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Drywall Sizes and Thicknesses

Stack of Different Drywall SizesDrywall has different sheet sizes for different products. It also has different thicknesses. For a patch or remodel project, getting the right size is important. Below you will find a listing of all of the drywall sizes, weights and thicknesses available for common drywall types. See the article "Types of Drywall" for information on the various kinds of drywall products you may need.

Are you involved in drywall repair project? See the articles "Drywall Patching", "How To Cut Drywall" and "Taping and Mudding Drywall" for information on installing drywall products.

Confused about about whether you have 'Drywall' or 'Sheetrock'. See the article 'Sheetrock vs Drywall' for an explanation.

Why Drywall Size Matters

Getting the right size sheet will minimize joints and make the job easier. The repair in the picture could be completed with one sheet of drywall, provided you get the right size.

Handling drywall can be a problem with larger sheets. You have two main issues. One is being able to physically lift and install a large drywall panel. Even with help this might be challenging. The other is getting it into the spot you need it. Getting drywall around corners, up or down stairways and through door openings will pose problems.

Determining Existing Drywall Thickness

drywall-sizes-pic2If you are replacing damaged drywall you can cut a hole and then use a tape measure to check the thickness. Otherwise you may need to check at a plumbing or electrical penetration. Exercise extra care when checking thicknesses for garages and ceilings. This is where thicker drywall may occur.

Another thickness issue is plaster walls. You may run into walls in your home that have rock lath and plaster on them. Rock lath is a type of drywall that is 3/8" thick. Another 3/8" to 1/2" of plaster is applied over the rock lath. This leaves you with a material that is thicker than most standard drywall. See the article 'Plaster Wall Repairs' for more information.

Drywall Sizes

  • 1/4" Drywall - This the thinnest drywall you can buy. It is not a good idea to use this drywall by itself, it is too weak to provide much support. It is ideal for going over other surfaces. Laminating new 1/4" drywall over badly damaged areas can be an easy way to solve a drywall repair problem.

  • Another use is in curved applications. This drywall bends easily and can wrap around curved walls. Normally you would use two layers of 1/4" drywall in lieu of one layer of 1/2" drywall.
    Drywall Sizes: 4' x 8' Sheets - This type of drywall is usually only available in one size.
  • Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 29.58 lb
    Availability - The big box home supply stores do not usually stock these drywall sizes and thickness. Drywall supply stores do have it in stock. You can find one in the phone book.
  • 3/8" Drywall - Several decades ago, 3/8" drywall was the standard thickness. Now it is used where the particular thickness is needed. It can also be used to laminate over existing walls and ceilings. It is proportionally lighter than its 1/2" and 5/8" cousins, but also not as strong. It could be used by itself on walls, but this in not recommended. It should not be used on ceilings in most situations.
  • Drywall Sizes: 4' x 8' Sheets - This type of drywall is usually only available in one size.
  • Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 43.65 lb
    Availability - This thickness is available at most home supply and drywall supply stores.

  • 1/2" Drywall - This is the most popular thickness of drywall. It is likely that the majority of drywall in your home is this thickness. It can be used for walls and ceilings. It comes in regular, moisture resistant and fire rated varieties.
  • 1/2" Drywall now comes in a 'Light Weight' version from most manufacturers. The light weight product can be 25% to 30% light than the standard version.
  • It is a good idea to check on the thickness you need before purchasing drywall. 1/2" will likely be correct most of the time.
    Drywall Sizes: 4' x 8', 9', 10', 12' and 14' Sheets - This thickness of drywall comes in several standard lengths. It can also be ordered in special lengths (quantity restrictions apply).
  • Standard Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 57.6 lbs
  • Light Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 39.2 lbs
    Availability - Thickness is available at most home supply and drywall supply stores. Home supply stores usually carry 8' and 12' lengths. Drywall supply stores will have other lengths. Most home supply stores now carry the light weight drywall in this thickness.
  • For more information on cutting and installing drywall or sheetrock, see the article 'How To Cut Drywall'.
  • 1/2" Cement Board - The thickness of the cement board used normally matches the thickness of drywall. Most of the time this will be 1/2" in a residential home.
  • Cement Board Sizes: 3' x 5', 4' x 8' Sheets - These are the common sizes for cement board. Cement board was originally intended for use as a tile backer board. The 3' x 5' size comes from the dimensions of a tub enclosure.
  • Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 81 lb
    Availability - This thickness and the sizes indicated are available at most home supply and drywall supply stores.
  • 5/8" Drywall - This thickness is usually made in a fire resistant form. It is used on ceilings and in garages. It has extra fiber in it that helps it to resist fire. The fibers also make it stronger for ceilings. It is proportionally heavier than 1/2" drywall.
  • Drywall Sizes: 4' x 8', 9', 10', 12' and 14' Sheets - This thickness of drywall comes in several standard lengths. It can also be ordered in special lengths (quantity restrictions apply).
  • 5/8" Drywall now comes in a 'Light Weight' version from most manufacturers. The light weight product can be 25% to 30% light than the standard version.
  • Standard Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 76.8 lb
  • Light Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 51.2 lbs
  • Availability - Thickness is available at most home supply and drywall supply stores. Home supply stores usually carry 8' and sometimes 12' lengths. Drywall supply stores will have the other lengths.
  • 5/8" Cement Board - This thickness of cement board is less common in homes. It is used extensively in commercial buildings. Double check the thickness before you assume you have this size.
  • Cement Board Sizes: 3' x 5', 4' x 8' Sheets - These are the common sizes for cement board. Cement board was originally intended for use as a tile backer board. The 3' x 5' size comes from the dimensions of a tub enclosure.
  • Weight per 4' x 8' Sheet - 124 lb
    Availability - This thickness and the sizes indicated are available at most drywall supply stores. Home supply stores do not normally carry these drywall sizes and thickness.
  • For more information on cutting and installing cement board, see the article 'How To Cut Cement Board'.

See the following articles for related drywall topics:

The 'Next' page is about 'Types of Drywall'. The 'Previous' page is the 'Introduction' to this series of articles on 'Drywall Sizes'.

Last Updated on June 4, 2014

Safety First!

Make sure you are working safely. See 'Home Safety Tips' and 'Electrical Safety Tips

 

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