7 Drywall Types, Applications and Uses: Purple, Green, Blue or White

List of the most common used drywall and their applications.

Which is the right type of drywall for your project? There are many types of drywall depending on the activity and the place where it will be installed. One important detail that drywall offers is that the presence of tapered edges on the long edges of drywall sheets. These tapered edges, when joined together, will form a shallow recess for drywall tape and joint compound that allows for invisible finished joints.

There are other options but not quite as common as the previous ones. There is an ECO board made out of recycled material using waste fibers creating a drywall that looks like concrete. It can be made out of up to 20 different byproducts and one of the most important advantages is that, due to its composition, prevents mold and termites.  Don't get confused by the names as drywall can also be called by these commercial names: 

  •  Drywall
  •  Sheetrock® (USG Product)
  •  Gyp Board
  •  Gypsum Board
  •  Plaster Board
  •  Wallboard

In the next sections, you will learn the differences and applications for white, blue, green, paperless, paper, Type X and soundproof drywall.

Regular Drywall or White Board

Gypsum Board
Regular Drywall. Photo Devoid Flickr

Regular drywall is normally white on one side and brown on the other side. It probably is the most economic drywall type and comes in different sizes ranging in thickness from 3/8 inch to 1 inch. This is the most common one used and normally is available in 4 x 8 panels.

Green Board Drywall

Green drywall
Green drywall used in bath. Photo Flickr Drywall in the Bath

Green board drywall is also known as moisture resistant drywall. It has a green covering that makes it more resistant to moisture than regular drywall. It is somewhat more expensive than regular drywall, but be aware that it is not waterproof, so don’t use it if it’s going to be in contact with water. Also used as a tile backer in limited wet areas, e.g., bathroom and basement walls, plus kitchens, and laundry and utility rooms.

Blue Board Drywall

Blue drywall
Blue drywall. Photo robertsreno.blogspot.com

Blue board drywall is also known as plaster base board. Blue board is used for veneer plastering, and the surface paper has special absorption qualities. It has a high water and mold resistance and there are fewer steps involved in veneer plastering. Blue board drywall is not made for mud, tape and paint and works extremely well in bathrooms or places with a lot of moisture. Additionally, this type of board helps reduce noise and offers low emissions. Good choice for overall performance.

Paperless Drywall

paperless drywall
paperless drywall. Photo The Home Depot

Paperless drywall has been replacing paper drywall over the last years. This type of drywall is covered with fiberglass instead of paper, which protects the gypsum board from rot and offer even greater resistance to mold and mildew. The quality of the board is a little tougher than regular drywall, however, some construction pros find it easier to cut. Remember that you need to take extra steps when dealing with fiberglass materials. Paperless drywall has some slight textures that will require applying joint compound to achieve a smooth clean finish drywall level.

Purple Drywall

Purple Drywall
Purple Drywall. Photo Flickr Drywall Covering

Purple drywall is an improved moisture resistant product that offers the same advantages of regular drywall, but only with superior moisture and mold resistant characteristics. It might be installed in all wall and ceiling applications and is ideally suited where enhanced moisture and mold resistance is desired. If it is going to be in contact with water, this is the one to use.

Type X Drywall

Type X Drywall
Type X Drywall. Photo walllumberco.com

This one is the so-called fire-resistant drywall. Several thicknesses can be used in layers to achieve higher fire rating. It is harder to cut and work than regular drywall and normally is used in garages, rooms and apartment buildings, as it is required by several building codes. Type X drywall is made with special noncombustible fibers. It normally comes in 5/8 thickness and its extra thickness can also improve its soundproofing characteristics. To receive the "Type X" designation under ASTM C 36, a gypsum board product must be shown to achieve not less than a one-hour fire resistance rating for 5/8" board or a 3/4-hour fire resistance rating for 1/2" board applied in a single layer, nailed on each face of load-bearing wood framing members. Used when the fire rating is beyond 20 minutes.

Sound Proof Drywall

Drywall soundproof
Soundproof drywalll. Photo skvidal

Soundproof drywall is composed of laminated drywall made with a mix of wood fibers, gypsum and polymers increasing the STC (sound transmission class). This drywall is denser that regular drywall so it might be a little harder to cut than other types of drywall. Due to its sound proofing characteristics, it is used in areas where noise is a problem or when silence is required in a room. This one might be used in your ​family room walls or if you are musician, it might help you in your music room.