Posted on 10 February 2020


You may be familiar with gypsum board by its more common name - drywall. If you’re in construction, you may refer to gypsum board using the terms wallboard or plasterboard.


Drywall, or gypsum paneling, its more technical product name, is a sheet material used in the construction of all walls and ceilings in both residential and commercial buildings. It provides a uniform, monochromatic surface, that is convenient and economic to install, as well as versatile to work with. Gypsum board panels, the material you may have recognized on the ceilings of commercial spaces, is also inside walls covering the steel or wood structures supporting upright buildings. But you may not have noticed it, as it is often wrapped with paper or fiberglass - the materials façade that you see.

Behind this façade, gypsum board panels serve a central purpose in all buildings: fire protection. There are number of parts of building structures and organization that require fire protection that gypsum board is especially designed to provide. In addition to providing the surface layer for ceiling and walls, gypsum board paneling is a useful and secure base for different tile materials, including ceramic and plastic. Gypsum board can also be used to encase support structures within walls, provide fire wall protection and separation between multiple offices spaces or occupancies in a building. In addition to fire protection, gypsum board paneling also provides residential and commercial cites with protection from various use-based and climatic conditions, from high traffic to moisture and hail resistance. 

One of the most important features of gypsum board is that its core is fire resistant and non-combustible. This makes it an invaluable building material, and a first line of protection to the structure of a home or facility against fire or heat related dangers and hazards. Gypsum board comes from a chemical substance, Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate (CaSO4·2H2O), that is in-and-of-itself fire-resistant, and can be both naturally and synthetically produced. When an area is under heat stress, gypsum board will not ignite. In fact, the core of the gypsum board will release water – notice the H2O in its chemical composition – and its surface releases steam. This is a slow acting process that is key to giving residents of a home, or staff of a commercial or industrial building the necessary time to evacuate a premises, if there is an ongoing fire emergency. As gypsum board panelling essentially sheaths the internal structures of walls and ceilings, such as wood and steel, which can spark, crumble, ignite, from fire, so the building structure also has a greater chance of remaining intact, incurring less risk injury from falling objects during evacuation..  

An added bonus that makes gypsum board useful in building construction, is that it also provides soundproofing. 


There are two main types of gypsum board, regular and type x. While regular gypsum board is fire-resistant, type x has added fire resistance, and both come in a variety of sizes with different features, suitable to various residential, commercial, and industrial needs and requirements. You can also get custom edging matching your gypsum-installation needs to the surrounding structure, including rounded, tapered, beveled, square, and tongue and groove edges. 

Home Décor

Quarter-inch gypsum board is the perfect size for a number of household applications, such as DIY improvement projects. For starters, this size of gypsum board is economical, and is typically used as a cost-effective way to improve soundproofing in a home. Applied to walls or ceilings, quarter-inch gypsum board is a convenient way to soundproof a music basement or entertainment system, so that multiple members of a household, doing different activities, can enjoy their home at the same time. 5/16-inch gypsum is a bit thicker, and also an affordable option. With laminated double thickness, it is also a great choice for soundproofing applications.

Commercial and Industrial

Gypsum board that is 1/2 inch to 3/4 quarters of an inch in thickness and above, is suitable for construction application across larger spaces that undergo more usage and wear and tear than households, such as commercial and industrial facilities. For heavy-duty residential work, 1/2 sized gypsum board is still suitable, for work such as building a single layer wall, the ceiling, or double layer systems that are needed for optimized soundproofing as well as fire protection. At 5/8, gypsum boards of this thickness have greater rigidity, which means better fire protection from the core, as well as sturdier construction which can withstand different kinds of impact that can take place on a commercial industrial site, such as bearing weight, or contact with a colliding object.

Finally, at ¾ to 1-inch thickness, this range is best suited for commercial and industrial purposes. Gypsum board of this measurement is suitable for structures and applications on large, heavy-duty sites, such as warehouses, factories and production lines. Gypsum panels can be used throughout such facilities to optimize safety, including all-round as well as separate-occupancy firewall protection, and in stairways and elevators.

Other Applications

In addition to sizing there are other kinds of gypsum boards catering to specialized needs for homeowner, offices, or commercial and industrial facilities.

Extra fire resistant or type x gypsum board is pink in color so you can easily recognize it at a supplier’s showroom. Boards such as these adhere to health and safety standards, and are ideal for meeting compliance regulations.

A moisture-resistant gypsum board is green in color and used on interior walls, and can maintain specified moisture levels, and therefore useful in areas such as washrooms and kitchens.

An abuse-resistant gypsum board is ideal for high-traffic areas and passages and are designed to withstand abrasion and indentation

Exterior gypsum soffit board is specifically for outdoor usage relating to roofing, and is used to protect structures that are partially exposed to the environment, such as eves and canopies.