What’s the Difference Between Drywall and Sheetrock?
You may find yourself asking, what is Drywall and how does it differ from Sheetrock? Well to answer such a question you have delve deeper into the process by which Drywall is made so lets take a look.
What is Drywall?
A drywall panel is made of a paper liner wrapped around an inner core made from gypsum plaster. The plaster is mixed with fiber, plasticizer, foaming agent, finely ground gypsum crystal as an accelerator, EDTA, starch, various additives that increase mildew and fire resistance, wax emulsion and water. This is then formed by sandwiching wet gypsum between two sheets of heavy paper or fiberglass mats.
When the Gypsum plaster dries, the sandwich becomes strong enough for use as a building material. Drywalling is the term used for a method of constructing interior walls and ceilings using panels made of gypsum plaster. Many such panels are made with fiberglass instead of paper to prevent mold growth. Drywall construction is used for the finish construction of interior walls and ceilings.
Drywall construction became prevalent as a speedier alternative to lath and plaster techniques, which involved forcefully spreading coarse plaster, known as the base onto the wall’s lath-work(many slim boards nailed to the Studs with small gaps between them). Each layer would be added in succession and all by hand. Drywall, compared to plaster, requires hand finishing only in the corners and Screw holes. This process is achieved by the usage of a product we call MUD. drywalling requires less labor and drying time, because you only need to mud and smooth the Taped regions between sheets and the rooms corners.
What is Sheetrock?
Drywall Panels are also known as gypsum board, wallboard, plasterboard (USA, UK, Ireland, Australia), rock lath, and “SHEETROCK” (a trademark of USG Corporation) Wait SHEETROCK!? Yes, Sheetrock is a variation of Drywall they are identical in manufacture with the exception of some of the chemicals used. All of these are classified as Drywall.
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These sheets almost all come in 8 foot segments no matter who the manufacture, and often need to be cut down to proper sizes. They are then set up against an open face wall and flagged by a first group for being “Screwed off”(the act of putting many screws into the parts of the board with Studs under them). Once the boards have all been screwed off a taping crew will come in and use a paper tape resembling scotch tape to cover all the gaps. Finally putting a layer of MUD(A similar substance to plaster which is easier to manipulate but not as durable) over every gap and filling every screw hole.
Drywall vs. Sheetrock
The last thing they will do before there crews leave is to use a rasper(a rough edged tool similar to a sanding pad) to smooth everything down. So as you can see Sheetrock is only a brand of drywall much like “Channel Locks” are just a brand of tongue and groove pliers. Yet every set of tongue and groove pliers seems to end up being called “Channel Locks”. Much the same nearly every brand of drywall will end up being called Sheetrock at one time or another. Though this may be confusing to some any knowledgeable sales person should be able to explain this to you.
Most construction workers or “Drywallers” who use Sheetrock regularly should know the reason it’s called drywalling, even though they use Sheetrock. Due to Sheetrock being one of the most widely used brands of dry wall here in the U.S. you may find that many brands get called Sheetrock regardless of who manufactured them or Drywall crews being called Sheetrock crews.