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If you’re trying to cut costs in your bathroom renovation, you might want to skip the moisture-resistant sheetrock and go for regular drywall.
But can you use regular drywall in a bathroom?
Since bathrooms are both wet and humid, you shouldn’t use regular drywall. Regular drywall is porous, which means it can absorb moisture.
This moisture will lead to mold, mildew, and rotting.
Here’s what else you need to know.
What Happens If You Put Regular Drywall In The Bathroom?
Regular drywall has a paper coating on both sides of it. Since bathrooms are wet and have large swings in humidity levels, moisture can develop on the drywall even if it doesn’t come into direct contact with water.
This moisture leads to a host of problems, including mold, mildew, and the eventual rotting of the wall.
It’s risky to put regular drywall in bathrooms – even if they’re well-ventilated. Instead, you need to outfit your bathroom with moisture or mold-resistant products.
The Best Types Of Drywall For The Bathroom
You should avoid using regular drywall for your bathroom walls. Instead, consider one of these products.
Cement board is a combo of cement with reinforcing fibers that form a sheet you can use on the wall.
Cement board is the best backer board to use behind tile and showers in the bathroom. While it’s more expensive than regular drywall, it’s completely waterproof, which will help protect your investment. (And avoid mold behind your shower walls.)
You should use cement board in the shower or tub area and behind any tiling. You can use one of the products below for the rest of the walls.
Greenboard / Green Drywall
While greenboard isn’t entirely waterproof, it is water-resistant. It has a green wax on the outside that helps it repel moisture.
Greenboard is cheaper than cement board, but since it’s not entirely waterproof, you shouldn’t use it as a backer board for your tiles or shower walls. But greenboard can be used everywhere else in the bathroom.
Purple drywall is one step above the greenboard. Not only is this type of drywall water-resistant, but it’s also mold and mildew-resistant.
If you’ve had mold issues in your bathroom, purple gypsum board is a great product to use.
Instead of the regular paper outside, paperless drywall has a fiberglass coating. While paperless drywall isn’t as popular as other options, its fiberglass coating makes it water-resistant.
It can also help stop the growth of mold and mildew.
Can You Use Regular Drywall On A Bathroom Ceiling?
You’ll need to use moisture-resistant drywall or green board above the shower and tub area in your bathroom. However, it’s okay to use regular drywall for the ceiling in the rest of the room. (Just make sure the bathroom is well-ventilated.)
If you’re worried about mold or want to play it safe, cover your entire ceiling in a moisture-resistant sheetrock product.
What’s the Best Bathroom Drywall Thickness?
The most common drywall thickness for bathrooms is ½ inch. However, you can also use ⅝ inch thick drywall if that’s what you prefer.
So, can you use regular drywall in a bathroom? While it’s possible, you probably shouldn’t.
Since regular drywall is porous, humid and wet bathrooms can cause mold, mildew, and rotting.
For in the shower and behind tiles, use cement board. For all other wall space, use a moisture-resistant product like purple or greenboard.
This will help protect the time and money you’ve put into your home improvement project.