Q. What is Drywall and Why is It Used?
A. Drywall is made of a sheet of gypsum covered on both sides with a paper facing and a paperboard backing. Drywall is used interior walls of houses and buildings and to wrap columns to conceal steel beams and is an easy and inexpensive way to top off masonry walls above ceilings. Drywall is also used to add fire resistance to walls and ceilings, containing the spread of fire so people can evacuate safely during an emergency. It takes a lot of energy for fires to burn through the drywall. Read more about how drywall works. Check out our list of must-have drywall tools.
Q. Why is Drywall Called Drywall or Sheetrock?
A. The name “drywall” refers to the fact that walls made of the material are installed without the use of water. A major problem with plaster had been the extremely long drying time associated with it, as it was installed wet, and installers had to wait for the previous layer to dry before installing the next one.
When walls were plastered, other construction often had to stop and wait for the walls to dry. When gypsum board, also known as sheetrock, first came on the construction scene, one of the attractive things was that after installation, you didn’t have to wait for the walls to dry.
Sheetrock is a brand of drywall that is a registered trademark of the U.S. Gypsum Company. With the exception of a couple of chemicals that allow the Sheetrock formula to be patented, there is practically no difference between Sheetrock and other drywall. Either can be used as construction material for walls and ceilings. However, not all drywall is created equal: some drywall material has high sulfur content that can prove problematic for buildings and health. Read more.
Q. Why is Drywall Tapered?
A. This is because the joint compound can be used to fill in the taper. … This triangle drywall taper will allow for drywall tape and joint compound to be filled in, without leaving any kind of bulge. Whenever possible, you should make tapered joints because the seam is nearly invisible. Read more about Drywall Joints: Butt vs. Tapered.
Q. How Big of a Hole Can you Patch in Drywall?
A. Repairing large holes in drywall—anything over 6 or 8 inches—is different from repairing a small hole in the drywall. Small holes can be patched over with drywall tape or a self-adhesive drywall patch, but large holes need a more rigid material to span over the larger opening. Read more.
Useful Drywall Resource Videos
How To Install Drywall (SHEETROCK)
How to Patch and Repair Drywall
How to Fix Drywall - Repairing Nail Holes - Drywall Repair
More Frequently Asked Questions
Asbestos is commonly found hidden in the drywall of older homes that may be in need of repairs— especially those built before 1980.
Visit asbestos.com/exposure/home/ to learn more about where asbestos is typically found, the dangers of being exposed to it, and why you should have a professional test areas of concern.