All About National Gypsum, Drywall and Plaster

Danny Lipford, host of Today's Homeowner, installs Purple XP drywall on some garage walls.

In this special Today’s Homeowner Podcast, we’re discussing drywall with Jay Watt. He’s the Director of Marketing for National Gypsum and serves as a member of the Association of Walls and Ceilings Industry and The Gypsum Association.

This podcast is sponsored by National Gypsum, a private manufacturing company that produces drywall gypsum boards. Their products include Purple XP, which includes interior finishing products, cement boards and roof boards, as well as a variety of products that protect against mildew, mold and moisture.

The Origins and History of National Gypsum

National Gypsum started producing drywall in 1925. Before drywall, there was plaster, or “wet wall.”

Drywall was created by putting gypsum between two pieces of paper. Because of gypsum’s fire resistance, drywall adds value to both commercial and residential construction.

Since the 1920s they have grown and become one of the largest drywall producers in the world.

Is Plaster Still Relevant Today?

There are still some small pockets of the country where plaster remains prevalent. Some of these areas include the tidewater area of Virginia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In Boston, Massachusetts, the plaster trade was passed down from Irish immigrants and other skilled craftsmen, allowing plaster to remain a valuable option. In fact, 90% of buildings in the area use plaster compared to drywall.

The Purple XP Line of Drywall

About 20 years ago, loss of energy was becoming a major problem in homes. As a result, the goal became to make building exteriors tight and secure. However, this trapped moisture in, causing mold to become a major problem.

“Green Board” was a moisture-resistant product made to help combat the rising mold issue in buildings. National Gypsum took the mold-resistant qualities and chemicals found in green board and applied them in the creation of a new variety of products, the Purple XP line of drywall.

To differentiate from the green board, National Gypsum called their new product line Purple XP, “XP” meaning “extra protection” against mold and mildew. This new advancement in drywall led to the creations of their noise-resistant and high-impact drywall products.

Looking Forward

National Gypsum remains dedicated to research and science and the creation of new, innovative products. They are dedicated to continue to be an innovative leader.

The drywall company gives back to the community through building homes and providing drywall for Habitat for Humanity, as well as Purple Hear Homes, located just north of National Gypsum’s headquarters in Charlotte.

Their mission with Purple Heart Homes is to provide injured veterans with homes, ramps, and new showers.

  • [0:00] Welcome to this Special Today’s Homeowner Podcast: Danny speaks with Jay Watt, Director of Marketing for National Gypsum
  • [0:50] The origins of National Gypsum Drywall
  • [2:03] Are there any parts of the country that still use plaster?
  • [3:05] N.G.’s Purple XP line of Drywall
  • [6:02] SoundBreak helps stop the transmission of sound
  • [7:05] Impact-resistant Rock
  • [8:12] Retro-fit Soundbreak
  • [9:46] What’s on the horizon for National Gypsum?
  • [10:47] National Gypsum is always out there helping the community


  1. Very informative Pod Cast. Looking at buying & remodeling an older 1 story “last” home. Concerned about lack of insulation. Also using ramps instead of stairs for Us and older Dogs. Enjoy this website very much and tell everyone about, thanks Klaudia

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Klaudia! And thanks for sharing it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.


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