am doing very well this year and thanks to the rains that are lashing the city, but also in regrettable that these installers do not provide guarantees to the clients who deposited their trust and investment, use inappropriate materials and techniques.

  9. Erika Brady on

    Your recommendation to use moisture-resistant drywall boards for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements to prevent mold would be important. If someone wants to install new boards, it would probably be a good idea to hire a local professional that offers drywall installation services. This could be useful in order to get their assistance with choosing the right material based on where it will be installed and your home so you can purchase the right supplies and then have them installed by an experienced professional so it’s done correctly.

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