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Unraveling the Mystery: What is Sheetrock vs Drywall?

When it comes to home renovations or building projects, one of the most common materials used is drywall. However, you may have also heard the term 'sheetrock' being thrown around in similar contexts. This might lead you to wonder, what exactly is the difference between sheetrock and drywall? Are they interchangeable terms or do they refer to different things altogether? In this blog post, we will demystify these terms and help you understand their differences and similarities.

Understanding Drywall

Drywall, also known as plasterboard or gypsum board, is a panel made of calcium sulfate dihydrate (gypsum), typically extruded between thick sheets of facer and backer paper. It's used in construction to make interior walls and ceilings. The term 'drywall' refers to the fact that walls made from this material are installed without the need for wet construction methods like plaster.

Drywall has become a popular choice for both residential and commercial construction due to its ease of installation, affordability, and ability to be customized for various needs. It's fire-resistant, soundproofing properties make it an ideal choice for creating comfortable living and working spaces.

What is Sheetrock?

Sheetrock is essentially a brand name for drywall. The U.S Gypsum Company invented Sheetrock in 1916 as a cheaper and easier alternative to traditional plaster walls. Over time, the brand name has become so popular that it's often used interchangeably with 'drywall', much like how 'Kleenex' is often used to refer to any brand of facial tissue.

Sheetrock panels consist of a fire-resistant gypsum core encased in heavy natural-finish face paper on the front side and strong liner paper on the back side. The panels are available in different thicknesses and sizes depending on your specific needs.

The Differences Between Sheetrock And Drywall

While sheetrock and drywall essentially refer to the same thing - panels made from gypsum plaster sandwiched between two thick sheets of paper - there are subtle differences that lie in their branding.

Sheetrock is a specific brand of drywall patented by the U.S Gypsum Company. It comes with its own set of features such as fire-resistance, mold resistance depending on which type of Sheetrock product you choose. On the other hand, 'drywall' can refer to any generic gypsum board product manufactured by any company.

Therefore, while all Sheetrock can be classified as drywall, not all drywalls can be classified as Sheetrock.

Choosing Between Drywall And Sheetrock

When deciding whether to use generic drywalls or branded Sheetrocks for your project depends largely on your specific needs and budget considerations.

If you're looking for specific features such as mold resistance or soundproofing capabilities offered by certain types of Sheetrocks then opting for this branded option might be beneficial. However, if cost-effectiveness is your main concern then generic drywalls might serve your purpose just fine.


In conclusion, while there may seem like there's a big difference between sheetrock vs drywall due to their different names; they are essentially very similar products with minor variations based on branding. Both offer great solutions for constructing interior walls quickly and affordably with added benefits such as fire resistance and soundproofing capabilities depending upon which product you choose.

So next time when someone uses these terms interchangeably or asks about their differences; you'll know exactly what they're talking about!

Matt Ballantine - Ballantine Painting & Drywall
Post written by AI - Approved by BPDW
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