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:
Any suggestions, comments, etc. about which to use, which is better, etc.
would be appreciated.
Yea, I found that link as well.
No idea. The stuff has been on the market for only a year - maybe not
Have a look at this:
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'?
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.
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
If the weight was a problem, don't you think it would have been
addressed way before now?
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).
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.
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.
On Monday, October 31, 2011 7:59:46 PM UTC-4, Ron wrote:
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.
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.
On Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10:25:11 PM UTC-5, email@example.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.
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....
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
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.
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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