Choose the Best Drywall: Types and Uses

A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Type of Drywall for Your Home

Choosing the correct type of drywall is crucial for both functionality and aesthetics in home construction and renovation. Drywall, or gypsum board or plasterboard, forms the fundamental element of interior walls and ceilings in most modern buildings. Understanding the different types of drywall available and their specific uses can significantly enhance the outcome of your project. 

Whether you're embarking on a DIY home improvement endeavor or working with a professional contractor, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about selecting the perfect drywall.

What is Drywall?

Drywall comprises gypsum plaster sandwiched between two layers of paper or fiberglass. This construction gives it strength, durability, and fire resistance, making it ideal for creating smooth, flat walls and ceilings in residential and commercial buildings. It is versatile, easy to install, and allows various finishes, from paint to wallpaper.

Types of Drywall

1. Standard Drywall:

Standard drywall, available in thicknesses from 1/4 to 5/8 inch, is widely used. Thicker variants offer enhanced soundproofing and fire resistance, making them ideal for general interior applications that do not require specific moisture or fire protection.


  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to install and finish
  • Suitable for a wide range of applications


  • Limited Durability: Not resistant to moisture, fire, or impact, which limits its use in certain areas.
  • Susceptible to Mold: Can develop mold if exposed to moisture for extended periods.


  • Living Rooms and Bedrooms: Ideal for areas with low moisture and minimal fire risk.
  • Ceilings: Works well in standard residential and commercial ceilings.

2. Moisture-Resistant Drywall:

Moisture-resistant drywall, commonly called green board, is intended for high-moisture areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Formulated with additives to inhibit mold and mildew, avoiding direct water exposure during installation is essential.


  • Prevents Mold Growth: The moisture-resistant properties help prevent the growth of mold and mildew, promoting a healthier indoor environment.
  • Durability: Enhanced durability in humid conditions compared to standard drywall.
  • Versatility: Suitable for various applications, including bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.


  • Cost: Slightly more costly than standard drywall.
  • Not Waterproof: While mositure resistant, it is not entirely waterproof and can still be damaged by water exposure.


Moisture-resistant drywall is ideal for

  • Bathrooms, Particularly in areas surrounding showers and bathtubs.
  • Kitchens: Around sinks and other areas exposed to moisture.
  • Basements: To combat the typically higher humidity levels found in below-ground spaces.

3. Fire-Resistant Drywall:

Fire-resistant drywall, known as Type X, incorporates glass fibers and additives to enhance fire resistance. It's mandated in locations where building codes necessitate fire-rated materials, such as garages, stairwells, and utility rooms.


  • Enhanced Safety: Provides increased fire resistance, improving overall home safety.
  • Code Compliance: This is often required by building codes in specific areas, such as garages or shared walls in multi-family dwellings.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your home has an extra layer of fire protection can provide significant peace of mind.


  • Cost: More expensive than standard drywall due to its specialized construction.
  • Weight: Heavier than regular drywall, making installation more labor-intensive.


Fire-resistant drywall is essential for the following:

  • Garages: These are where fire hazards are higher due to the presence of vehicles and flammable materials.
  • Furnace Rooms: To contain potential fires in areas with heating equipment.
  • Shared Walls: Between living spaces in multi-family homes to slow fire spread and increase safety.

4. Soundproof Drywall:

Soundproof drywall is engineered with additional layers or unique materials to reduce sound transmission between rooms. It is ideal for bedrooms, home offices, or any space where noise reduction is desired.


  • Noise Reduction: Significantly reduces noise transfer, creating quieter living spaces.
  • Privacy: Enhances privacy by minimizing sound transmission between rooms.
  • Comfort: Contributes to a more peaceful and comfortable home environment.


  • Cost: More expensive than standard drywall due to its complex construction.
  • Installation: Thicker and heavier, requiring more effort and skill to install correctly.


Soundproof drywall is perfect for:

  • Home Theaters: To prevent sound from escaping the room and disturbing other areas.
  • Bedrooms: For added privacy and to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Home Offices: To create a quiet workspace free from household noise.

5. Paperless Drywall:

Paperless drywall uses fiberglass instead of paper on the face and back surfaces. This makes it very resistant to mold, mildew, and moisture, making it suitable for high-humidity areas like basements and bathrooms.


