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Types of drywall? Paperless?

17 years ago


We're building a workshop/garage and planning a bathroom remodel as well. I saw an ad about paperless drywall which, according to the ad, prevents mold from growing. Since we live in the state with the 5th highest $$$ claims for (black) mold, should we be considering paperless drywall? If so, do they sell it at big box stores? Is it any different to install or paint?

Also, are there any other types/grades of drywall we should be considering?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

Comments (13)

  • 17 years ago

    I just did a basement with it (called Dens armor Plus). Only one of our Home Depots carries it.

    It was 1/2", and cost like $1 or so more per sheet. During the install it differs from regular drywall in the following ways: it's more flexible, easier to knife/shave and accidentally break corners, etc, when you put it down. I also learned that the bare fiberglass surface can really irritate. They don't say anything about that ("just like regular drywall"), but when you're heaving sheets with your knee, or your bare arm is rubbing against this stuff - several sheets really have an irritating effect. My right knee was bleeding as if I scraped it against the sidewalk and my arms were burning/itching like heck - it took a while for me to figure the reason - it sneaks up on you 'til you can't stand it any longer.

    Overall it has more flex, breaks easier, but still was solid enough once it was up.

    I used it because that basement had a history of getting wet every couple of years, but you probably don't need it. Just make sure the sheets on the walls are not resting on the floor - leave a 1/2" gap, the molding will cover it.

  • 17 years ago

    Thanks. I'm glad I found someone with actual experience. It sounds like we won't need it in the workshop/garage but maybe we'll use it in the bathroom. I noticed on their website they also have a tiling substrate. I wonder how it compares to using regular backerboard. Hmm?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia-Pacific

  • 17 years ago

    If the "paperless" drywall is made with gypsum, it will be subject to damage from exposure to water. The surface may well be resistant to mold, given that it is covered with fiberglass, but the gypsum behind the surface will deteriorate if exposed to significant moisture. Getting enough ventilation in the bathroom will help reduce mold growth. You can use an exhaust fan, or keep a window open, if your climate allows for this.

  • 17 years ago

    If you get mold, the drywall is not the cause, but part of the effect. There are mold retardants in the new paperless drywall, for just the reasons you mentioned, but I am suspicious of the pecentage of marketing element, based on the current hysteria. I agree with ericwi, completely. Note that mold is everywhere, always. It is the environment that keeps it in check. Dry, and not hot, is best.

  • 17 years ago

    Thanks for your help! I think we'll stick with regular drywall on most of the walls and cement board in wet areas like the shower.

  • 17 years ago

    If you want to protect your wall under your tile from mosture, you might be better off with one of the Schluter products. They make membranes that go under tiles in bathrooms etc. I think there is another company that makes a similar product, I forget thier name.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Schluter

  • 16 years ago

    Just to update, our local Big orange no longer has this stuff. A guy at the pro desk said the drywall guys hated it because of the itching.

  • 16 years ago

    We've used it exclusively on the last several jobs we've done, and it is still carried at our local HD and Lowes. It does irritate, but I can't say we've had anywhere near the problems described above. It certainly isn't any worse than working with fiberglass insulation.

    I also find it is actually a little stiffer and less prone to breaking than the paper stuff, rather than the other way around. Perhaps they changed the product because of the complaints?

    We find mildew on the back of just about every piece of drywall we remove during demolition, as well as penetrating studs, rafters and joists, so any protection against that is money well spent. I guess the only question is whether it will indeed perform as advertised over 30 years or so. Time will tell.

  • 16 years ago

    Hmmm. Compared to insulation, I still find it more itchy. Maybe it's me. Admittedly, the pro desk guy said it was the drywall heavy users that mainly had the complaints.

    I did used it again recently, and it still irritated heavily. I guess I'm just too sensitive.

  • 16 years ago

    We wear long sleeves and some of us use cotton gloves while handing it. But a key is to avoid rubbing your sleeve on your face, and to take a cold shower afterwards (hot water opens the pores and lets fiberglass in, which is the worst!).

  • 16 years ago

    I just used both Dense Armor Plus and my tile guy used the Denseshield backer board for a bath remodel. I chose the Dense Armor because I didn't want to have to worry about the drywall contributing to mold growth in a wet environment (apparently the gypsum part is pretty resistant to mold, but the paper is a definite mold medium). I found it easy to work with and finished just like regular drywall. i didn't have any itching problems.

    My tile contractor swears by the Denseshield, and I was impressed with how easy it was to install versus cement backer board. Definitely a plus for DIY. You will find some disparaging remarks on the Web about it (ie. gypsum + water = goo), but I think it is a good system if installed properly. That means filling all screw holes and seams with a high quality caulk, and following the installation instructions to a "T".

  • 16 years ago

    have you looked into magnesiacore? It's a new material that is used like drywall but has no paper or skin. Solid mineral board and very resistant.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Magnesiacore web site

  • 16 years ago

    "It certainly isn't any worse than working with fiberglass insulation."

    But since the drywall guys are NOT the insulation guys it is one more mess for them to deal with they otherwise do not have to.

    There are drywall products with the fiber IN the gypsum layer.
    Originally sold as Fiberbond, but now a USG product under another name.
    It is very abuse resistant, but weighs much more than conventional drywall.