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Plasterboard guide

Plasterboard is a panel made of gypsum, sandwiched between a facer and a backer. Construction companies use plasterboards to make ceilings and interior walls. Previously, companies would use lath and plaster, a traditional method to make ceilings and interior walls. However, plasterboards (drywall construction) quickly became a popular alternative. 

The standard size of plasterboards is between 9.5 and 12.5 mm – i.e. 3/8 and ½ inches of thickness. Plasterboards with greater thickness have more rigidity. For ceilings and stud partitioning, it has become standard – making it easier for people installing plasterboard as a DIY project. 

Professional contractors use plasterboard to line masonry walls internally. The professionals simply attach the sheets to the masonry with a dab of adhesive such as wall linings. 


Types of Plasterboards 

Insulated board: A type of plasterboard that incorporates an insulating foam layer to the rear side. The purpose is to improve thermal insulation. 

Damp-proof board: It has a damp proof membrane such as a colored silver foil on the rear face. 

Moisture resistant board: These types of plasterboards are used in showers, bathrooms, and kitchens. It is resistant to damp and moisture. 

Sound insulation board: These are composed of sound-proofing material to reduce noise transmission. 

Fire-resistant board: These are designed to offer resistance to fire. Other types of plasterboard also offer some sort of fire resistance but these boards provide much better resistance. 

Tapered board: Tapered boards taper in thickness toward the edges. It is the most common style used and in many situations, contractors find it easy to use given that the taper on both pieces butts together. This allows concealing of the joints, which is done using scrim and joint compound in order to fill the depression caused by the tapers. 

Untapered board: These boards have square edges. You must skim the surface with plaster to achieve an easily hidden seam. 

Size of Plasterboard: Most types of plasterboard comes in 9.5 and/or 12.5 mm thickness. The usual size of a sheet is between 0.9m to 1.2m wide and 1.7 m and 3.6 m in length. Other sizes are available too but cutting down the sheets can result in non-tapered edges. 


Plasterboard application

Plasterboard is used to build ceilings and partition walls in any building – such as houses, shops, schools, hospitals, offices, and domestic properties. Today, we have advanced plasterboards with innovative technology, which are used for external sheathing. 


Benefits of plasterboard

The use of plasterboard provides a number of benefits. Primarily, it gives a smooth finish. It is used to create innovative features like curved walls. Most of the times, it is regarded as a simple solution for meeting Building Regulations for thermal, moisture, fire, and acoustic performance. 

The installation process requires less time and labor. Plasterboards are good for reducing noise and have fire-resistant properties. Most of the plasterboards are not susceptible to water damage – even if exposed to increased levels of damp or moisture over longer periods. Some plasterboards with additives are designed to provide much better water-resistance. 

Plasterboard is lightweight, which means they are easy and safer to handle. It likewise reduces the risk of injury and provides a safe, clean, and simple installation process. If you have a small budget, still you can use plasterboard for decoration. It is extremely affordable and provides quality standards for construction or home improvement. 

Plasterboards, typically, are made from recyclable materials, which are sustainable resources – providing for a healthy living environment as it is free from hazardous chemicals. 

They are easy to repair. You don’t need any complicated tools for repairing. They are also very adaptable. You can move or transfer them easily for changes in the layout – for instance, the renovation purpose.


Drywall vs plasterboard

Although both terms are used interchangeably, there is a considerable difference between the two. Drywall, also known as gypsum board or wallboard, is a sheet used to make ceilings and walls. In contrast, plasterboard has the same function but it is much thicker and harder than drywall. 


Plaster vs drywall

Plaster walls provide more durability in finishing than drywall. Drywall is more commonly used in buildings because its installation is easy and affordable. But for a higher quality finish, we recommend plaster.

Can you paint directly onto the plasterboard?

You can paint directly onto plasterboard but make sure you don’t skim it. Some experts recommend the use of a sealer on the plasterboard before painting. For instance, you can use diluted PVA – so once sealed, start the paint job! 

Can you waterproof plasterboard?

Yes, but for this, you need to use a moisture-resistant plasterboard. This type of plasterboard is submerged completely in water and is mold resistant. 

How to fix plasterboard to walls

The process is easy. The first step is to prepare the wall and cut the boards. Secondly, mix all the required adhesives – i.e. dotting and dabbing the adhesive. Add the plasterboard, fix it taking into consideration the required standards, and finish the wall. 


How to install Plasterboard

It is easy to install plasterboard. You just need some good plaster-boarding skills if you opt to plan for your home improvement project. 

First of all, you need a tape measure, drill, spirit level, craft knife, screws, bolster chisel, and plaster scrim tape. Let us tell you about the installation process step-by-step.

In the first step, you need to measure the sheets. Make sure the sheets are 10-12 mm less than the floor-to-ceiling height. The next step is to mark the cutting line of the plasterboard’s ivory side. Use a knife craft to cut along it. 

Now, turn the plasterboard over and at the same time, fold the end along. This will allow you to have snapped the board by cutting. Cut through the paper backing using a craft knife. 

Get help to attach the plasterboard to the frame. It needs two or three people to get the job done. 

At the foot of the board, you need to wedge a bolster chisel – then slide a wood off-cut and use your foot in order to press down and use some force to hard it up against the ceiling. You must ensure to fit the plasterboard outwards with the ivory side. 

Next, use 32mm screws to fix the board in place. Make sure the intervals are 150 mm and 15 mm away from the edges. Continue fitting the boards in the same manner – cut them and fit them against the adjacent walls and the doorway. 

Moreover, if you have a skirting board, notch the plasterboard around it so that it accurately fits. The last step is to finish the joints with tape – in order to give the wall a smooth finish. 


Cost of Plasterboard

Generally, plasterboard comes in 1.2 x 2.4 m sheets – i.e. about 2.88 m2. The cost of a single sheet is £35.81 (at £12m2) and £47.75 (at £16m2). Most of the time, you will need 3-4 sheets of plasterboard. Therefore, a single wall will cost between £107 and £140 for three sheets or £190 for four sheets. 


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