The Difference Between Sheetrock and Drywall

Sheetrock and drywall are the same things. Drywall is a board made of gypsum plaster compressed between two thick sheets of paper. Sheetrock is a brand of drywall patented by the US Gypsum Co. Both are used to build walls and ceilings. Apart from a few elements that enable the sheetrock formula to be patented, there is no functional difference between sheetrock and drywall.

The Difference Between Sheetrock and Drywall

What is drywall?

In the past, people had to use plaster to create walls. It was very cumbersome, took a long time. But in 1894, Augustine Sackett came out with Sackett Board. It was an innovative approach for establishing walls and ceilings and the prototype of our modern-day drywall. It made walls and ceiling installation a snap.

Considering plastering was more costly, drywall (which was cheaper) was used. It became recognized as "drywall" because the wall made from it was completely dry, and no wet materials were required for the installation. On the other hand, the plaster was wet and took a very long time to dry before an additional coat could be applied.

This days drywall is made of a very lightweight but amazingly firm rock called gypsum that is ground up into a fine powder and thoroughly pressed between two thick paper that form a large board or sheet. Normally it comes in 8 feet by 4 feet sheets, however, you can purchase even larger boards.

You can have a whole house structurally sound walls in no time at all. What used to take weeks or even months with plaster walls can now be achieved in days with the help of drywall.

What is sheetrock?

Sheetrock is a brand of drywall that was originally created in 1917, and it also a replacement for mesh and plaster. The difference between drywall and sheetrock is that only the US Gypsum Company can call their product sheetrock no one else.

Assume that all sheetrock can be called drywall, yet not all drywall can be called sheetrock. Though, due to its high reputation, people mislabel all kinds of drywalls as "sheetrock." Additionally, sheetrock has special products including fire-resistant boards that help prevent the build-up of moisture and also drywall tools carrying the Sheetrock brand name.

How thick is sheetrock/drywall?

Both sheetrock and drywall come in numerous different thicknesses. Each one of them can be obtained at your local hardware store.

Typical drywall thicknesses:

1/4" Drywall - This the thinnest drywall on the market but is not advised for use by itself. It's too weak to provide enough support other than installed over other surfaces. A simple way to solve a drywall repair job is by overlaying a new piece of 1/4" drywall over the damaged area.

3/8" Drywall - This drywall can be used like 1/4" drywall as a covering layer over existing damage to walls and ceilings. Additionally, It's lighter in weight compared to 1/2" inch and 5/8" inch drywall. It's not recommended to be used on ceilings due to its thickness.

5/8" Drywall - This thickness of drywall normally be installed in a fire resistant form since it is often used on ceilings and in garages. The extra surface makes it more resistant to fires and more solid for ceilings.

Primary types of drywall and sheetrock

Drywall Types

There are a few types of drywall and sheetrock to choose from.

  • Greenboard: This is paper-backed drywall comparable to moisture-resistant drywall because it helps prevent mold from developing, and it's generally used in bathrooms (especially near the shower)
  • Moisture Resistant: This kind of drywall assists in keeping out water and preventing mold from forming or growing.
  • Fire Resistant: This drywall has additional features that help to make it resistant to fire. Those sheets usually are thicker than the normal wallboard.
  • Acoustic Drywall: This drywall assists in keeping out sound and is ideal for soundproofing a room. It employs high-density gypsum that's covered with moisture-resistant materials as well. This prevents sound from traveling in or out.