  • Mold Resistance: Without the paper facing, it is far less susceptible to mold growth.
  • Durability: More resistant to dents and dings compared to traditional drywall.
  • Ease of Use: Can be easier to work with in high-moisture environments.


  • Cost: Typically more expensive than paper-faced drywall.
  • Texture: A rougher surface that may require additional finishing to achieve a smooth look.


Paperless drywall is suited for:

  • Bathrooms: Especially in areas with high moisture exposure.
  • Basements: Where mold and mildew resistance is crucial.
  • Utility Rooms: Providing a durable and moisture-resistant solution for frequently used spaces.

6. Impact-Resistant Drywall:

Impact-resistant drywall is reinforced with fiberglass or other materials to withstand physical impacts and dents. It is commonly used in high-traffic areas such as hallways, corridors, and children's playrooms.


  • Durability: Resists dents, dings, and other physical damage.
  • Longevity: Offers a longer lifespan in high-traffic areas.
  • Cost-Effective: Reduces the need for frequent repairs and replacements.


  • Cost: More expensive than regular drywall due to its reinforced construction.
  • Installation: Heavier and more challenging to install, requiring more effort and skill.


Impact-resistant drywall is ideal for:

  • Hallways: High-traffic areas where walls are prone to contact and damage.
  • Kitchens: Providing a durable surface in a busy, active environment.
  • Children’s Rooms: Withstanding the bumps and impacts of active play.

Choosing the Right Drywall for Your Project

Choosing the Right Drywall for Your Project

Factors to Consider:

  • Location: Consider the environment where the drywall will be installed (e.g., bathroom, kitchen, living room).
  • Functionality: Determine if you need additional properties such as moisture resistance, fire resistance, or soundproofing.
  • Budget: Different types of drywall come at varying price points, so consider your budget constraints.
  • Building Codes: Ensure compliance with local building codes, especially fire resistance and moisture management.

Installation Tips

Proper installation is vital to ensure the durability and performance of your drywall. Here are some essential tips:

  • Prepare the Surface: Before installation, ensure the wall is clean, dry, and debris-freebris.
  • Measure and Cut Carefully: Measure accurately and use a sharp utility knife to cut drywall sheets to size.
  • Secure Properly: Use drywall screws or nails to secure the drywall sheets to the studs or joists. Ensure they are spaced correctly according to building codes.
  • Tape and Finish: Use drywall tape and joint compound to cover seams and achieve a smooth finish. Sand the surface lightly before painting or applying wallpaper.

Safety Considerations

  • Protective Gear: To protect against dust and debris, wear safety goggles, a dust mask, and gloves when handling and cutting drywall.
  • Ventilation: Ensure adequate ventilation in the work area to minimize dust accumulation.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right drywall type is essential for successful home construction or renovation projects. You can decide based on your project requirements, budget, and local building codes by understanding the available types and their specific properties. 

Whether you opt for a stan, moisture-resistant, fire-resistant, soundproof wall or another specialty type, each offers unique benefits that can enhance your home's comfort, safety, and aesthetics. For all your drywall needs, visit Home Depot or consult a professional contractor to ensure the best results for your project.

By following this comprehensive guide, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the world of drywall and make choices that align with your vision for your home. Whether tackling a minor repair or a major renovation, choosing the right drywall is crucial to achieving a durable and visually appealing interior space.


Q. What is the difference between standard drywall and moisture-resistant drywall?

A. Standard drywall is suitable for most interior applications. In contrast, moisture-resistant drywall (green board) has additives that make it more resistant to mold and mildew, ideal for humid areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

Q. When should I use fire-resistant drywall (Type X)?

A. Type X drywall is necessary in areas where building codes require enhanced fire resistance, such as garages, stairwells, and utility rooms.

Q. How can I reduce sound transmission in my home?

A. Use soundproof drywall, which features extra layers of unique materials to minimize room noise transfer. It is perfect for bedrooms, home offices, or media rooms.

Q. Is paperless drywall better than traditional drywall?

A. Paperless drywall, with fiberglass facing, offers superior resistance to mold and moisture compared to traditional paper-faced drywall, making it ideal for high-humidity areas like basements and bathrooms.

Q. What are the benefits of impact-resistant drywall?

A. Impact-resistant drywall is reinforced to withstand physical impacts and dents, making it suitable for high-traffic areas such as hallways, corridors, and children's playrooms where durability is essential.