Drywall is a composite material made of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two thick pieces of paper, also known as plasterboard, gypsum board, wallboard and gyprock. It is used within most homes as the walls and ceilings; screwed with drywall screws through the dry wall and into the metal or wooden studs behind it. The joints, seams, corners, and around bulkheads are taped using a sand-able compound; this tape is made up of a fiber mesh or thin paper roll, a few inches wide. This is a much faster method than the traditional lath and plaster which was still in use, almost half a century ago.
Most homes that require re-wiring, re-plumbing, or any internal room add-ons, opening up walls and ceilings, will probably use drywall to repair the dry-walled areas as needed. It is the most cost-effective system, mainly because areas can be effortlessly patched or tied into, while being easily taped with the compound; and once the compound dries, sanded to a smooth high quality finish, ready for painting.
These drywall sheets come in a few standard sizes, 4x8, 4x10, and 4x12 foot pieces; additionally, they can be of various thicknesses, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 of an inch. Some drywall can be manufactured to be fire-rated; as well as mold and water resistant; these, to be used in bathrooms and high moisture areas. Some older homes as well as some newer ones, especially, those having narrow spiral staircases, make it difficult to get full sheets through the house, forcing one to become inventive.
Drywall can be painted, stuccoed and plastered over; as well as used in combination with an assortment of pre-made plaster or synthetic trim and architectural mouldings, for both the walls and ceilings, in order to give any room that certain customized feel or style. For this kind of precision workmanship, you will need to hire a finished carpenter that can also drywall, tape and plaster.
If you are DIY'er and decide to take on a full room or more; please be advised that it can be difficult repetitious work, requiring constant bending and stretching to apply the drywall, the tape and compound, including, subsequent repeated applications of compound, and sanding; making it a very dust filled environment. Other areas of the homes should be tarped off with plastic sheets and duct tape.
Most seasoned drywall, tape and plasters, have the experience to do a professional job, creating a high quality finish in your home. They also come fully equipped with the right ladders, tarps and tools that can easily cost a DIY'er a few hundred dollars in equipment rentals alone. While drywalling, consider adding some inexpensive trim and mouldings to the room making for a more elegant and decorative finish.
The professional finished product of any drywall, tape and plaster job, consists of smooth walls and ceilings that are free of dents, bumps and hardened paint. Only in this way can it be ready for paint, and the painter's high quality finish.