We all know there are several thicknesses of drywall. What general
applications are required for each thickness? Code? For example, if
building a closet, other than the obvious thickness, is it acceptable to
use 1/4" instead of 3/8' or 1/2" and vice versa?
I don't know about code specifics, but generally 1/2"
is used everywhere for ceilings, wall, closets, etc. If
there are fire rating issues, for example, then thicker
may be required. I would never use 1/4" for anything,
unless it was absolutely necessary because of a
critical space or similar issue. And even then, it better be a
protected area, because 1/4" is flimsy.
I bought some 1/4" couple years ago for just such a
need. As I recall, it was about the same price as 1/2"
too, so you're not saving anything.
I have used 1/4" in 3 situations:
1 - The flat section of a ceiling over basement steps where the paint
on the original plaster was so badly peeled that putting up a ~3' x 3'
piece of 1/4" drywall and taping the corners was easier than trying to
scrape and skimcoat the original ceiling. Glued and screwed.
2 - Similar situation for a bathroom ceiling with a flat section and a
sloped section with a curved junction. Bending the 1/4" worked OK, but
I smoothed out the curve with drywall compound. Glued and screwed. I
had scraped and sanded the original plaster too many times to want to
do it again. The drywall has held the paint for many years, something
I can't say about the plaster.
3 - Same bathroom, small area above window. The walls in my house are
3/8" brown gypsum board coated with ~ 3/8" plaster. The area above the
window continually peeling and the plaster was cracked. I used my HF
Multi-Function tool tool to remove the plaster down to the wall board
and then shimmed the area to accept the 1/4" drywall that I had left
over from the staircase ceiling job. I might have tried 3/8", but I
didn't have any 3/8" scraps so I used what I had available. Besides,
with the shims, if was fairly easy to get the 1/4" drywall flush with
the surrounding plaster.
I agree that it needs some sort of backing, 1/4" is too flimsy to be
used by itself over a large area.
Well, around here, 5/8 is used for firestop, that is, a ceiling in a
room below a bedroom.
Otherwise, 1/2 is the norm for almost everything.
I use 1/4 for making arches, such as arched doorways, because it
is easier to bend, especially when wetted down.... If it seems too
flimsy, just put another layer of 1/4 over the first.
I am not aware of the uses of 3/8...
Find it in spec/low-end housing (as in cheap) simply for that reason.
If building large spaces it can be a noticeable input cost differential
to the developer.
Some will try it for ceilings for the weight -- w/ trusses (2x4 flat
surfaces) the net span on 16" centers may be enough to keep bowing from
being too excessive.
Otherwise, for OPs question, it would be a passable alternative for his
proposed closets and other low-traffic areas for (as noted) minimal
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.