If you’re finishing a basement with drywall, your safest bet is to use a mold or moisture-resistant option. This is because basements are underground (at least partially) and are subject to increased humidity.

Pair this with the fact they often flood, and you’re looking at a breeding ground for mold growth.

As far as size goes, you can use a standard ½ inch thick piece of drywall on the walls and ⅝ inch thick drywall on the ceilings.

Is There Special Drywall For Basements?

Depending on who you ask, you’ll receive a different answer on the best drywall type to use for your basement. Generally speaking, if your basement is subject to high humidity levels or moisture, you’ll want to use a mold or moisture-resistant drywall.

One company, Toughrock, manufactures a drywall basement board specifically for use in basements. This board is moisture and mildew-resistant.

Do I Need Moisture Resistant Drywall In The Basement?

If your basement has any moisture problems, it’s a good idea to use moisture-resistant drywall. Moisture-resistant drywall is often called “greenboard” and has a thicker outer coating protecting it from absorbing water. 

Standard drywall, on the other hand, is porous and will absorb water. This means anytime standard drywall comes into contact with moisture, there’s a possibility of mold or mildew growth.

Should You Use Waterproof Drywall For A Basement?

While green drywall offers some moisture protection, purple drywall is the most waterproof of all. Waterproof drywall is ideal if your basement has ever flooded or you’ve noticed any condensation on the walls.

Should You Use Purple Drywall In The Basement?

If you want to use purple drywall in your basement, it’s not a bad idea. Purple drywall is moisture, mildew, and mold resistant.

And since basements often have moisture problems, this drywall can help protect against mold or mildew forming on the wall.

What Thickness Of Drywall Should I Use For The Basement?

Drywall thickness for basement walls should be ½ inch thick. You can use standard drywall if you have a dry basement, but mold and moisture-resistant options are better investments if your basement collects moisture.

Do You Use The Same Drywall For The Basement Ceiling?

While you can use the same drywall thickness for the walls and basement ceiling, most experts recommend a ⅝ inch thick sheet of drywall for ceilings. This is because ⅝ inch drywall is much less likely to sag between joists than standard ½ inch drywall.

If your basement stays pretty dry, you can use standard drywall on the ceiling instead of moisture-resistant. Just be sure to coat the ceiling with mold-resistant paint.

Conclusion

If you’re drywalling your basement, you’ll need to use ½ inch thick gypsum panels on the walls and ⅝ inch thick sheets on the ceiling. If your basement is subject to moisture (most basements are), it’s wise to use water or mildew-resistant drywall.

While moisture resistant or waterproof drywall is more expensive, it’s less likely to mold or need replacement down the line.