What Type of Drywall is Used For Ceilings?

When the typical layman thinks of drywall and its uses, they probably think of the standard grey half-inch, or so gypsum board used to line their walls. 

However, it’s also essential for protecting ceilings! 

But what type of drywall is used for ceilings? 

Is it different from drywall used for walls? 

There are a lot of common questions floating around online when it comes to drywall and ceilings–let’s take an in-depth look at their answers below.

Typically, standard ½”-inch or ⅝”-inch drywall is used for ceilings and walls in most commercial and residential settings. Sheets of this type of drywall are usually 4′ by 8′ feet, but longer, larger sheets are also sometimes used for very high and wide ceilings.

Read on to learn more about the type of drywall used for ceilings. 

We’ll cover all the basics you need to know and some helpful tips for installing it properly when tackling a ceiling project.

what drywall for ceiling

What Kind of Drywall is Used For Ceilings?

Most people don’t think much about the several different types of drywall and their uses, but it’s essential to know the differences between the main kinds on the market.

This way, you know which to use for your future home improvement projects before you head to your local hardware stores.

Even if you think you aren’t the type to want to fuss with these types of projects and would rather simply pay the professionals to take care of it, it’s still beneficial to have some basic knowledge of drywall!

There are, in fact, several different types of drywall, most of which mainly differ by their thickness and size. 

However, various kinds also have helpful features to make them more useful for specific applications. 

Certain kinds hold up better in certain conditions, certain thicknesses work better for different rooms and settings, and so on.

While we usually think of drywall being used for walls, it’s also crucial for creating and reinforcing ceilings. 

Fortunately, when it comes to the type of drywall which works best for ceilings, the standard grey gypsum board with a ½”-inch or ⅝”-inch thickness is usually the most suitable option. 

This tends to be the most commonly used type of drywall in typical residential and commercial settings.

As far as the size of the boards goes, most regular ½”-inch drywall boards are 4′ by 8′ feet. 

However, larger sizes, various lengths, and thicker panels are available for larger projects, with some substantial sheets having 12’-foot or even 16’-foot lengths. 

For example, if you’re working on drywalling a ceiling in your home, you’ll likely be just fine using the standard 4′ x 8′ foot size sheets. 

Some very high ceilings will need longer sheets, however.

Is There a Difference Between Regular and Ceiling Drywall?

Aside from the standard ½”-inch, 4′ by 8′ feet wide sheet of drywall, which is most commonly used for standard residential construction and commercial projects, there are several additional drywall types with unique features and thicknesses and their intended uses. 

Though they seem overwhelming, their differences are pretty straightforward to understand. 

For example, some drywall is designed to be particularly moisture-resistant or mold-resistant, which is recommended for use in more warm and humid rooms and is a good choice for bathrooms and kitchens where mold and moisture present various issues.

Soundproof drywall is also excellent for music studios, libraries, and other settings where soundproofing is necessary. 

Additionally, fire-retardant drywall is common for rooms with ovens and fireplaces and other situations where preventing the potential spread of a fire is useful. 

This type often uses thicker drywall panels and is used in commercial settings like restaurants where local building codes require it for safety purposes.

Now, with so many different kinds of drywall on the market, you’ve probably wondered if there’s a specific kind designed solely for use on ceilings. 

In reality, though, there isn’t any real difference between “regular” and ceiling drywall. 

In fact, for all intents and purposes, “regular” drywall simply is ceiling drywall.

For most ceilings, usually, either ½”-inch panels or ⅝”-inch panels of standard drywall are ideal for thickness. 

We’ll cover the ideal drywall thickness for ceilings and why these different thicknesses are used in more detail in the next section below.

You probably won’t need any special features like the mold-resistant, fire-resistant, and soundproof ones listed above. 

The most common size used for this purpose is 4′ x 8′ feet, but there are also 4′ x 10′, 4′ x 12′, and even 4′ x 16′ feet sheets if you need to cover exceptionally high or wide ceilings.

How Thick Should Ceiling Drywall Be?

Most standard size drywall is available in four main thicknesses, and each size is designed to best suit a particular setting. 

These thicknesses are ¼”-inch, ⅜”-inch, ½”-inch, and ⅝”-inch. 

Other thicknesses exist, but these four are the most common and accessible at your average hardware and home improvement shops.

Generally, it’s best to use either ½”-inch or ⅝”-inch drywall for most ceilings in both residential and commercial settings. 

Still, it’ll be helpful to briefly go over the most common drywall thicknesses below.

¼”-inch drywall is far too thin for most ceilings, and it is best for curved walls or patching up damaged spots. 

Sometimes, these thinner drywall panels are doubled up to create a ½”-inch layer, but this should only be done when covering small areas of damage.

⅜”-inch drywall is thicker, but it’s still too thin for your typical ceiling. 

This thickness is also used for curved surfaces or patching up damage or holes in the drywall where a total replacement would be too costly or time-consuming or otherwise wouldn’t make sense.

½”-inch drywall is the most common thickness used for most walls, and it’s usually a good choice for ceilings. 

This standard thickness is light enough to easily carry around and install but thick and heavy enough for your average walls and ceilings in most smaller residential (and commercial) settings. 

It’s a good balance between strength and lightweight flexibility.

If you’re on a budget, this ½”-inch thick drywall is likely your most cost-efficient option for your drywall project. 

It’s also the most common variety stocked by drywall suppliers.

Finally, ⅝”-inch thick drywall is the thickest variety, and it’s most commonly used for soundproofing and is often fire-resistant. 

This thicker drywall size is also frequently used in ceilings, as it’s more durable and thick enough to prevent sagging over time, but it is usually a bit more expensive than ½”-inch drywall.

If you’re working on a larger project and have the funds to afford it, this is your most high-quality and long-lasting option.