9th Nov 2022 -

Every dry lining project is going to need a plasterboard of some description. There are various types available, so it depends on your requirements as to which plasterboard you will need. Different plasterboards can use different materials during the manufacturing process to achieve special characteristics. For example, some plasterboards have additives that make them fire-resistant.

What is Plasterboard?

Dry lining, buster board, custard board, gypsum board, gypsum pane, plasterboard, sheetrock and wallboard are all the same thing and are all essentially plasterboards. Plasterboard is used as an alternative to plaster and can cover existing walls or form new ones when fixed to frames and studs.

If you have come here looking for ‘dry lining’ (or another term) and are confused by the word ‘plasterboard’ there is no need to fret - the same information will apply in most cases.

What is Plasterboard Made Of?

You might be wondering what is inside the board itself. Plasterboard is made out of sturdy core materials, most commonly, gypsum - the chief ingredient in standard wet plaster. One of the pioneering brands behind plasterboard’s development is called British Gypsum, which was formed in 1915 - a time when traditional, less efficient building techniques were still commonly in use.

 Manufacturers also use materials such as paper, fibrous plastics, glass wool and foams. By adding certain substances to the board manufacturers can create light boards that are ideal for walls and ceilings - as well as adding performance-enhancing features such as fire or mould resistance. 

Plasterboard also has a layer of face paper, which forms a smooth surface that is ready to be plastered and finished after installation. Some types of plasterboard come ready to paint or wallpaper, but others will require some preparation.

What is Plasterboard Used For?

In most cases, plasterboard is used for lining existing walls and ceilings - or to build partitions within an existing space. While all types of plasterboard provide some level of insulation, many will have additional benefits - depending on the type of plasterboard you select. 

Plasterboard is frequently used in the following settings:

  • Care homes and nursing environments
  • Domestic properties
  • Flats and residential buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Libraries
  • Office buildings
  • Schools
  • Shops

Plasterboard is an excellent alternative to wet plaster and it is quicker to fix plasterboard to an existing wall and then skim it than it is to prepare and plaster a wall from scratch. A process of taping and jointing can also be carried out, where you use tape and a jointing compound, which eliminates the need to plaster completely.

man holding plasterboard

What Are the Different Types of Plasterboard?

There are variations in the dimensions of all types of plasterboard, notably their lengths, widths and thicknesses. What size you need will depend on the type of plasterboard you require. Some plasterboard is thicker than others, such as plasterboard that is designed for extra sound insulation and fire resistance - or even just better energy efficiency.

The different types of plasterboard most commonly used in construction include the following:

  • Dense:  For extra protection from accidental damage, such as in a commercial or public building, a high-density plasterboard can be useful. These boards commonly contain fibreglass and dense paper.
  • External: Modern exterior sheathing boards can be ideal for external insulation. External plasterboards usually use space-age moisture repellents and are airtight, to withstand all weather.
  • Fire-resistant plasterboard: Stud walls use more flammable materials than masonry walls, so high-resistance plasterboard in the event of a fire is a sensible move - and a requirement for building regulations in some cases.
  • Insulated plasterboard: Insulated or thermal plasterboard uses an additional layer of insulation to deliver better energy efficiency - without too much extra thickness. The insulation layer is sandwiched within the board.
  • Moisture-resistant plasterboardMoisture resistance reduces problems of dampness, and completely water-resistant plasterboard eliminates the problems of weather for external boards, as they use water-repellent additives.
  • Plank: Plank plasterboard is available from several manufacturers and is a thicker type of plasterboard - useful for common areas such as stairwells, hallways and lift shafts. Thickness offers good sound and heat resistance.
  • Sound-resistant plasterboard: Standard plasterboards tend to leak a bit of sound, but sound-resistant or acoustic plasterboard insulates sound very well. To do this, sound-resistant boards are commonly much higher density.
  • Vapour-resistant plasterboard: To provide the utmost protection from moisture, vapour-resistant plasterboard is a good option. Many vapour resistance plasterboards use a foil backing - for total protection. 

Another difference in plasterboard is the edge. Straight-edge plasterboards are easily cut and shaped, but some manufacturers offer a tapered-edge design. Tapered edge plasterboard makes it much easier to quickly install plasterboard across a large area.

Plasterboard is one of the most popular building materials used in construction today. It is extremely versatile and easy to work with compared to brickwork and plaster. There are many different types of plasterboard available, and here is how we break them all down.

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