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Old 08-10-2009, 01:17 PM   #1
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Need clarification on different types of wall panel

I've been trying to piece together information about the different panels available for walls. I haven't seen all of this information in one place, and have been confused by conflicting information. Can someone help verify my information?

Generic term for any panel that uses a gypsum core.

USG's brand of drywall (sheetrock is to drywall as kleenex is to tissue paper?)

Blue Board
Drywall with a special blue paper used for veneer plaster. The special paper absorbs water from the plaster and gives it a surface to adhere to.

Imperial Gypsum
I *think* this is USG's brand of blue board?

Green Board
Drywall with moisture-resistant properties. Like regular drywall, you paint over this.

This is a cement-based board generally used in a bathroom behind tiles.

Does the same thing as Durock

A gypsum-fiber panel that can be used in the same way as Durock. Not sure of the pros/cons versus Durock.

Now, for my particular situation, I'm looking at doing some work in my bathroom. Here are my application-specific questions:

  1. For non-shower walls, should I use green board, or blue board? (with blueboard implying that I need to plaster)
  2. What do I use on the ceilings? I've heard that green board will sag.
  3. If I plan on doing anything behind my shower/bath tiles, I need to use a cement-based board, or Fiberock, right?
  4. How come and don't sell anything called "blue board" or "green board"? What exactly should I be looking for?
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:50 PM   #2
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Your summary of the different names/types of panels appears dead-on. I think the Fiberock might be slightly off, as I don't think this is as concrete-ish as the Durock and Wonderboard, but appears more gypsum looking (it is a brand name of USG product; see USG's website for good descriptions of all their products).

But basically, the verdict is mixed on greenboard. It is the same core stuff/gypsum as "regular" drywall, but its paper surface is water resistant (and green in color). It is NOT water proof; if/when water penetrates the paper, it will turn the gypsum core to mush just the same as normal drywall. A lot of people in construction feel greenboard isn't worth the couple of dollars extra per sheet for minimal improvement in water resistance, but others swear by it. I personally don't use it.

For your bathroom, I'd recommend the following: "normal" 1/2" drywall on all walls and ceilings. As for behind the tub/shower, it depends what you are putting up for walls. If you're doing tiled surounds, then use Durock or Wonderboard directly to the studs, then tile on top of the Durock/Wonderboard. If you're doing tub surround walls, I'd say you can still just do normal 1/2" drywall as on the studs, then glue the surround walls up to that. Check your local code though; it may require greenboard behind surround walls.

Here are my thoughts on Durock/Wonderboard vs gypsum based materials behind surround walls: Tub surround walls only have a few spots where water can get behind (ie only the corners and where fixtures are), and those spots are easy enough to seal up well. So the chances of water getting behind surround walls is small if you put in your surround walls properly, so I'm comfortable using drywall. As for tile, there is a MUCH greater chance of water getting in between the tiles over time, so you want a concrete backer. Concrete backers don't block water from getting through to the studs/insulation, but they will not break down, turn to mush or otherwise lose integrity at all. Gypsum products, on the other hand, will turn to a mushy mesh when they're wet.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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#1 Use Georgia Pacific Densarmor fiberglass drywall. No paper to feed mold. Green board is out of date.

#2 Use 5/8 thick drywall to minimize any sag.

#3 Use Georgia Pacific Denshield.

#4 Lowes has some GP densarmor products. You may need to visit a drywall supplier for a full line. Not sure about H-D. I've seen green board at Lowes, see #1.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Thank for the info guys. This definitely helps!
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:23 PM   #5
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Need clarification on different types of wall panel

On the same subject, I am thinking of going with bluboard with plaster veneer, What are the brand names of some bluboards & plaster please? Which combo would be best for a very damp winter environment ?
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