It is well known that those who have a choice are spoiled for choice. A lot has happened in recent years, especially with the plasterboard. There is no longer just one type of plasterboard in different sizes and thicknesses. No, today, manufacturers offer an almost unmanageable number of different panel types: white, blue, green, small, large, red, thick, thin … All of these and a few more names have found their way into the hardware store. How can the overview still be maintained here? Which plate is now suitable for the planned project? We have divided, grouped, and sorted the plates. This – together with clear recommendations – is intended to give the reader orientation for choosing the right plasterboard for him.
The plasterboard types
On the one hand, the plasterboard can be classified according to the type of design. There are standard panels, impregnated panels with increased resistance to moisture or fire-resistant panels. In addition to these well-known types, there are several special plates, which are discussed in more detail in another chapter. On the other hand, the plasterboard panels can be assigned to different applications depending on their thickness. 6 mm thin panels are only suitable as a renovation or molded panels, but not for planking a partition wall. The 9.5 mm thick panels are also not suitable for planking, but they are ideal as dry plaster.
The following table gives an overview of the standard panels, broken down according to the thickness of the plasterboard and the type of application. Most of these standard panels are also available in the two known versions as damp-proof panels and/or as fire protection panels.
|application||Thickness [mm]||Width (mm]||Length [mm]||Weight [kg / m²]|
|Renovation board||6.0 / 6.5||900/1200||1250-3000||5 – 8|
|Special plates||Special panels for fire, radiation, and noise protection, as well as composite panels for optimal insulation.|
Table: Standard plasterboard, broken down according to the plasterboard thickness
Application of plasterboard according to the thickness
The field of application of the plasterboard depends to a large extent on the thickness of the panels. Because the thickness of the plasterboard significantly determines the load-bearing capacity of the entire plasterboard wall. If a heavy wall cabinet is to be installed, the new wall must be able to withstand this load. A minimum thickness of 12.5 mm is required for a solid partition wall. In the case of medium-heavy loads, such as kitchen wall units, double planking is always recommended when using 12.5 mm thick panels. By increasing the plasterboard thickness to at least 18 mm, the load capacity per meter of wall length is increased from 40 kg to 70 kg. With heavy loads such as washbasins or hanging toilets, however, cross members must always be used, which are reinforcements or a direct connection between the object and the substructure.
Thicker panels are primarily used for fire protection and/or noise protection and, in particular, contribute less to the load-bearing capacity of the plasterboard wall.
Note: Particularly thick plasterboard panels, such as the 25 mm thick panels, are even behind double planking with 12.5 mm thick panels in terms of sound insulation and load capacity. Therefore, in most cases, it is better to plank a wall several times than to use a thicker panel.
The plasterboard sizes
The sizes of the plasterboard are as varied as the types and diverse applications. The standard format of 1250 mm wide and room-high length of mostly 2600 mm and more have been gradually reduced so that a large number of plasterboard sizes are now available. Particularly noteworthy here is the one-person panel, which has been in use for a long time, with the dimensions 625 x 2600 mm. A large number of other formats have been added to this, especially in the thin (up to 12.5 mm) panel segment. Sheets in the practical widths of 600 mm and 900 mm are offered here, especially for the DIY sector.
Tip: If you can, you should use the largest possible formats, because these are usually not only cheaper but can also be processed more quickly. This starts with the covered area and ends with the filling of the edges. Also, you can check out how to How to Repair a Hole in a Plasterboard.
Listings of the standard plate
The impregnated, so-called damp-proof panel is probably the best-known form of plasterboard. After all, the question of color is usually the only one that is asked in the hardware store. The gypsum core of the green drywall is specially impregnated to prevent moisture absorption. However, this does not mean that this board should bathe in water, but only that this plasterboard board is more resistant to moisture than standard boards and thus withstands the moisture peaks that occur in wet rooms very well.
Fire protection board (reinforced plaster core)
The fire protection board is a dry construction board whose gypsum core is reinforced with glass fibers. In this way, structural stability is improved in the event of a fire. However, since standard panels also have the same building materials of class A2 (non-flammable / flame-retardant), the use of fire protection panels is usually not necessary.
In addition to the known versions of the standard plates, several special plates are not used too often but can be of interest to do-it-yourselfers.
Special soundproofing panels promise even better soundproofing than standard panels. Admittedly, the nominal difference of 2-4 dB seems small, but the best results can be achieved with appropriate accompanying measures. Also, some manufacturers offer special metal substructures that promise another 4 dB noise reduction. If sound insulation is important, the construction of the wall should be given the greatest attention. The sound can be reduced by up to 50 dB with double-stud walls, but a reduction of 40 dB is the maximum that can be achieved with single stud walls.
Note: It should be noted that a reduction of 10 dB corresponds to a reduction in the perceived noise by half.
The same applies to single or double planking. The double paneling of a wall reduces the noise transmission by approx—10 dB. If a total reduction in sound transmission of around 10 dB can then be achieved with specially matched products, this corresponds to a reduction in the perceived noise by half. In the optimal case, up to 70 dB of sound reduction can be achieved.
Tip: If the overall relatively high effort is too much, but still values good sound insulation, solid double planking with plasterboard (> = 15 mm) and 80 mm thick insulation is recommended.
Thermal plates are a relatively new type of plasterboard. Graphite or other ingredients are added to these plates to increase the thermal conductivity. In this way, wall or ceiling heating systems can be implemented without having to forego the flexible use of drywall.
Radiation protection plates (electromagnetic radiation)
This type of plasterboard is intended for all those people who value living areas with as little radiation as possible. These plates reduce electromagnetic radiation by up to 99.9%. In this way, quiet zones can be created free of GSM, WiFi, or DVB-T radiation. Ideal for bedrooms or restrooms.
Fire protection panels (glass fiber fleece)
These special fire protection panels consist of a non-flammable glass fiber fleece with a plaster core. The surface of the plasterboard is, therefore, also non-flammable, and the board is, therefore, building material of building material class A1. In plain language, this means that these panels do not contain any combustible building materials. Such building authority requirements are often given, for example, when cladding cable ducts.
Medical radiation protection sheets
The medical radiation protection plate is usually not of interest to the do-it-yourselfer. These are available with lead layers of different thicknesses from 0.5 mm to 3 mm and are mainly installed in outpatient departments and hospitals.
Other special plates
There are also acoustic panels for the ceiling that promise an air-cleaning effect, plasterboard panels that function as speakers, and other exotic panels that are not relevant for the more general application.
In summary, one can say that some different records make the decision difficult at first. But if you were able to get an overview, you will find that 90% of the applications can be implemented very well with standard disks. Regardless of this, it is good to know that there are also optimal solutions for special questions and requirements. Soundproofing and radiation protection panels, in particular, seem to have found little use so far, but they are an interesting option for the future.