It takes strong arms and a sturdy back to complete a drywall installation from start to finish. In trying to reduce the physical strain of handling these large sheets, drywall manufacturers have developed a 1/2-inch sheet that is up to 25 percent lighter than the standard equivalent. Consisting of the same gypsum core as standard drywall, lightweight drywall utilizes adhesive polymers and various raw materials that are not only lightweight, but light on the wallet as well.
All lightweight drywall is manufactured with a 1/2-inch thickness, though it is available in lengths of eight, nine, 10 or 12 feet. Because it weighs 25 percent less than standard drywall, you can expect these size sheets to range in weight from 40.8, 45.9, 51 or 61.2 pounds, respectively.
Because it is meant as a total replacement for standard weight drywall, lightweight drywall is suitable for any applications in which standard 1/2-inch drywall is used. This includes both walls and ceilings in residential construction.
Standard drywall is commonly manufactured in thicknesses of 3/8, 1/2 or 5/8 inch and lengths of eight, 10 or 12 feet. Drywall that is 3/8 inch thick weighs 44.8, 56 and 67.2 pounds for a length of eight, 10 or 12 feet, respectively. One-half-inch board weighs 54.4, 68 or 81.6 pounds for sheets of eight, 10 or 12 feet. Boards 5/8 inch thick weigh 73.6, 92 or 110.4 pounds per eight, 10 or 12 feet. Quarter-inch board, only manufactured in lengths of eight of 10 feet, weighs 38.4 or 48 pounds, respectively.
Some drywall sheets can be found in other sizes, including both longer and wider measurements, and some sheets may also be cut smaller. For sheets of irregular size, you can figure out the exact weight by first determining the actual square footage of the board in question. Standard 1/4-inch drywall weighs 1.2 pounds per square foot, 3/8-inch drywall weighs 1.4 pounds per square foot, 1/2-inch drywall weighs 1.6 pounds per square foot and 5/8-inch drywall weighs 2.2 pounds per square foot. Lightweight drywall, available only in 1/2 inch thickness, will weigh up to 25 percent less, or around 0.3 pounds per square foot.
John Vann has been a professional freelance writer since 2008. His articles appear on various websites. Vann is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in computer networking at Muskegon Community College.