Skip to main content

Sheetrock vs. drywall: Yes, there’s a difference

Everything you need to know about these building materials

bedroom renovation with ladder and paint
nycshooter / Getty Images

You may have heard the terms “Sheetrock” and “drywall” used interchangeably. But are they the same? The short answer is no. While all Sheetrock is drywall, not all drywall is Sheetrock.

Here, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between Sheetrock vs. drywall to help you gain a better understanding of the two.

Person using drywall tape to repair drywall
schankz / Shutterstock

What is drywall?

Drywall replaced plaster as the primary building material for internal walls and ceilings during the mid-1900s. Drywall contains dried gypsum powder compressed into large sheets between thick paper. This creates a drywall board that’s installed in many interiors, from residential to commercial builds.

Recommended Videos

Drywall is installed via screws to the studs to give interior walls and ceilings a smooth, flat surface. This makes drywall a wonderful base for painting or adhering wallpaper to decorate the home.

Today, drywall is one of the most common additions to any modern build since it’s easy to install, cost-effective, and widely available for many people. There is a variety of drywall brands, each with its own unique chemical compositions, meaning that drywall can range from low to high quality, depending on the brand you choose. Additionally, while drywall is pretty hardy for most interior purposes, some brands pay extra attention to mold, moisture, and fire resistance.

The average cost of drywall per square foot is around $0.50 and can range from as low as $0.40 to a high of $0.70. Of course, this depends on the brand, your location, and any additional perks of the drywall you choose.

people renovating the kitchen and replacing the cabinets
Associated Press / Alamy

What is Sheetrock?

It’s fair to say that all Sheetrock is drywall, but not all drywall is Sheetrock. Sheetrock is a type of drywall, similar to how Kleenex is a type of tissue or how Q-tip is a type of cotton swab. However, Sheetrock gained a lot of popularity, which prompted the usage of its brand name to become colloquially interchangeable with “drywall.”

Sheetrock is a high-quality drywall brand with various drywalls to choose from. Some Sheetrock can be moisture-resistant, fire-resistant, and even sound-dampening. Like other brands of drywall, Sheetrock can be used for walls and ceilings of both residential and commercial properties. And due to its fantastic quality, it’s a go-to in many construction projects.

However, because of its popularity, quality, and variety, Sheetrock is often more expensive than other drywall brands.

Couple Painting Neutral Colors On Wall
Photo By Jelena Zelen / Shutterstock

How Sheetrock and drywall are similar but not the same

How they are similar

  • Sheetrock is a brand of drywall.
  • Can be used in home construction interchangeably (though quality will differ with other types of drywall)

How they differ

  • Sheetrock is a higher-quality drywall.
  • Sheetrock contains a unique chemical compound, while other drywall compositions vary.
  • Sheetrock is made by the United States Gypsum (USG) Corporation. Drywall is manufactured by several companies.
Woman in striped shirt painting ceiling with extended roller
New Africa / Shutterstock

Are there different types of drywall?

Yes. There are different types of drywall depending on your needs. Here are the most common options when getting specialty drywall.

  • Whiteboard. This is also referred to as “regular drywall.”
  • Soundproof drywall. This type of drywall includes an additional viscoelastic polymer layer for more sound control.
  • Ceiling drywall. This is also known as sag-resistant drywall and is specialized for ceilings.
  • Moisture- and mold-resistant drywall
  • Fire-resistant drywall
Gray basement walls
MasterPhoto / Shutterstock

Thickness and size of drywall

Drywall comes in various sizes and thicknesses, depending on the needs of the project.


The thinner the drywall, the more prone it is to bending or breaking. Interior walls often require a sturdier drywall unless you’re working with curves. Also, sag-resistant drywall is the standard for ceilings.

Here is what you need to know about the various drywall thicknesses.

  • 1/4 inch is best for repairing existing walls or working with curved walls
  • 3/8 inch can also be used for repairs or curved walls
  • 1/2 inch drywall is the most commonly used for building interior walls
  • 5/8 inch is a sturdier drywall that has reduced sagging, making it ideal for ceilings
  • 3/4 inch drywall is best for soundproofing


Depending on the scope of your project and the space you’re working with, you’ll have to determine which standard size is best for you. Of course, you can always cut drywall to size to fit your needs, but these are the most common sizes in which drywall sheets are sold.

  • The standard drywall sheet is sold in 4-by-8-foot sections. The 4-foot width is ideal for covering four wall studs with 1/16-inch space in the center or across three ceiling joists with 24 inches in the center. The 8-foot height matches the standard height of ceilings in the U.S.
  • 2-by-2-foot drywall boards are good for drywall repairs and small patches.
  • 4-by-10-foot drywall is sold for spaces with walls that are 10 feet in height.
  • Likewise, 4-by-12-foot drywall boards are meant for walls 12 feet in height.

Drywall and Sheetrock are similar but not quite the same. While Sheetrock is a type of drywall, it’s important to remember that it is a brand name, meaning not all drywall is Sheetrock. Thankfully, both Sheetrock and other brands of drywall can perform the job you need for your build. Just remember to consider the type of project you are pursuing and the quality of drywall you need before purchasing any drywall boards.

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
Satin vs. eggshell paint: How to choose the right finish for every room
Read an expert's thoughts on these two finishes
Pink and blue color blocking wall paint design

Repainting your home is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to transform your home. However, before you start poring over paint swatches and heading to your local hardware or paint store to buy your house paint primer and paint, there is one major decision you need to make: finish. Let's talk about what paint finish is, how it will impact your painting project, and which you should choose when it comes to satin vs. eggshell paint.

What is paint finish?
When we talk about paint finish, we're referring to the texture and appearance of a painted surface after the paint has dried. Basically, it's the final touch that determines the overall aesthetic and feel of the painted area. Paint finishes can vary in terms of sheen (glossiness), smoothness, and durability, and each type of finish has its own unique characteristics. Paint finish isn't a one-size-fits-all situation, and the finish of the paint can make a big difference in how it looks.

Read more
5 things you should never bother to fix when selling your house
Save yourself some time and stress by not touching these things
Guy on ladder painting exterior of house

So it's time to sell your home, and no doubt your head is spinning thinking about repairs, realtors, open houses, finding a new home, and more. Surely you don’t want to add unnecessary stressors to the mix of the chaos of selling your house.

To remove some items from your to-do list, learning what not to fix when selling a house can help. There are some things you can get away without fixing when selling your home — and the best part is, you won’t feel like you’re trying to pull a fast one on the homebuyers.

Read more
The best greige paint colors that will completely refresh your home
Try these greige paint colors for a change of scenery
Greige living room with brick wall

In the realm of interior design, finding the perfect neutral hue can transform a space from ordinary to extraordinary. Greige, a sophisticated blend of gray and beige, has emerged as a timeless favorite for its ability to effortlessly complement a variety of styles and aesthetics.

Whether used as a wall color, trim accent, or foundation for decor, greige offers a subtle yet elegant backdrop that enhances any room. If you’re searching for the best greige paint colors, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to find out why it’s a great color, how best to use it, and some of our favorite greige paints.

Read more