How Much Does Drywall Weigh?

How Much Does Drywall Weigh

Not only do you need strong arms to take on drywall installation, but you will need mental willpower and a strong back. Having said that, drywall installation is not something to take on if you have back problems. In order to avoid the physical strain of carrying heavy drywall, there is a new form of drywall. This drywall is 25% lighter than standard drywall and is called lightweight drywall. Lightweight drywall is essentially the same as standard drywall, but a bit lighter.

Standard drywall weighs between 1.6 pounds and 2.31 pounds per square foot. Lighter drywall only weighs 1.2-1.65 pounds per square foot and generally measures ½” thick. A 12-foot sheet of standard drywall weighs up to 110 pounds, and a 12-foot sheet of lightweight drywall weighs 61.2 pounds.

This guide will take you through the different types of drywall and the various thicknesses. In addition, we’ll talk about how that affects the weight of the wall. That way, whatever project you’re undertaking, you’ll know exactly which type of drywall to buy and what you need to move it and transport it as well.

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How Thick Is Drywall?

There are two thicknesses available in drywall, ⅝” and ½”. Both thicknesses serve different purposes, such as commercial and residential. The 5/8″ drywall is typically used for commercial purposes such as stores, offices, warehouses, and movie theaters. The idea behind this is to soundproof the wall or building.

Meanwhile, the 1/2″ thickness is typically used in residential settings, like your home or an apartment space. Technically, you could use 5/8″ for your house; however, this is a lot heavier and more expensive to install. The home’s structure may not hold this heavy of drywall up, so therefore, 1/2″ would be a better idea.

Lightweight vs. Standard Drywall

Both standard drywall and lightweight drywall are good to put into almost any room in your house. The only exception to this is your bathroom. Despite this, lightweight is more user friendly since it simply weighs less. This allows you to be more productive. Not to mention, the lighter weight drywall is less expensive to purchase. Also, it’s usually less expensive to hire a professional to install since the company won’t need three to four people to help carry it.

Type-X vs. Non-Type-X

There are two forms of drywall that are typically used, type-x and non-type-X. The difference between these is that type-x is fire-rated. Lightweight 5/8″ drywall is not usually Type-X. This is because, in order to have a fire-rated wall with lightweight 5/8″ drywall, you need to apply the drywall as if it is 1/2″ drywall. 

To do this, you must use two layers of lightweight 5/8″ drywall for every single layer of 5/8″ Type-X that is normally used. In order to use this, it will need to be verified by your local fire codes.

What Is Type-C?

Type-C is drywall that is even more fireproof than Type-X. Although type-X drywall is the most common fire-resistant drywall, type-c is used when more protection is needed. Type-C specifically has a special core formula that includes a higher concentration of fiberglass. 

Lightweight Drywall

Most lightweight drywall is manufactured with a 1/2-inch thickness. It is available in various lengths, including options of eight, nine, ten, or twelve feet. 

Since lightweight drywall weighs 25 percent less than standard drywall, these sheets will weigh as followed:

8 feet 9 feet 10 feet 12 feet
40.8lbs 45.9lbs 51lbs 61.2lbs

Typically the advantage of using lightweight over standard drywall is that you will be carrying about 13 pounds less on average.

Although lightweight is made from the same gypsum core as standard drywall, lightweight drywall utilizes adhesive polymers and various raw materials. This makes lightweight drywall cheaper to ship as well.

Uses For Lightweight Drywall

Lightweight is meant to be a complete replacement for standard weight drywall. This means that any application that is done with ½-inch standard drywall normally can be replaced with lightweight drywall. This includes not only walls and ceilings in residential construction as well.

Standard Drywall

Standard drywall is a lot more versatile and is commonly manufactured in thicknesses of ⅜”, ½,” or ⅝.” These come in lengths of eight, ten, or twelve feet. 

⅜”, 8 feet ⅜”, 10 feet ⅜”, 12 feet
44.8lbs 56lbs 67.2lbs
½”, 8 feet ½”, 10 feet ½”, 12 feet
54.4lbs 68lbs 81.6lbs
⅝”, 8 feet ⅝”, 10 feet ⅝”, 12 feet
73.6lbs 92lbs 110.4lbs

Why Use Standard Drywall Over Lightweight?

