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Despite its old charm and many benefits, traditional plaster has fallen out of favour with most homeowners with plasterboard reigning supreme as the central component of all drylining systems. Available in both Standard Boards and Performance Boards. Performance Boards are used in applications where additional fire, acoustic, moisture or vapour resistance is required. The most popular thickness of plasterboard is 12.5mm, and standard boards are available in both Square and Tapered edge forms.

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What is Plasterboard?

Much cheaper and less labour intensive than traditional lath and plaster, Standard Plasterboard is the most commonly used drylining product in the UK. 

Often referred to as drywall or wallboard, these boards are suited for walls, partitions and ceilings. Standard Plasterboard comprises an aerated gypsum core firmly bonded to strong paper liners, making it ideal for suitable gypsum plasters or direct decoration. 

Standard Plasterboard Application

Standard plasterboard sheets can be easily fixed to the wall, timber/metal partitions (with mechanical fixings) and various brick/masonry constructions using the "dot and dab" method, in which plasterboard is applied to the surface of the walls or insulation with adhesive.

The Benefits of Using Plasterboard Over Plaster

  • You don’t need to be an expert to install the boards correctly. Whilst it may take patience and effort to get the boards into the correct position on the wall, you’ll catch on fast.
  • The straight, smooth finish of the boards promises a clean and flush base on which to decorate.
  • It is faster, cheaper, and less labour-intensive than applying plaster.
  • In terms of thermal efficiency, drywall has a slight edge over plaster.
  • Drywall can easily be cut into when making in-wall repairs - these holes are then easy to fix.

Types of Performance Plasterboard

Fire-Resistant Plasterboards

You're in safe hands with fire-resistant plasterboard. Whilst it won't completely fireproof your house, it will buy vital time for residents to escape and survive fire break-outs. 

Fire-resistant plasterboards feature an aerated gypsum core reinforced with glass fibre and other elements before being strongly sealed to pink paper, hence the common “pink plasterboard” label. 

Gyproc Fireline Plasterboard is just one of many fire plasterboards we sell; this square-edged plasterboard offers a slick straight edge and is ideal for applications where stringent fire performance is required.

Moisture-Resistant Plasterboards

Moisture plasterboard is packed with moisture-resistant additives to battle dampness and moisture in walls and ceilings, helping to prevent damage in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms. 

Designed for direct tiling application (with no surface preparation required), these drywall green boards should be used in conjunction with other drywall components to create partition and ceiling systems that resist moisture.

Sound-Proof Plasterboards

Sometimes called acoustic plasterboards, or noise-reducing plasterboards, soundproof plasterboard prevents sound energy from travelling between rooms. 

Sound block plasterboard can markedly reduce the noise levels that penetrate the walls of a room, in either direction. Soundproof acoustic plasterboard features a much higher density core than standard plasterboard. It is this core which lends itself to the reduction of noise pollution; as sound energy struggles to travel through it, allowing for a noise reduction of between 30-50 decibels.

Insulated Plasterboards

Insulated plasterboards (otherwise known as thermal plasterboards) comprise standard drywall plasterboard pre-bonded to an insulant. Although plasterboard is not most commonly known for its thermal performance, insulation plasterboard offers the user the ability to install both the insulation and plasterboard in one operation, offering drylining and added thermal insulation benefits.

Tapered Edge Plasterboard

Tapered edge boards are ideal for taping and jointing to achieve a flush finish or for a single coat gypsum plaster finish. Tapered edge plasterboard is the prime choice for walls (flat wall insulation) no matter the desired finish.

Square Edge Plasterboard

Square edge boards are perfect for textured finishes or undecorated applications. The boards maintain the same thickness throughout, and when pushed together, form the so-called butt joint. 

If you are planning on skimming the plasterboard with plaster we recommend opting for straight edge as it is generally cheaper. 

Vapour Control/Vapour Barrier Plasterboard

Vapour control or vapour barrier plasterboard is a specialised type of drywall or plasterboard used in construction to manage moisture and prevent the movement of water vapour between different building spaces. 

It plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and insulation of a building by controlling the flow of moisture, which, if not properly managed, can lead to various issues such as condensation, mould growth, and reduced energy efficiency.

Knauf Gypsum Plasterboard

Knauf plasterboards offer homeowners a drylining solution that meets industry requirements and application needs. 

We recommend these 2400mm x 1200mm wallboards for people who want easy installation as well as a range of decoration options. Each board has an ivory paper face and a tapered edge that creates a flush finish. It helps homeowners to avoid unsightly gaps and poor installation practices. 

Once the boards are installed, you can begin decorating. Knauf Drywall designed these boards specifically for direct application and decoration. 

While Knauf wallboard provides average fire protection and structural and acoustic insulation, Knauf's range of performance plasterboard offers superior acoustic and fire performance. For best performance, use in conjunction with Knauf jointing compounds and fixings.

Frequently Asked Plasterboard Questions

How to Cut Plasterboard?

We recommend cutting plasterboard with a regular plasterboard saw. You will need a straight edge, Stanley knife, a pencil and a measuring tape. Holes for switch or socket boxes should be cut out before the boards are fixed.

As ever, we recommend marking your measurements before cutting and wearing protective gear.

Can You Paint Plasterboard?

Yes, you can paint plasterboard, and it's a common practice in interior finishing and decoration. 

Steps include preparing the surface, applying primer, and using the desired paint for your walls or ceilings.

How Thick Is Plasterboard? 

Plasterboard thickness can vary from 9mm to 102mm, depending on your specific needs. Typically, standard plasterboard thicknesses for ceilings fall within the range of 9.5 mm to 12.5 mm, while for walls, the thickness can range from 12.5 mm to 15 mm.

Can You Tile Onto Plasterboard?

Yes, you can tile onto plasterboard, but it's essential to follow proper installation procedures to ensure a secure and durable tile surface. 

Typically, this involves applying a suitable tile adhesive and using appropriate wall tile backer boards or waterproofing materials to protect the plasterboard from moisture damage. 

Proper preparation and adhesive selection are crucial for successful tile installation on plasterboard surfaces.

Are Gypsum Board & Plasterboard The Same Thing? 

Yes. Plasterboard goes by several names including gypsum board, drywall, wallboard or wall panels. 

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