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Customer Corner: What is Drywall?

Whether you’re a first time or long time homeowner, understanding the building materials and construction techniques that went into your home will help you care for it, and make you a smarter consumer when considering renovations. That’s why our Knez experts have taken it upon themselves to help you get educated on building materials and methods. We will be posting a series of informational articles here on the Knez Building Materials blog that will help you get to know your home better.

What better place to start than drywall? Drywall, also known as plasterboard, or wallboard, is ubiquitous in modern home construction, and one of the most common home building materials. If your home was built after the 1950s it is likely that most of your interior walls are constructed of drywall. (If your home was built prior to the 1950s, you likely have lathe and plaster interior walls).

Drywall is made of a gypsum-based plaster contained between two thick sheets of paper. (Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral, and the most common ingredient in most common plasters). Pre-fabricated boards can be easily cut to size and installed over a non-structural wooden or metal support frame (the “studs” behind your walls).

Drywall is the most popular modern home building material in part because it is cost-effective both to produce and to install. Installing drywall is an efficient process. An experienced crew can install drywall into an entire home in only a day or two – considerably shorter than the week or more it took to build interior lathe and plaster walls.

Another reason for drywall’s popularity is that the water contained in the gypsum makes drywall naturally fire resistant. Other materials are sometimes also added to drywall plaster (in addition to gypsum) to make drywall boards with increased fire-resistance ratings.

Though it has a reputation for being susceptible to mold, modern drywall comes in several varieties that are appropriate for use in moist rooms (bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, etc.). In addition to standard mold-resistant drywall, drywall variety building materials available also include moisture resistant “greenboard” that contains an oil-based additive to help repel water particles, and the even more moisture-resistant cement board.

Drywall has been the dominant interior wall building material for more than half a century because it is a versatile, efficient, and cost-effective material that can be adapted to any number of purposes. Well-constructed, properly installed drywall can meet virtually any interior wall or ceiling need at a great price.

Still have questions about drywall and other home building materials? Keep checking out this space, where we’ll be talking about all of your home building and remodeling questions on a regular basis.

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