Drywall: What You Should Know and How to Install

Renovating your home? It’s fine to think about fixtures, appliances and paint colors. But it’s also important to focus on foundational products like drywall that are more difficult to change in the years ahead. 

Choosing the wrong kind of drywall can create headaches down the road, so follow this crash course and then make an informed decision.

“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford installs drywall in a basement
Drywall products have different features — choose the right one for each room before you start a home renovation. 

Choices for Home Renovations

All drywall is not created equal, and some products perform better in certain rooms compared to others. 

For instance, all drywall is gypsum-based and is naturally fire-resistant, but the PURPLE family of high-performance drywall products, provided by National Gypsum, also resists moisture, mold and mildew. That’s important to the health of your home and your family, whether you’re renovating a basement, a bathroom, or you simply live in a humid climate. 

Some PURPLE drywall products also stand up to scratches, scuffs and dents — that’s a big deal in playrooms, hallways and garages. 

Some even minimize the transmission of sound between rooms. That’s important if you’re building a media room, want a quiet master suite or are working from a home office. 

“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford finished drywall in a Georgia townhome
PURPLE drywall products are mold-resistant — ideal for application in basements, bathrooms and kitchens, yet can be used everywhere!

Why You Should Choose PURPLE 

The PURPLE family of high-performance drywall products offers some unique features. 

For starters, PURPLE drywall products have earned the best-possible score among material testing for indoor air quality, achieving UL GREENGUARD Gold certification. That’s important throughout your home to ensure a healthy environment! 

Next, certain PURPLE drywall products resist abuse. If you have kids or pets, you know they can really do a number on walls in mudrooms, hallways and staircases. That resistance to scrapes, scratches and scuffs means you’ll spend less time making repairs and more time enjoying your family. 

Finally, there’s sound resistance. If you’re building or remodeling a room where noise — or the lack of it — is important, SoundBreak XP Wall Board and SoundBreak XP Retrofit Board will be music to your ears. Both products offer sound-resistant properties that reduce noise transmission between rooms. That’s ideal for media rooms, bedrooms and nurseries. 

All of these features can make your home healthier, more durable and more comfortable. 

Sanding Purple XP drywall in a Georgia home
PURPLE SoundBreak XP Retrofit Board installs right over existing drywall to improve acoustics.

Reducing Noise Transmission in Your Home

Many rooms in your home should offer some relief from noise, right? Well, they can, if you use the PURPLE SoundBreak XP family of products to help reduce the transfer of unwanted sound from one room to another. 

For example, if you live in a multi-story home, SoundBreak XP Ceiling Board is a great choice to reduce the transmission of sound between floors. That means you can get to sleep even when the kids are upstairs or downstairs still listening to music.   

For older homes that need some peace and quiet, SoundBreak XP Retrofit Board installs right over the existing drywall to reduce sound transmission between spaces. At just over a quarter of an inch thick, it doesn’t require demolition or major modifications to install.   

And for new construction or renovations, SoundBreak XP Wall Board is a great way to keep the sound “in” a media room or “out” of a home office. 

Whether you’re building or remodeling, when noise, or the lack of it, is important, the SoundBreak XP family of products provided by National Gypsum can help you keep the peace in your home.

“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford installs Purple XP drywall during a Habitat for Humanity build
PURPLE Hi-Impact Gypsum Board is perfect for garages and other rooms prone to knocks from hard objects. 

High-Impact and High-Abuse Drywall 

If you’re renovating or building a home, you want it to look great for years to come.

That’s why using PURPLE XP Hi-Abuse and PURPLE XP Hi-Impact Gypsum Board is a good idea. Both these products are designed to be tougher than ordinary drywall so they can stand up to the abuse of daily life. 

Both are also XP drywall, which stands for Xtra Protection against moisture, mold and mildew. 

And both are built with a stronger core than standard drywall, to defend against dents, scratches and scuffs. The surface of these two products is protected by a higher quality, abrasion-resistant paper on the front face of the panel. This makes PURPLE Hi-Abuse great for high-traffic areas like entryways, laundry rooms and hallways. 

So, what’s the difference between the two? 

PURPLE Hi-Impact Gypsum Board has the same qualities as Hi-Abuse while also featuring a fiberglass mesh embedded into its core. This resists penetrations and provides the highest level of durability for walls or ceilings.  

This material is perfect for basements, garages, playrooms or any area that might see an impact from hard objects. 

Chelsea Lipford Wolf and Danny Lipford install drywall
It’s important to install drywall properly so it will last for years to come.

How to install drywall 

More and more people are tackling their own home renovations. If you’re one of them, here are a few tips for successful drywall installation:  

• Measure the wall and ceiling areas you are covering. This way, you can be certain you are acquiring the correct amount of drywall. Keep in mind when hanging boards horizontally on walls that board ends are over studs. Hang drywall perpendicular to ceiling joists with board ending over joists. 

• Use a utility knife to score the front side of the board at the dimension you need. Cut deep enough into the core so that you can snap the board cleanly. 

• Use the knife to cut the back paper that connects the two pieces. 

• To cut around electrical outlets, windows and doors, use a keyhole saw. If the drywall has rough edges, use a rasp or the utility knife to smooth the cut edge for a tight, clean fit.  

• Hang the ceiling boards before the wall boards. You can use drywall nails or screws to fasten each sheet to the framing. 

• To cover joints, coat with joint compound before you apply paper tape. Center and firmly press down the tape over the joint. Then embed the tape with a board knife so you get a good bond. 

• To get a smooth finish, apply another two to three coats of joint compound over these joints and all of the screw heads. 

• Finally, allow each coat to dry, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Lightly sand the dried joint compound for a smooth final finish, yet take care not to overly sand the surrounding drywall paper. 

When you choose the right drywall for the right room and install it correctly, your home will look great and perform well for years to come. 

For more information on the PURPLE family of products, visit AskForPurple.com


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