UltraLight Sheetrock Drywall -- pros, cons

I am trying to decide whether to use the new UltraLight Sheetrock Drywall for a ceiling in three rooms, or use regular drywall. All three rooms are on the top floor of a row home (town home) with a flat roof above that. The old ceiling was ripped out and the new drywall will be attached to the original ceiling joists which are 16 inches on center. My plan is to use 1/2-inch sheetrock -- either the new UltraLight stuff or the original style 1/2-inch sheetrock. There will be new R-30 faced insulation between the ceiling joists on top of the new drywall.
I did some Google searching and found these two links with some information about UltraLight Sheetrock:
http://www.usg.com/rc/data-submittal-sheets/panels/sheetrock/sheetrock-ultralight-panels-submittal-en-wb2501.pdf
http://homerenovations.about.com/od/drywallsheetrock/a/Ultra-Light-Drywall.htm
Any suggestions, comments, etc. about which to use, which is better, etc. would be appreciated.
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Ron wrote:

http://homerenovations.about.com/od/drywallsheetrock/a/Ultra-Light-Drywall.htm
Yea, I found that link as well.

No idea. The stuff has been on the market for only a year - maybe not even that.
Have a look at this:
http://www.drywalltalk.com/f6/usg-ultralite-panel-lighter-drywall-1566 /
Read both pages.
If you're not intending to use 12' sheets, then it may not be a factor for you. Do they even make this in 8'?
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Home Guy wrote:

Thanks. I did read the link, including both pages.
I ended up buying Sheetrock Brand 1/2-inch 4x8 UltraLight drywall yesterday at Home Depot. It is going up on the ceiling today, and the person that I have doing the installation has done lots of drywall before. This is his first time using the UltraLight drywall, so I'll post back what he thinks about it after he is done.
In terms of price, it is more expensive that regular 1/2-inch drywall. At Home Depot, regular is $5.65 per 4x8 sheet, and UltraLight is $6.98 per sheet -- $1.33 more (23% more) per sheet. I only needed 16 sheets, so the cost was about $20 more overall. Part of why I wanted to use UltraLight was to reduce the amount of weight hanging on the ceiling joists. Plus, I wanted to try it and see how it feels from the installer's point of view both in terms of weight and generally how it is to work with.
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re: "Part of why I wanted to use UltraLight was to reduce the amount of weight hanging on the ceiling joists. "
Serious question...I'm not trying to be a smartass...
Why was this part of your decision process? After God knows how many years of standard weight dryall and wallboard/plaster combinations before that, times millions upon millions of ceilings across the world, why do you feel that there is need to reduce the weight on your joists?
If the weight was a problem, don't you think it would have been addressed way before now?
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

It probably isn't important, but when I took down the original drywall ceiling what was above it was 2x8 roof rafters for a flat roof and 2x4 ceiling joists below that for the drywall. The 2x8 roof rafters had a slight bow and the 2x4 ceiling joists also had some bowing. We disconnected the soldiers (that ran from the 2x8's down to the 2x4's) from the 2x4 ceiling joists, then jacked up the low 2x4 ceiling joists a little to make them all even, then re-attached the soldiers to the 2x4's. We then also added more soldiers to support the 2x4 ceiling joists in more places. But still, I thought that since I was hanging all new drywall on the ceiling, why not go for the 30% lighter drywall? It means less weight pulling down on the ceiling joists and less weight pulling down on the roof rafters that are tied into the ceiling joists with soldiers. So, bottom line -- less weight on the roof. If I later add roof coating and/or other roofing material on top, that's just a little less overall weight on the roof rafters to start with due to the lighter ceiling drywall.
Again, probably not necessary, but for $20 more in materials I figured why not just have a little less weight after the job is done than before I started (when the old drywall ceiling was there).
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Ron wrote:

Oops, I forgot to write back earlier. I asked the person who installed the ceiling using UltraLight drywall what he thought. Basically, he didn't notice any real difference between that and the regular drywall that he has used in the past. It doesn't seem like he really even noticed that it was lighter and he said that cutting it and using it seemed pretty much the same as what he used before.
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Ron wrote:

http://www.usg.com/rc/data-submittal-sheets/panels/sheetrock/sheetrock-ultralight-panels-submittal-en-wb2501.pdf
What's the fire rating? Regular 1/2" drywall is rated for 30 minutes.
If you don't care about fires, you should be okay no matter what.
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On Monday, October 31, 2011 7:59:46 PM UTC-4, Ron wrote:


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UltraLight dents easier. When one screws let's say a railing bracket to stu d beneath it if you're not careful It'll cave in. Also if you bang into it with a 2x4 it will dent easier than standard rock. Other then that it made refinishing my basement a lot easier.
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They're getting better!

