⅜ vs ½ Drywall: An In-depth Comparison

Drywall is a great material to construct walls, ceilings, etc with other useful functionalities. But deciding on the right drywall thickness can be quite tricky. Before you choose drywall for your home, there are a few things to consider.

So, which one should you choose between 3 8 vs 1 2 drywall?

Well, ⅜ is used for repair works while ½ in constructing walls and ceilings. Moreover, ½ inch is thicker than the ⅜ inch, so it’s also heavier in weight. As a result, ½ in drywall are sturdier. ½ inch drywall comes in various sizes while ⅜ inch comes in only one size.

Now you have a vague idea about ½ and ⅜ inch drywall. Interested to know more about it?

Read along!

⅜ vs ½ inch Drywalls: Brief Comparison

Before buying drywall sheets, the most crucial thing to think about is choosing the right thickness.

Certain panels are light and flexible, but they are more likely to break. Walls and ceilings, on the other hand, require thicker panels. Drywalls with thicknesses of 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, and 5/8-inch are the most common.

The thickness of drywall panels is regulated by a variety of building codes. The building code determines the thickness necessary for each application.

Also, different thicknesses offer different pros and cons-

Parameters ⅜ inch drywall ½ inch drywall
Usage Repair Work Walls and Ceilings
Weight per 4′ x 8′ Sheet 43.65 lb Standard Variant – 57.6 lbs

Lightweight variant – 39.2 lbs

Available Sizes 4′ x 8′ Sheets 4′ x 8′, 9′, 10′, 12′ and 14′ Sheets
Thickness ⅜ inch ½ inch
Popularity Unpopular One of the most used
Durability Less durable More Durable
Variants N/A Fire rating, moisture resistance, lightweight

 

Now that we are done with the direct comparison let’s move on to a detailed one-

⅜ vs ½ Inch Drywalls: In-Depth Comparison

The brief comparison gave us a vague idea about their core differences. Now, let’s dive deeper and do an in-depth comparison of these two.

Usage

3/8″ drywall was the usual thickness a few decades ago. It is now utilized in situations where a certain thickness is required.

It may also be used to cover existing walls and ceilings with laminate. Since it’s less in weight than 1/2″ and 5/8″ brethren, it’s not as sturdy.

Using it on the ceiling might lead to several other issues. It can slump off because of its lack of thickness and sturdiness. As a result, you may face problems while painting your ceiling.

This thickness is ideal for changing out partitions. It may also be used to patch or mend holes in the drywall. Worn away or removed plasters can also be fixed with ⅜ drywall.

It might be used on walls by itself, although this is not advised. It should not be used on ceilings in most scenarios.

On the other hand, ½ inch drywalls are the most used drywall for ceiling and walls. ½ inch drywalls are used for ceilings and walls. It’s heavier and sturdier than ⅜ inch drywall, so it can be used for heavier loads.

It also comes with different variants such as fire-rated, moisture-resistant, etc. You can also find lighter variants of ½ inch drywall. This provides you with more room to experiment with your drywall.

Even though these variants might cost you extra money but these can be quite useful.

Suppose you are having trouble removing a kitchen faucet and you flood your home. The moisture resistance drywall might just save a lot of o bucks.

Weight

The main difference-maker in the weight of these two is their thickness. Also, ⅜ and ½ inch represent their thicknesses respectively. So, it’s obvious that ½ inch drywall will be thicker and heavier than ⅜ drywall. But there is more to it.

Since ½ inch drywalls are very popular and commonly used, it has different variants.

Every 4′ x 8′ Sheet of ½ and ⅜ inch drywall weighs around 57.6 lb and  43.65 lb respectively. It’s clear that the ½ inch drywall is heavier.

As we talked about it has a lightweight variant as well. The lightweight variant of ½ inch drywall weighs 39.2 lb.

Available Sizes

Choosing the correct sheet size is also very important. The right sheet size will reduce the number of joints and make the task easier.

Larger sheets of drywall might be difficult to handle. You’re dealing with two major challenges. Also, in this respect, ½ inch drywall gives you more flexibility. ½ inch drywall sheets are available in 4′ x 8′, 9′, 10′, 12′ and 14′ inches.

On the other hand, ⅜ inch drywall is only available in 4′ x 8′ size. This limits the flexibility and might result in more joints and trouble while using.

The ability to manually lift and install a huge drywall panel is one example. Even with assistance, this might be difficult.

If you’re intending to use it as a tile backer board then reconsider. A cement board is ideal for this work. Which to choose between ¼ vs ½  cement board depends on your choice of drywall.

The other is getting it to your desired location. This will be difficult to get drywall around corners, up and down stairways, and through doorways.

Variants

Different variants of the drywall can make your work way easier and more useful. Unfortunately, ⅜ inch drywall doesn’t have any other variant than the standard one. 

On the other hand, ½ inch drywall has 3 different variants. One variant has a fire rating which provides more safety from fire than the standard variant. Fire-rated drywall is more expensive but offers great safety against fire.

½ inch drywall also comes in a moisture-resistant variant. This provides more protection against moisture. This variant is useful in more wet weather than normal.

Water entry can cause extensive drywall damage. So moisture resistance can also reduce the chances of getting damaged by water.

⅜ vs ½ Inch Drywalls: Final Verdict

Even both are used for different purposes. ½ inch drywalls are overall a better choice.

½ inch drywall is ideal for constructing sturdy walls and ceilings. Moreover, if someone is looking for extra functionality through a different variant, that also works. Because of availability in different sizes, it can also reduce hard work.

But ⅜ inch drywalls are suited for repair works. Also laminating over older walls and ceilings can also be done with this. But because of its limited size and variants, it’s very hard to recommend.

So, overall ½ inch drywall is the winner. But ⅜ inch drywall can also come in handy in certain situations.

FAQs

What thickness to use for curved walls?

⅜ inch drywall can be used for building curved walls. You can also use ¼ inch drywall for this.

Is drywall supposed to touch the ground?

It’s best if you can allow a 1/2-inch space at the bottom of the wall. This enables for expansion of the floor and walls without damaging the drywall. If the floor floods, it also helps to prevent moisture absorption.

Should I hand my drywall vertically or horizontally?

Normally, drywalls must always be hung vertically. But in special cases hanging drywalls horizontally can offer a few benefits.

Endnote

This was all we had to offer today. Hopefully, this post will guide you in deciding between 3 8 vs 1 2 drywall.

Please let us know if you have any other questions in the comments section. Best of luck!

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