What is Paperless Drywall ?I have been hearing a lot about paperless drywall. Can you please share some information on exactly what this is?
Lou from Prescott Valley
Paperless drywall is a sheet goods product for covering walls. Paperless drywall seems to have a lot of attention in the marketplace and is an interesting product. Let’s start with traditional drywall which is made of a firm gypsum core that is covered with a special paper. Not all traditional drywall has the same paper facing and if you look at drywall sheets you will see some have a blue or green paper covering – this inhibits the absorption of water that will soften the gypsum board. Paperless drywall is covered with fiberglass that is extremely water resistant and the gypsum core of paperless drywall is also moisture-resistant, which is not necessarily the case with traditional drywall. The best advantage to paperless drywall is that it is mold resistant, not mold proof, but helps to minimize the spread of mold. The fiberglass covering on paperless drywall is not a food source for most common molds, therefore mold development is more challenging and paperless drywall is more unresponsive to mold growth. Another plus to paperless drywall is that the surface is more damage resilient and tougher. When installing standard drywall in areas of moisture, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, a vapor barrier should be installed, and with paperless drywall there is no need for a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is installed to prevent moisture damage to your walls. The material cost for paperless drywall is more than double that of standard drywall and paperless drywall is more labor intensive to install. The primary installation areas for paperless drywall seem to be in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. There is a slightly rougher surface when you view paperless drywall from a closer view, however from a distance of approximately 5 feet away, you cannot tell any difference between standard and paperless drywall. When a light is cast on paperless drywall you can sometimes see the texture of the fiberglass matting. It does take an experienced and qualified drywall finisher to install paperless drywall and the entire surface of the paperless drywall should be skimmed with a drywall compound. Also, keep in mind there are different methods of skim-coating and different tools to use, so it is important again to make sure you are using an experienced drywall finisher. Paperless drywall is not for the “do-it yourself project”. Now that we have given you some basic facts on standard vs. paperless drywall, here are some simple pros and cons: Paperless Pros: Increased mold resistance. More resistant to dings, nicks and dents. No need to install a vapor barrier. A great material for heavy moisture areas. Paperless Cons: More expensive than standard drywall, Not as easily repaired, Additional drywall mud needed to install. Standard Drywall Pros: made from all recycled products, Easy to repair, less expensive than paperless, readily available on the market. Standard Cons: Does not inhibit mold growth, Damages more easily, Vapor barrier is necessary in moisture prone areas.