Plasterboard, sometimes called drywall, is one of the most versatile and useful building materials in the world. It has a wide range of uses, it is highly resilient to the elements, and it’s quite easy to install. It’s often used as an interior wall and ceiling cladding, but not a lot of people understand it as much as they should. Most people might know that reciprocating saws are used for demolishing work where plasterboard is involved, but not much beyond that.
There are multiple types of plasterboard, each with its distinct specifics and usage, and knowing them can be very useful.
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Size and Dimension
Using plasterboard as a wall finish is usually significantly cheaper than wet plastering due to the size and material used. As a material, it’s very economic because the size of most plasterboard sheets is 2.4m x 1.2m, and there are even smaller sheets than that, which are typically called plasterboard laths. They’re an ideal solution due to easy transportation and ease of handling. Most plasterboard comes in several thicknesses including 9.5mm and 12mm.
15mm and 19mm sheets of plasterboard are not uncommon for boards that serve a specific purpose such as fire-proofing or sound insulation. Besides the different makes of plaster board for different situations, a different type of board is used when the surface is to be plastered rather than painted.
This is suitable for most applications where normal sound levels, structural properties and fire specifications are found. Normal wallboard can be fixed at a double thickness to give greater resistance to fire and sound levels. When it comes to which face of the board you should plaster or decorate onto, you must always plaster or decorate the ivory face of the board, particularly if you are plastering.
If you plaster it onto the reverse of the board, it can easily fall off. The paper on the front face of the board is specifically designed and formulated to take skim plaster. In addition to this, if you are planning on papering or painting directly onto your plasterboard, you should always seal it first.
A significant issue when trying to insulate a building is vapours. They can cause a lot of damage to the wall and the rooms, and it’s something you always want to be insulated against. It doesn’t matter the season, vapours can really do a number on the building. That’s one of the biggest advantages of using vapour barrier plasterboard because it’s intended to combat and stop vapours from entering the building through the walls.
This type of plasterboard wall has a thin metallic film on the reverse of the sheet. This film stops warm vapours from passing through the board which could lead to condensation if they pass through to a colder surface. This is commonly used when dry lining a building to keep it warm and well insulated.
Soundproofing is extremely important, in general. Noise might not have adverse physical effects on an individual, but it can pose a significant mental health risk. Also, high sound levels might negatively impact a business that requires regulated sound levels. This type of board has a higher density core providing a good level of sound insulation. It is effective on thin walls and ceilings making it very useful in blocks of flats.
It is most often used in conjunction with mineral wool and various sound-proof fixing methods such as resilient bars which keep the surface of the board slightly away from the surface they are on to prevent the passage of sound vibrations.
Domestic fires should always be a concern, which is why the UK has a lot of strict fire codes. They should be prevented as much as possible, and one of those methods includes using a specific type of plasterboard. This board has glass fibre and other additives in the core to protect against fire in most domestic situations. Usually, fire resistant-plasterboard comes with a pink face that can be painted or plastered.
Water Resistant Board
Humidity is a similar story, in that it can pose a significant health risk, but it can also cause property damage. A lot of people don’t take moisture into account, but luckily, the water-resistant plasterboard sheet is meant to specifically counter it. This type of board features water repellent additives in the core, making them suitable for a base for tiling some wet areas.
This type of plasterboard usually comes with a green face and is not usually plastered. They are excellent for high humidity areas but, as all gypsum plasters soak up moisture quickly, it would be counterproductive to plaster them.
Everyone can knock into something from time to time. It’s something that people need to take into account. Damaging plasterboard walls purely by everyday use is completely possible, especially if you regularly pass by a plasterboard sheet and you’re not careful. This type of plasterboard has a very dense core designed to resist impact and day-to-day knocks.
With recent developments in technology, some manufacturers now produce plasterboard that features not only the ability to be used as normal wallboard but are also water-proof, fire-resistant and also impact-resistant. It’s often a great solution, but it’s worth noting that depending on the installation and the circumstances, it might not be the best possible solution. It’s often serviceable, definitely, but you should consider using a specialised type of plasterboard if at all possible.
Three Most Important Things About Plasterboard Walls
- Plasterboard is basically an inner layer of gypsum sandwiched between two outer layers of lining paper including various additives in the gypsum layer and varying the weight and strength of the lining paper, will give the finished board different properties
- Gypsum is made up of crystals containing a small amount of water. In a fire, this water is driven off, helping to keep the temperature of the fire down, and preventing rapid fire spread. Some Plasterboards are used extensively for fire protection proving up to 4 hours of protection in some special multi-layer system applications.
- Most standard plasterboard has one ivory face and one brown. The liner on the ivory face is specially designed for plastering plaster should not be applied to the brown reverse face. Paper liners are generally made from recycled paper a big plus for the environment.
Also read: Choosing a Surfboard: What You Need to Know?