How To Choose Drywall

Get the right type and size to fix drywall problems such as cracking and peeling

Drywall, also commonly referred to as sheetrock or wall board, is lightweight and cost-efficient for use on interior walls or ceiling panels in new construction, renovation and repair work. This guide will show you the different features and sizes of drywall available.

Tip: The most common size of drywall in residential construction is 4 x 8 foot x ½ inch. Other sizes, thicknesses and specialty boards may be available by special order.

Drywall Features and Sizes

Drywall can be nailed or screwed to wood or metal studs. When used on ceilings it is also sometimes glued up to help keep it from sagging over time.

Tip: For small and medium sized projects, most DIYers use the 4 x 8 foot x ½ inch size (standard size) because it offers the best value in per-sheet price and is the easiest to handle, with each sheet weighing just over 50 pounds.

Use this calculator to determine how much drywall you need for your project.

Type Thickness Lengths Description Common Terms


1/4, 3/8, 1/2,
5/8 inches

8, 9,10,12 feet

• Residential interior wall and ceiling construction
• Ideal for basement remodeling

Drywall, Board, Rock

Mold Resistant

1/2, 5/8 inches

8, 9,10,12 feet

• Mold resistant board products
offered include USG
National Gypsum (XP) and
American Gypsum (M-Bloc)
• Use paperless backing and
special coating to prevent mold from growing

Mold Board, Mold Proof

Moisture Resistant

1/2, 5/8 inches

8, 10, 12 feet

• Moisture resistant board
products offered include
American Gypsum (M-Bloc),
National Gypsum (XP)
and GP Green Board
• Special surface coatings to make
boards resistant to moisture
• Also used as tile backer in limited
wet areas, e.g., bathroom and
basement walls, plus kitchens,
and laundry and utility room
• Additionally, cement board such as PermaBase
should be used instead of gypsum
board in high moisture areas like tub and shower surrounds

Greenboard, Indoor tile backer board, cement board

Fire Resistant

5/8 inchType X

8, 9,10,12 feet

• Type X core can achieve fire
resistance ratings
• Commercial and multi-family
construction, where fire-rating is
• Extra thickness can also improve
room-to-room sound control

Type X, Fire Board,
X Board