Drywall – Also known  as Sheetrock, gypsum board and wall board is a common building material used for covering the framing of interior walls and ceilings. Modern drywall evolved as a faster and easier method of finishing interior walls and ceilings than lath and plaster, the use of which declined sharply in the 1950s.  Drywall panels consist of a gypsum plaster core between two thick sheets of paper and are manufactured in 48″ inch wide by 96 inch, 120 inch and 144 inch lengths with thicknesses ranging from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch,  in quarter inch increments.   The longer sides of each panel are beveled which creates a thinned down area at the seams where the panels join.  The thinned area  facilitates a flatter wall when the drywall is finished.

drywall on ceiling and walls

drywall with joint compound applied to the ceiling and some walls

Drywall panels are secured to the wall or ceiling framing with glue, nails or screws, with  the later two driven to a depth just below the panel face.  Once installed the panels must be finished to achieve a smooth surface ready to accept paint or wall paper.  Finishing is accomplished by spreading  joint compound over the seams where the panels meet.  Paper or fiberglass mesh tape is embedded in the joint compound while it is still pliable; once dried, the tape helps eliminate cracks in the finished joint from thermal movement or minor structural settling.  Joint compound is also applied over the recessed nails or screws and any other defects in the surface of the panels.   After the joint compound has completely dried, it is sanded smooth.  The process of applying and sanding the joint compound is repeated until all blemishes are eliminated, rendering  the drywall  ready for paint or wall paper.

In addition to general purpose use,  drywall is manufactured with moisture resistant properties for use in areas of high humidity and additional fire resistant properties for use in areas where controlling the spread of fire is critical.

About Tony Wood

Tony is a life time resident of North Carolina with over 40 years experience in multiple facets of the industrial, commercial and residential construction industry. For the past 33 years he has owned and operated Wood's Home Maintenance Service, providing services primarily in Johnston, Wake and Sampson Counties of North Carolina. ______________ ______________________________________________________ The information contained in this Blog is opinion derived, from hands on experience of over 40 years in the construction industry and by extensive research by the author. All postulations are referenced to the geographic location in which this experience was gained.
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