Plasterboard, also known as drywall in some places, is a material made from gypsum that is glued with two sheets of paper. It is most commonly used to put up new walls.

If you’re thinking about using plasterboard in a DIY project around your house for the first time, there are some basic things you need to know about the common types of plasterboard that will help you maximise your success.

Standard Plasterboard — Standard sheets of plasterboard are available from plasterboard suppliers as double wide sheets or single sheets, which have width/length dimensions of 10 mm by 1200mm, 10mm by 1350mm, 13mm by 1200mm and 13mm by 1350mm. The most common plasterboard is sold with an edge that is squared, but you can also buy plasterboard with a bevelled edge, tapered edge and recessed edge based on what kind of design you want in your home. You can customise your plasterboard for unusual spaces, but that will cost you more money. Plasterboard sheets are bonded to the frame of your wall and then nailed or drilled into the wall studs.

Fire Retardant Plasterboard — Fire retardant plasterboard is ideal if you want to provide additional fire protection for your home. It is made with glass fibres that are inserted into the board and mixed with calcium silicate, a material that is fire-resistant. Although fire retardant plasterboard is more often installed in commercial buildings, it is also applicable in homes that may have a higher risk of fire such as those built in brush areas. Fire retardant plasterboards are sold based on the Australian Standard for fire resistant construction material, and must have the ASN label somewhere on the board.

Moisture Resistant Plasterboard — Moisture resistant plasterboard also known as vapour barrier plasterboard is filled with a metal or aluminium lining that absorbs excess moisture and prevent it from compromising the core of the board. It is often used in areas of your home or office that experience high levels of humidity or moisture such as a kitchen or bathroom.

Sound Reduction Plasterboard — Sound reduction plasterboard is ideal if you are building a study or an office in your house. It features wool or polyurethane insulation that helps to dampen and disperse sound throughout the board so that less noise enters a room. Unlike standard plasterboard measurements, sound reduction plasterboard is thicker in width so that there is more surface area through which the sound must penetrate to reach a room. When building in a commercial structure such as a nightclub or a recording studio, experts recommend that you use a 16mm plasterboard width for the best results.