Sheetrock Vs Drywall: What’s The Difference?

Sheetrock vs Drywall: What’s the Difference?

By Angelina Zhuravleva  •  April 20  •  4 min
Sheetrock vs Drywall: What’s the Difference?

Comparing Sheetrock vs Drywall

What Is Drywall?

Drywall is the generic term for a building material consisting of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two thick paper liners. It's used for constructing interior walls and ceilings.

What Is Sheetrock?

Sheetrock is a brand name of drywall manufactured by the USG Corporation (United States Gypsum Company). It's a very popular brand in North America, so the terms "Sheetrock" and "drywall" are often used synonymously.

What is Sheetrock Used For?

Sheetrock, also commonly referred to as drywall, is a versatile building material used extensively in construction to create interior walls and ceilings. It consists of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two sheets of heavy paper. The gypsum core provides fire resistance and sound insulation, while the outer paper layers provide a suitable surface for paint or wallpaper.

Sheetrock Walls

Sheetrock is the primary material used for framing interior walls in homes and buildings. Its smooth, durable surface makes an ideal base for paint, wallpaper, or other decorative finishes. Multiple thicknesses are available to meet specific needs for fire resistance or soundproofing.

Sheetrock Ceilings

Sheetrock ceilings provide an inexpensive, low-maintenance option for finishing interior ceilings. Like walls, Sheetrock ceilings can be painted, textured, or wallpapered to match the surrounding decor.

Curved Designs Made of Sheetrock

While typically used for flat walls and ceilings, Sheetrock can be shaped through scoring and snapping techniques or with specialized cutting tools. Sheetrock does have some flexibility, but it's not as malleable as some materials like plaster. Alternative materials or construction techniques might be needed for very tight curves.

Improved Fire Resistance with Sheetrock

Certain types of Sheetrock, often called Type X drywall, contain additives to improve fire resistance. These drywalls are used in areas that require specific fire safety ratings, such as garages, attics, and fireplaces. They help slow the spread of fire, providing extra protection and preventing catastrophic damage.

Other Uses for Sheetrock

Sheetrock has various other applications beyond walls and ceilings. It is commonly used as a base for tile backsplashes or showers and can also be fashioned into built-in cabinetry, shelving, and partitions. Sheetrock is a highly versatile and fundamental building material for residential and commercial construction.

Advantages of Using Sheetrock or Drywall for Construction and Remodeling Projects


  • Cost-Effective Solution: Sheetrock is a relatively inexpensive option compared to other wall materials like brick or stone. It can reduce overall costs for construction and remodeling projects with tight budgets while still achieving the desired design.
  • Smooth Finish: Sheetrock, with proper finishing, is an excellent choice for creating a smooth surface that is perfect for painting, wallpapering, or adding texture.

Considerations When Finishing Sheetrock

Moisture Resistance

Use moisture-resistant drywall, commonly known as "green board" for high-moisture areas. This drywall is treated to resist mold and mildew growth, making it ideal for damp environments like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. Standard drywall can tolerate some moisture but may deteriorate over time if exposed to high humidity or water.


Sheetrock is not very durable and can be easily damaged if not handled properly. Care should be taken during transportation, cutting, and installation to avoid damage. Once installed, the sheetrock should be finished with joint compound and paint to improve durability. Additional protection may be required in high-traffic areas or zones where impacts are more likely.


While Sheetrock does provide some soundproofing between rooms, additional insulation or thicker drywall may be required for superior noise reduction.

  • Basic sound dampening: A single layer of standard drywall offers some sound reduction for low-frequency noises like talking or music.
  • Moderate soundproofing: Double drywall with insulation in the cavity significantly improves soundproofing for a wider range of noises.
  • High soundproofing: For superior noise reduction, especially for impact sounds or loud noises, additional strategies like soundproof insulation batts, resilient channels, or decoupling membranes, along with double drywall, may be needed.

Other Considerations

Wear safety equipment like dust masks, eye protection, and work gloves when installing Sheetrock. Follow the product instructions for joint compound, paint, and finishing products. For the best results, hire professionals or those with experience in drywall application techniques. If installed and finished correctly, sheetrock is an excellent option for interior walls and ceilings.

What Thickness of Sheetrock should be used?

Thickness variations 

Sheetrock comes in various thicknesses, each suited for different purposes: 

  • Thin panels (1/4" to 3/8"): These are suitable for most non-load-bearing interior walls and ceilings where space is not a major concern. They are lightweight and easier to work with.
  • Standard panels (1/2") are the most commonly used thickness for interior walls. It offers a good balance between weight, soundproofing, and durability.

Thick panels (5/8") or more

These are used for specific applications: 

  • Soundproofing: Thicker panels provide better sound insulation between rooms.
  • Impact resistance: They can withstand greater impact without damage, ideal for high-traffic areas or hallways.

Fire resistance

Specific types of thicker drywall offer enhanced fire protection.

Building code compliance

Local building codes often dictate the required sheetrock thickness for walls and ceilings in different areas of a new construction project. These codes ensure structural integrity, fire safety, and sound control.

How much does Sheetrock cost?

  • Cost-effective: Sheetrock is a budget-friendly wall material compared to other options like brick or stone. The price range of $10 to $20 for a standard 4' x 8' panel is consistent with market averages.
  • Thickness and cost: Thicker panels and specialty types typically cost more.
  • Additional materials: The estimated cost of joint compound, tape, and fasteners, $10 to $30, is a reasonable ballpark figure for DIY projects.

What to Consider When Planning Your Sheetrock Project

  • Location: Sheetrock prices can vary slightly depending on your location.
  • Bulk discounts: For larger projects, buying drywall in bulk can lead to per-panel cost reductions.

In conclusion, Sheetrock is a versatile and cost-effective building material used for framing interior walls, finishing ceilings, and creating decorative elements. It is crucial to select the right thickness and type for each application. Sheetrock can meet the needs of residential, commercial, and specialty construction projects.

Find the Best Sheetrock and Drywall Contractors Near You with Directorii

When comparing Sheetrock vs drywall and choosing the right material for your construction project, consider your project requirements and budget. It's recommended to get professional quotes from different contractors to evaluate each option's advantages and disadvantages and make an informed decision. On Directorii, you can easily obtain free quotes from licensed and pre-screened contractors in your area. We only list top-rated professionals with a minimum 4.5-star rating and offer a $20,000 Guarantee for your peace of mind.

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