If you've ever hauled building materials for a home remodeling project, you know that the overall weight you place inside your truck or SUV has to be monitored closely. Being below your vehicle's payload capacity is very important to the integrity of what you're driving, and to your own personal safety. If the project you're working on includes drywall, you'll probably want to know what the drywall weighs so that you can avoid overloading. We've researched the topic to make sure you're informed.
How much a sheet of drywall weighs will depend upon the size of the drywall sheet, and if you are using standard or lightweight drywall. Drywall comes in sheets that are 4'x8,' 4'x9,' 4'x10,' 4'x10,' 4'x12,' and 4'x14'. The standard thickness of drywall is 5/8". The weight of drywall has a range of 38.4 to 89.6 pounds.
Now that we know the range of drywall weights, you might have other questions about this material. How much weight can drywall support? Is it better to hang drywall vertically or horizontally? Does it need to be secured to a stud? To see the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post.
Weight Of Drywall By Size
Earlier in this post, we listed the range of drywall weights. Here, we'll break down those weights by the sizes that are commonly available. These weights are based on the commonly used half-inch thickness, and also using sheets that are 4 feet wide. Using drywall with other levels of thickness or widths will result in different weights.
- 4x8 drywall weighs 51.2 pounds
- 4x9 drywall weighs 58 pounds
- 4x10 drywall weighs 64 pounds
- 4x12 drywall weighs 76.8 pounds
- 4x14 drywall weighs 89.6 pounds
- 4x8 drywall weighs 38.4 pounds
- 4x9 drywall weighs 43 pounds
- 4x10 drywall weighs 48 pounds
- 4x12 drywall weighs 57.6 pounds
- 4x14 drywall weighs 67.2 pounds
As you can see, there is a substantial difference in the weight of drywall when comparing standard drywall to lightweight brands. Ask a trusted contractor which type is best for your project before you purchase the material.
Are drywall and sheetrock the same thing?
Drywall and sheetrock are interchangeable terms used to describe interior wallboard. Drywall always refers to the product itself, while "sheetrock" is a commonly known brand of drywall. The two are used in the way that "Coke" and "soda" are sometimes used.
Do you have to secure drywall to a stud?
Not only do you have to secure drywall to a stud, but you must make sure that each end of the drywall is placed near the center of a stud.
Drywall isn't a rigid material like wood. It requires support so that it will not flex and bow after installation. The way to make this material appear rigid is to attach it to studs, and to make sure that each end of the sheet is secured to the studs.
The further away from the center of the sheet, the more flexible this material gets. While it does bend some, bending it too far will cause it to crack or break off. If you don't secure each side to studs, then you run the risk of your drywall looking wavy and eventually breaking. And even if it doesn't break, the bowing will cause your paint to crack and separate.
How much weight can drywall support?
If you're preparing to hang a frame or mirror on your drywalled walls, you'll want to be aware of the amount of weight your drywall can safely hold.
Depending on the type of drywall, you can expect it to be able to hold up to 2.1 pounds of weight per square foot, without any additional support. The thinnest drywall materials can hold at least 1.2 pounds per square foot. If you have items to be hung that will weigh more, there are support items available at a minimal cost that will allow you to hang almost anything. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, which we show here.
|Type of support||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Nail||Cheap and easy||Comes out easily and not dependable|
|Plastic anchors||Also cheap and easy||Only holds lightweight items, and you have to predrill a hole|
|Self-drilling screws||No need to pre-drill a hole||When removed, a sizable hole is left that has to be filled|
|Molly bolt||Holds a lot more weight||Requires more labor, needing pre-drilling and hammering into place|
|Flip toggle bolt||Strongest support, lasts the longest||You must make a much larger hold in the wall for this to be inserted|
|Adhesive backed||No hole in the wall, easy to remove||For the lightest weight objects only, not long-lasting, can easily fail|
Is it better to hang drywall vertically or horizontally?
While you are able to hang drywall in both manners, which one you decide on will depend on the project itself.
In commercial areas, you are almost always required to hang the drywall vertically. Modern fire codes will dictate that the seams of the drywall will fall on the entire length of the framing.
If your project is in your home, the wall height will be a major determining factor in how your drywall is hung. Walls that are ten feet high or more benefit from vertical placement, as the drywall seams will be fit all along the studs.
But if you have shorter ceilings, there are advantages to having horizontal drywall installation. Moving along the frame of your room horizontally, you will have a lot fewer seams to tape and mud. As much as 25% to be exact. Less taping and mudding means less time spent. And if you're paying someone to install it, your labor costs will be reduced.
Drywall has a range of weights that depends on the dimensions. There are also "lightweight" drywall materials out there that weigh substantially less than the standard sheets. Remember, drywall refers to the material and sheetrock is a specific brand of drywall. Sheetrock and drywall are used interchangeably, however.
Drywall can support more weight than you might think and is capable of supporting a lot more if you use certain accessories to hang your objects. Whether you hang drywall horizontally or vertically will depend on the type of project. In a commercial structure, you'll almost always be required to install it vertically.
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