Plasterboard Types

Updated July 19, 2017

Plasterboard is used on walls and ceilings and is composed of a gypsum plaster core encased in a durable paper liner that folds around the long edges of the board. There are several different types and sizes available, each designed to meet the particular requirements of specific coatings and climates. Manufacturer labels generally indicate where the plasterboard is to be used.

Standard Plasterboard

Standard plasterboard has a gypsum plaster core covered with paper that is smooth on the face side and has a natural finish on the backside. The face paper folds around the long edges of the board, which are available in square-cut, tapered, and other designs that allow the joints of the boards to butt against one another in a way that is easy to reinforce and conceal with drywall tape and plaster compound. This type of plasterboard can be used on walls and ceilings in dry, climate controlled areas.

Thermal Resistant Plasterboard

Thermal resistant plasterboard is a standard plaster core plasterboard with a heat retarding insulation layer on the back. This type of panel is designed to be used on external walls and ceilings where heat can be an issue.

Moisture-Resistant Plasterboard

Moisture-resistant plasterboard has a moisture resistant core that prevents water from wicking up the board and damaging it and other materials. This type of plasterboard is designed for use in bathrooms, showers, laundry areas, sanitary compartments and other areas where moisture is an issue.

Fire Resistant Plasterboard

Fire resistant plasterboard comes in several different thicknesses, which increases the fire rating. Plasterboard labels indicate the strength of fire protection that the board provides and indicates which fire building codes that they adhere to. This type of board is designed to comply with areas coded for fire rated materials. Additionally, some types of fire resistant plasterboard offer great sound insulation.

Flexible Plasterboard

Flexible plasterboard is ideal for use in arches, curved walls, partitions, stairways or anywhere else requiring a tight radius. This type of board generally has double-layered insulation that provides a smooth surface and fire protection.

Standard Sizes and Uses

Most hardware stores offer a range of standard sized plasterboard. Eight to 14 feet are standard lengths available for most standard wall and ceiling heights; 4 foot and 4-foot-6 inch wide panels provide various coverage options; thicknesses of ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, ½-inch and ¾-inch are available with most types of plasterboard.

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About the Author

Nikki Hatcher has been a freelance writer since 2009. Specializing in business, travel, education and lifestyle pieces, she has written articles and copy for several online publications.