Standard drywall weighs more, and therefore it is stronger. If you are planning on hanging large objects on your walls, such as heavy artwork, you may need to go with standard drywall. It is also a lot cheaper than lightweight drywall. Although you may end up paying more in shipping costs, if you transport it yourself, then you will be saving a lot of money.

Calculating Weight Of Irregular Sized Boards

If you happen to need to use sheets that are not a regular size, then you may need to do some calculations of your own. There is a method to find out the exact weight of your drywall boards.

  1. Determining the actual square footage of the board
  2. Then do a math equation. 

Standard ⅜” drywall weighs 1.4 pounds per square foot, ½” drywall weighs 1.6 pounds per square foot, and ⅝” drywall weighs 2.2 pounds per square foot. 

Lightweight drywall will weigh up to 25 percent less and weighs ½” thickness, which is 0.3 pounds per square foot.

  1. Multiply the weight per square foot times the number of square feet, and you will obtain how much your drywall weighs.

Common Problems When Putting Up Drywall

Unfortunately, a common problem when putting up drywall is that it cracks very easily. Although once you put the wall up, it is not a huge hassle, if it cracks while putting it up, then it will be a disaster. If this occurs, then you will need to remove the entire sheet and completely replace it.

When putting up drywall, you need to consider that it can be easily broken. You cannot accidentally elbow drywall as this will break it. Transporting and installing drywall can also be stressful because of the possibility of cracking. Minor bumps can make the entire sheet unusable although drywall is not incredibly expensive, this is still a waste of money and a waste of time. 

The Different Types Of Drywall

In addition to choosing the drywall by thickness and weight, you’ll have to also weigh the factors around the types of drywall. Different types of drywall include:

  • Standard
  • Mold Resistant
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Fire Resistant

Each of these types of drywall has different benefits they provide you with, so it’s a good idea to understand how each type can benefit you and the project that you are undertaking.

Standard Drywall

This type of drywall is your most basic type. There are no special features, and it’s the most prominent inside of residential construction jobs. Standard drywall is best used for:

Walls and ceilings

Finishing the unfinished basements.

Mold Resistant Drywall

Mold resistant drywall has a paperless backing and includes a coating that helps prevent any mold in humid or moist conditions.

  • This type is excellent for bathrooms and kitchens
  • It also helps to extend the appearance of any surfaces in your wet or humid area

Moisture Resistant Drywall

It goes without saying that the best place to use moisture-resistant drywall is in a place that’s prone to the humid weather. There is a paperless backing with a special coating that helps prevent moisture and mold growth.

This type of drywall is excellent for:

  • Bathrooms
  • Basements
  • Kitchens
  • Utility rooms
  • Shower enclosures
  • Shower areas
  • Laundry rooms

However, if you’re using it in your shower enclosure, make sure you use a cement backer board.

Fire Resistant Drywall

The fire-resistant drywall has glass fibers that make it extra thick. This is great for utility rooms and garages or any areas that are near a wood stove or furnace.

Some other benefits of fire-resistant drywall include:

  • Slows the speed of fires
  • Generates less smoke
  • Is required by some codes
  • Has better sound control

Related Questions

Why do I need to know how much drywall weighs?

The main reason you might need to know how much drywall weighs is to assess how strong a wall will be. Drywall is very strong, but it does have limitations. Drywall is strong, but it should not be load-bearing. This means that if you need to hang up a large mirror, then you will need to consider if the wall can hold it. 

What downsides to lightweight drywall exist?

The downsides to lightweight drywall include increased sound transmission; it is easier to break, more difficult to score and snap; it is more expensive and can be more brittle.

How many screws go into a sheet of drywall?

You will typically install about 32 drywall screws per 4 foot by 8-foot sheet of drywall that is installed horizontally. The way to do this is to screw four screws on the middle studs, and then you will screw six screws on each of the sides, equaling 32 total.

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Our Takeaway

Undestanding the weight of drywall and how it affects your project is a bit of a more complicated process. This is because you will need to understand the type you prefer, the thickness, as well as the other factors surrounding the piece of drywall. Once you know that, you’ll get a better idea of exactly how much it weighs so you can find out if it’s the ideal type for your project.

Chloe Meltzer

Real estate agent and copywriter, originally from California. Chloé brings her real estate expertise into her writing to create effective and helpful home guides for you! When not writing or selling homes, she spends her time as a digital nomad traveling the world.

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