Lee has over two decades of hand-operated experience remodeling, fixing, and also improving homes, and has been offering home development advice for over 12 years.

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Ultralight drywall is a generic term for a structure material the is around 25 percent lighter than typical drywall. A panel of 1/2-inch thick ultralight drywall weighs 13 pounds less than traditional 1/2-inch special drywall sheets. Follow to the Sheetrock UltraLight specification sheets, ultralight drywall is created of gypsum or calcium sulfate dihydrate (85 percent or less), cellulose (10 percent or less), and constant filament glass fiber (5 percent or less), one ingredient list roughly similar to typical Sheetrock.

While the formulas for ultralight drywall boards room proprietary, a slightly greater degree that pregelatinized corn starch and a special type of surfactant may help account for the lightness and also the strength. Also, the development of a gaseous foaming agent to the gypsum slurry most likely adds more air pockets come the wallboard, to reduce its weight. This foaming agent may additionally be responsible because that better-shaped pockets that carry out superior structural strength.

Ultralight Drywall expense

Ultralight drywall frequently costs slightly an ext than conventional drywall, yet not by an amount that is far-reaching for many DIYers. Because that pros, ultralight often tends to run about 20 cent per square foot, while standard drywall runs around 18 cents. This difference becomes significant only for very huge jobs. In ~ major huge box home innovation centers, you can expect to pay roughly $10 to $12 every sheet of 1/2-inch drywall, and the cost differences in between ultralight and standard room so slight that they are regularly rendered invisible by whatever weekly sales specials room being conducted.

Maintenance and Repair

Installed correctly, ultralight drywall has the exact same profile for maintenance and repair as typical drywall. Some customers report that ultralight is somewhat much more susceptible to cracked under impact, however the damages is generally quickly repaired with a tiny additional taping and mudding work.


There is no appreciable design benefit for ultralight drywall over typical drywall. This is a product that deserve to be used for all wall and ceiling complete surfaces in any type of residential application.

Ultralight Drywall environment

Ultralight drywall is cut, installed, and finished in exactly the same means as conventional drywall. Panels are cut to fit, climate positioned against framing members and also anchored through drywall screws. Seams are finished through drywall tape and also several class of drywall compound, i m sorry is sanded smooth prior to the walls space painted. Part pros report that because ultralight is less susceptible to sagging, they can attach overhead panels with fewer screws. However, manufacturer's instructions space virtually similar for ultralight drywall and also standard drywall, and DIYers space advised to treat both species of drywall identically once installing.

Ultralight Drywall vs. Traditional Drywall

The main difference in between ultralight and standard drywall is, obviously, the weight. A typical 1/2-inch thick paper of drywall measure 4 x 8 feet weighs approximately 57 pounds.

According come drywall machine USG, a 4 x 8-foot paper of Sheetrock brand UltraLight panel weighs 13 pounds less, because that a full of 44 pounds. some do-it-yourselfers who discover standard 1/2-inch drywall too hefty may discover this weight to it is in significantly much more manageable.

The weight advantage of ultralight i do not care more significant with more thickness panels. A 4 x 8-foot paper of conventional 5/8-inch thick drywall weighs 74 pounds, and a 23 percent reduction in weight offered by ultralight can be significant. However be mindful that thicker Type-X drywall may be forced for some installations—for example in garages or roughly furnace rooms to retard the spread of fire. Ultralight drywall does not meet these requirements.

Consider, too, the drywall sheets frequently come bundled in pairs—two sheets sold as one, through a paper binding strip down the edges. If you choose to save the paper binding piece in place, you could conceivably be transferring 114 pounds for every bundled pair that 1/2-inch 4 x 8-foot conventional sheets. So, the 26 pounds of load savings per bundled pair of conventional boards have the right to be helpful.

go Lighter mean Weaker?

USG notes that their irradiate wallboard has actually "superior sag resistance" and also that that hangs fine on ceilings v 24-inch on-center joists. The firm also claims that the product is "stronger pound-for-pound than conventional 1/2-inch drywall." that may, however, be weaker ~ above a square foot basis, which is the anecdotal evidence from installers and also contractors. Specialists report the ultralight panels might be an ext brittle and more prone to edge not correct than conventional drywall panels. But Datasheets for the product state that, because that hardness and flexural strength, Sheetrock UltraLight "meets or exceeds" ASTM C-1396 Specifications. Because that DIYers, over there is yes, really no reason to protect against ultralight drywall out of concerns for that strength.

top Brands of Ultralight Drywall

U.S. Gypsum (USG) and also Georgia-Pacific (GP) space the two leading manufacturers that ultralight drywall in the U.S.

GP makes a light drywall product called ToughRock Gypsum board in 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and also 1/2-inch thicknesses. This product is slightly less than 44 1/2 pounds every 1/2-inch-thick sheet at 4 x 8-foot size. In terms of weight, it is similar with Sheetrock UltraLight.

Is Ultralight Drywall appropriate for You?

USG's product is mostly marketed to the professionals—either drywall hangers who carry the product every day or to contractors who have to think about issues together as workplace injuries and productivity. Adopting ultralight drywall may have actually a significant impact ~ above a contractor's bottom line at the finish of the year.

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For do-it-yourself homeowners, the load savings will be felt v every expedition made indigenous the home facility to the truck and from the truck to the house. Drywall is always heavy and unwieldy, and there is no way to get approximately that. But this slightly lighter board may assist do-it-yourselfers v the an overwhelming loading and unloading tasks and also especially once it is crucial to hold the sheets overhead for ceiling installations.