Quiz: Do you Know how Drywall is Made and Used?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Drywall is a popular and inexpensive building material used for constructing walls and ceilings in most homes and commercial buildings in North America. Building costs are significantly lower due to drywall's easy installation. Nail down your drywall expertise through our quiz.

What is an advantage of drywall over a traditional plaster wall?

The fact that drywall has a higher resistance to fire is one of its advantages over traditional plaster. The extra fire protection afforded by drywall can be the difference between life and death.


What is the name of wood slats installed on walls and ceilings prior to adding plaster?

Builders used to nail thousands of wooded strips called laths onto walls and ceilings before applying layers of plaster. The laths were rough lumber and had small spaces between them to hold the plaster in place.


What is the main disadvantage to the use of plaster to build walls and ceilings?

Plaster walls can take weeks to complete from start to finish. Each layer has to dry for an extended period, and wall construction takes several layers of plaster.


Is using drywall for construction cheaper than plaster?

Due to labor costs, it's substantially cheaper to build with drywall than plaster. Building walls with drywall will take a couple of days versus weeks to finish the same surfaces with plaster.


When did the U.S. Gypsum Company invent drywall?

The U.S. Gypsum Company (USG) invented drywall in 1916. It was originally called Sackett Board, named for the Sackett plaster company. It took almost 10 years to develop from small tiles to the sheets we're familiar with today. USG owns the trademarked name of Sheetrock.


How many years did it take before drywall started to be used in any substantial quantity?

It took 25 years before enough builders started using drywall in any substantial quantity. Consumers viewed drywall as a cheap alternative to a quality plaster wall, and no one wanted a shoddily constructed home.


What event triggered the eventual acceptance of drywall as an acceptable building material?

The labor shortage caused by World War II forced people to seek faster and less labor intensive ways to build homes and factories. It was considered patriotic to use materials for building that were cheaper and faster, leaving more resources to support the war effort.


What was the net amount of sales in dollars reported by the U.S. Gypsum Company in 2007?

The U.S. Gypsum Company is one of the world’s top producers of drywall and its related products, with net sales of more than $5 billion in 2007. Use of drywall for construction has now become popular the world over.


What does gypsum look like?

In its raw form, gypsum looks like white sand and is found in massive beds in the earth. Impurities in gypsum beds can sometimes make it appear pink, yellow and gray.


What is a unique property of finished drywall that makes it resistant to fire?

Drywall is primarily made of gypsum, which contains water in crystalline form. As drywall gets hot, the water crystals in the gypsum begin to vaporize, which keeps the drywall cool and helps protect the material behind it from fire.


How is a typical drywall sheet manufactured?

Gypsum is mixed with additives and water to form a paste that is poured onto paper until reaching the appropriate thickness. A layer of paper is placed on top before finally passing through an oven to dry out prior to cutting into sheets.


What does the name “green board” mean when used to describe drywall?

Green board is the name given to drywall designed to be used in areas with high moisture. Typical applications are in bathrooms and basements.


What percentage should you add to your drywall estimate to account for waste due to cutting?

You should allow 20 percent to accommodate waste from cutting and size restrictions. Although using small pieces of scrap may be attractive, it will result in unnecessary taping and sanding.


What square-foot measurement can you use to determine the number of drywall sheets required for your project?

Divide your total square footage requirement by 32 square feet (2.9 square meters); a typical sheet of drywall is 4 feet (1.2 meters) by 8 feet (2.4 meters) or 32 square feet (2.9 square meters).


What is drywall joint compound generally referred to as?

Joint compound is often referred to as mud or spackle. Joint compound can be purchased either as a dry powder to mix with water or as premixed compound.


How many coats of drywall mud should be applied?

Properly finishing joints in your drywall installation will require three layers of mud. The first layer holds the paper tape, the second layer covers the tape and the third layer finishes the surface.


How should you hang drywall on wooden studs?

You should hang drywall horizontally on a wall that has wooden studs to minimize the amount of deflection inherent in the studs as they dry. It is also a good idea to use drywall adhesive with wooden studs because it helps reduce deflection.


What material is an alternative to drywall that avoids many of the issues people have with standard drywall?

Veneer plaster is gaining popularity as a method to construct walls, even though it's about 25 percent more expensive than a standard drywall installation. A drywall product called blue board is installed on the wall first and is then finished with a thin layer of traditional plaster.


What is an attractive feature of modern drywall?

Drywall is environmentally friendly because it's 100 percent recyclable. Everything contained in drywall can be easily reused to make more drywall, as an ingredient in cement or even to improve soil.


What material is a primary ingredient used in the manufacture of EcoRock?

EcoRock is manufactured using wheat, straw or grass compressed between two sheets of paper. Surprisingly, EcoRock shares the same resistance to fire as traditional gypsum drywall.


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