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Premium grades of sheet rock or drywall

Premium grades of sheet rock or drywall

Old 03-27-09, 10:23 AM
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Premium grades of sheet rock or drywall

Please explain how I can specify premium grades of sheet rock or drywall for my house-remodel project, specifically 1/2 inch material that approaches the strength and structural integrity of 1/2 inch fir plywood. Does each manufacturer have their own grading system, or are there industry standards? And what is the difference between "sheet rock" and "drywall"?

I know very little about sheet rock or drywall, except that the stuff in my house seems to crumble every time I cut a hole in it for a light switch.

The only time I actually developed a respect for the structural integrity of sheet rock: I cut a hole (for a ceiling fan) in the bathroom ceiling of a house built in 1950. After 50+ years in a high-humidity environment, it felt like my sabre saw was cutting through top-grade 1/2 inch fir plywood!

So there must be a wide range of sheet rock grades. For example, when Microsoft created their technology campus, I assume that all building materials were specified for a 50-year design life.

Thank you for considering my question!
Old 03-27-09, 10:40 AM
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There are types of sheetrock (same as drywall..different terms in diff regions).. but I don't think there are "grades". Types would be water resistant (though they really aren't very), fire resistant, sound transfer resistant...etc, etc. I won't pretend to know the difference.

I don't think sheetrock contributes any real structural strength, you could put 2 or 3 sheets up and still punch a hole right through with a hammer blow.

You could always specify thicker sheets (5/8 or thicker vs 1/2), but you won't find anything close to 1/2 plywood strength to my knowlege.

I'm guessing what you cut through in the old place was plaster..not drywall. Plaster is much harder than drywall.

No expert...but there are quite a few here that should respond soon.
Old 03-27-09, 10:51 AM
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I agree with GG, sheetrock adds absolutely no structural integrity, especially anything that approaches plywood. I think you must have been cutting plaster and lath. It is a veneer for holding paint and wallpaper, and to keep your insulation from falling on the floor, that's about it.
Now, you can get into fire resistant 5/8" rock that has different properties, but unless you are separating areas that need the fire protection the added cost isn't worth it.
Old 03-27-09, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
, but you won't find anything close to 1/2 plywood strength to my knowlege.
And the more veneer laminates it has, the stronger it is, also.

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