Easy to install, affordable and sturdy, drywall became increasingly popular during the housing boom in the United States and replaced lathe-and-plaster as the construction technique of choice.
Most drywall is comprised of the same material, a layer of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two sheets of heavy paper. Gypsum is a naturally occurring soft mineral that can also be synthesized, so after drywall is torn out or discarded, the gypsum can be processed for use as an agricultural soil amendment.
There are a variety of differences in the types of drywall:
Drywall comes in a variety of thicknesses, including 3/8-inch, ½-inch and 5/8-inch sheets. The most commonly used sheet thickness for most walls is the ½-inch variety.
When moisture is present, such as in bathrooms, kitchens or homes in especially humid climates, special drywall products are sometimes needed to prevent decay from moisture penetration or mold growth.
Square-edged vs. taper-edged sheets
The choice depends on how the drywall is to be covered. Square-edged sheets are best for plastering, and taper-edged sheets for drywalling.