FOrget the antique threads, they should be ashamed of making a mess of the Usenet with their every post.
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I work in a drywall factory. We were one of the first plants making the lig ht weight board and were told if we didn't make it we would be out of a job . So we've been making only this lightweight board for a couple of years now. It is Feb/15 and now customers are asking for the old regular board again. We are running more and more regular board every month now. Why, .. .I don't know, our management doesn't tell us.
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On Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10:25:11 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com wrote:

ight weight board and were told if we didn't make it we would be out of a j ob. So we've been making only this lightweight board for a couple of year s now. It is Feb/15 and now customers are asking for the old regular boar d again. We are running more and more regular board every month now. Why, ...I don't know, our management doesn't tell us.
Are you sure it's even a customer demand issue? What companies build in one factory versus another or at all can depend on a lot of factors besides demand. For example, maybe your company found a supplier in China to source the lightweight product instead of making it themselves.
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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com wrote:

Hi, How about asking customers why? Is light ones same as regular ones in every aspects?
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Wil transmit sound well.
Greg
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On Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 11:08:50 PM UTC-5, Gz wrote:

Best choice, plaster. Expensive though, unless you can DIY.
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wrote:

My back certainly appreciates the lighter weight!
I would say it isn't quite as stiff. I wouldn't use it for ceilings if there was going to be insulation piled on top of it unless joist spacing was reduced over normal or thicker material was used compared to normal. For residential walls, stiffness usually isn't a big deal...although I would think twice about using it in a high traffic hallway where it's going to get bumped a lot.
I'm sure it doesn't block sound as well, but drywall by itself doesn't block sound all that well anyway....
I don't notice any difference in cutting or taping.
One other difference....you have to really watch fastening close to humps in the framing such as a nail plate used to protect plumbing. If you drive a screw within a couple of inches of that nail plate, the lightweight drywall will crack. Standard is a little more forgiving.
For me...usually working by myself...I prefer the lightweight.
I also notice, when buying a sheet or two at the borg...seems like I have to sift through more sheets to find one that isn't cracked....
Paul F.
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replying to Ron, DIYGuy wrote: I tried the lightweight drywall and thought it was crap. It was easy to handle, but quite fragile. I have no confidence in it's durability. Corners are especially vulnerable to damage. Since drywall is your home's first protection against the spread of fire it seems like lightweight is a poor second choice. Even though I work alone I much prefer the quality and durability of full-weight drywall.
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I've installed a lot of drywall. We used the regular drywall when we built our garage and our house. When we remodeled my in-laws house, all I would find was the lightweight stuff.
I honestly didn't notice any significant difference, other than the lighter weight. It scored and snapped the same, was just as easy to cut holes with a jab saw, etc.
Drywall is fairly fragile on the edges anyway, but once it's installed the edges aren't really an issue anyway.
I wouldn't hesitate to use the lightweight drywall in future projects.

Look at any house that has burned down and you'll see drywall did little to prevent the fire. Besides, there are many wall coverings besides drywall (tile, T&G lumber, etc.).
If you're worried about fire, you should step up to 5/8" drywall, install fireblocking in the walls, make sure all wall cavities are sealed off, and install a sprinkler system.
Of course, it's smarter to prevent the fire in the first place. Keep flammable items away from heaters and ignition sources, don't overload cords and electrical outlets, clean your dryer vents, don't leave food unattended on a stove, and keep multiple fire extenguishers around the house. And since accidents happen, be sure you have good smoke detectors, and replace them every 10 years.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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replying to HerHusband, DIYGuy wrote: Anthony, your comment reminded me of the (very) old Volkswagen Bug commercial. "A Volkswagen will definitely float, but it will not float indefinitely." Any (practical) thickness of drywall will slow the spread of fire, but no thickness of drywall will hold all fire in check indefinitely. The phrase "any house that has burned down" means that the fire burned longer, or more intensely than the drywall could resist. Over a span of more than three decades in the fire service I can think of many, many times when content fires were held in check by even 1/2" gypsum-based drywall products, It is very true that _thicker is better,_ but don't let that make you think 1/2" has no prevention properties. Just as sprinklers do, any thickness of drywall will help hold fire spread in check until the arrival of the fire department, provided it is intact.. The decision to use lightweight drywall of any thickness is entirely up to the user. Please pay extra attention to any broken bits like the corners. I, and my DIY friends, have found lighweight to be more fragile than regular drywall. In either case, all damage should be repaired with full-thickness material that will not fall out over time, or under the fire's assault. Thanks for providing such excellent prevention advice!
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