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From Finishing to Fire Rating: What is Drywall?

Drywall is a composite material consisting of gypsum plaster that is enclosed between two sturdy paper sheets. It is used for developing and finishing walls, ceilings, and partitions in residential and commercial structures. Drywall is favored by builders and homeowners due to its ease of installation and alteration in comparison to conventional plaster. Hire an expert drywall contractor in Toronto for your next project.

During the post-World War II period of increased housing and population growth, drywall became a commonly used material in many construction projects. Instead of the laborious task of affixing wood or metal lathe to framing and subsequently covering it with plaster, drywall emerged as a swifter alternative that demands less expertise for installation.

Nowadays, drywall comes in an array of varieties, such as standard, mold-resistant, and soundproof, to mention a few. Another alternative, which is well-liked for its capacity to protect both life and property, is fire-rated drywall. This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth explanation of fire-rated drywall and how it works.

How do You Know if Drywall is Fire Rating?

Authentic fire-rated drywall must obtain certification from an independent third party. In order to assure fire protection, this is typically an independent testing and listing company that verifies the product satisfies the regulations’ fire performance standards. The drywall that is most commonly recognized for its fire resistance is known as type X. 

The thickness of the material is 5/8 inches, and it is mounted on both sides of wooden studs measuring 2 by 4 inches, with a spacing of 16 inches. For steel, the studs have dimensions of 3.5 by 8 inches and are spaced at 24 inches on center. Type X drywall has a minimum fire rating of one hour which is the requirement for many construction codes. At home the drywall is frequently placed between the garage and the rest of the home.

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This is because the garage, with the flammable goods and chemicals commonly stored inside, is an area where fires are likely to happen. The type X can also be employed in other high risk regions depending on your budget.

Are All Drywalls Fire-Rated Drywalls?

All drywall possesses inherent fire-resistant properties. Drywall consists of a non-combustible gypsum core composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate and water. Fire-rated drywall enhances its fire resistance by incorporating additional non-combustible components such as glass fibers and minerals. 

It is important to comprehend that the fire rating of drywall does not necessarily apply to each particular sheet of drywall. The product is certified for use with an authorized wall system, which encompasses the studs, hardware, and installation techniques.

Type X drywall

A simple fire-rated drywall is called Type X. The composition of this drywall is identical to regular drywall, consisting of gypsum material. However, it also incorporates glass fibers to enhance its structural strength when exposed to high temperatures. It is frequently employed in the areas connecting garages and living spaces that are adjacent to or located above the garage.

X rated drywall is available in 48-inch wide sheets, with lengths that can reach up to 16 feet. Typically, it has a thickness of ⅝ inch. The inclusion of an additional 1/8th inch and glass significantly increases the weight of this material compared to ordinary drywall. However, the wall system achieves a fire rating of up to 2 hours by including two layers of drywall with a combined thickness of 1 ¼-inches.

Type C drywall

If the Type X drywall is the basic type, Type C is the upgraded and improved version with additional fire-resistant materials. Upon exposure to high temperatures, the water present in the gypsum core of this material transforms into steam and disperses. Contrary to shrinking right away, Type C drywall is composed of vermiculite, a mineral that expands when exposed to intense heat, effectively occupying the void created by the evaporating water. 

Type C fire-rated drywall is offered in typical dimensions similar to Type X drywall. However, it is also obtainable in ½-inch thicknesses, which enhances its ease of handling. Additionally, Type X drywall has a longer lifespan, with a single sheet enduring for up to 2 hours. 

What is Special in Mold and Moisture Resistant Drywall?

Gypsum boards that are resistant to mold and moisture, sometimes known as “green board” or “purple board,” are equipped with various types of backers, also called mat or facers, which enclose the core. Rather than the normal paper, the core receives a treated paper or fiberglass mat which prevents the migration of water vapor into the gypsum interior. Fiberglass, while rejecting moisture, also prevents fungus growth.

The use of green and purple backing is highly recommended for protecting the gypsum core of the board from water vapor and humidity. This makes them the optimal choice for:

  • Bathrooms
  • Utility rooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Work-out rooms

Green or purple boards are advantageous in areas of the home where the humidity levels are consistently greater than in other parts of the house. They are moisture-resistant and do not provide a favorable environment for the growth of mold and mildew.

Moisture resistant gypsum panels exhibit superior durability compared to conventional drywall in regions with excessive moisture, although they do possess certain restrictions. Utilize concrete backer boards in areas where there is frequent and direct water contact, such as tub and shower surrounds, saunas, and backsplashes.

Key Considerations Before Choosing Drywall

Although drywall offers numerous advantages, it may not be the optimal choice for every task. Before making your decision, it is important to keep in mind these vital considerations:


Thinner drywall may offer less soundproofing capabilities compared to thicker alternatives. If you’re planning on installing drywall in a space that requires soundproofing, you may need to consider a thicker choice.

Structural Support:

When installing drywall on a ceiling, it is crucial to assess whether using 3/8-inch drywall will offer sufficient structural reinforcement. Thicker drywall may be necessary to bear the load of the drywall itself, as well as any insulation or fixtures that are added above it.


Thinner options of drywall, such as 3/8-inch, may not yield the most polished surface when compared to thicker alternatives. If you desire a perfect aesthetic, opting for a thicker drywall alternative may be more suitable for your requirements.

What is Drywall Thickness and Why Does it Matter?

Drywall thickness pertains to the measurement of the panels utilized in constructing walls and ceilings. In short, it refers to the dimension spanning from one edge of the panel to the other edge. Drywall is available in several thicknesses, ranging from 1/4-inch to 5/8-inch, with each thickness serving a distinct purpose based on building needs, preferences, and financial considerations.

The thickness of drywall impacts the following:

  • The quality of the outer layer
  • The load-bearing capacity of the drywall
  • The fire resistance capability of the drywall
  • The soundproofing capabilities

In summary, comprehending the thickness of drywall is crucial for the construction of walls that are visually appealing and structurally sound. By utilizing a diverse range of drywall compositions and thicknesses, it is possible to integrate both fire-resistant and moisture resistance into a single board. 

For help determining which drywall types you should use, please call us. We are prepared to utilize our extensive knowledge and proficiency, accumulated over many years, to ensure the success of your project. Contact us today!

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We can help you in:

  • Insulation
  • Soundproofing
  • Sprayfoam
  • Drywall Installation
  • Plain drywall
  • Drywall Repairing
  • Taping
  • Smooth Finish
  • Stucco Removal
  • Metal Framing


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