Can You Use 1/2 Drywall in Commercial? (Solved!)

Commercial properties have unique needs when it comes to drywall. It can be hard to know what type of drywall to use in a commercial setting, or even if you can use half-inch drywall. 

½ inch drywall is most of the time not suited for commercial buildings. The ideal drywall should be ⅝ inch thick, referred to as the “firewall drywall,” they also have soundproof capabilities. However, you should always work according to the local building code first.      

Most people don’t know that there are different thicknesses of drywall, and they definitely don’t know what the right thickness is for their specific needs. Now at home, this might not be a disaster when the drywall is not of the right thickness, but things are different when it comes to commercial places.

What Size Drywall Is Required for Commercial Establishments?

Selecting the right thickness is one of the most important factors for drywall for commercial installations. Drywalls are available in various panels, each having its own pros and cons. Of course, you can drywall over drywall. However, this is not always considered the best solution.

While some drywall sheets are flexible and light, they are more prone to cracks. Therefore you’d go for thicker drywall sheets. However, you can’t just choose as you please. Also, making the wrong choices might greatly affect how long it will take to finish the job.

This means you’d need to work according to the local building code, which means you’d need to find the drywall suitable for commercial establishments. Every state has different regulations, so you must check various standard thicknesses before selecting.

Here are some of the most popular drywall sizes available out there:

5/8 Inches

If you are looking for drywalls for commercial installations, a 5/8-inch sheet is an ideal pick for you. This drywall is mostly referred to as “firewall drywall.” Due to its thickness, it is perfect for soundproofing, making it ideal in noisy buildings.

You can use 5/8-inch drywall on both walls and ceilings. This type of drywall is more expensive and heavier than other variations, so it isn’t commonly used in residential construction applications. 

1/2 Inches

Next, we have 1/2-inch drywall. This thickness is available in various lengths and can be used for ceilings (such as bathroom ceilings) and walls. You can use 1/2-inch drywalls with both wood and steel frames. And is known as the most standard type of drywall for residential spaces. But it might not be the best option for a regular shower bathroom where humidity is at its highest.

For commercial use, 1/2-inch drywalls can only be used on walls for installations with non-fire rated requirements. Due to their thin layer, these cannot be used on ceilings in commercial construction applications.

3/8 Inches

The 3/8-inch drywalls are ideal for remodeling partitions. Moreover, this type of drywall can also be used to fix patches where the plaster has been removed or worn off. If you’re unsure if there was plaster in the first place, this article would greatly help.

1/4 Inches

1/4-inch drywalls are probably the most budget-friendly drywall sheets available on the market. This thickness is perfect for creating a brand-new surface over plaster. Moreover, you can use these drywalls for curved walls as well.

1/4-inch drywall panels are quite thin and lightweight compared to other drywall variations. They only weigh around 38 pounds. Moreover, they are very fragile. Therefore, they need to be handled carefully.

Can You Use 1/2 Inch Drywall Walls in Commercial Establishments?

While choosing drywall, you must also consider the fire rating requirements. If you’re looking for a product for non-fire-rated requirements, you can use the 1/2-inch drywall. However, they can, unfortunately, only be used on walls. 

You’ll need 5/8-inch drywall for ceilings, whether it’s a non-fire rated or a 1-hour fire-rated requirement. It’s not recommended to use 1/2-inch drywalls in commercial establishments, and this is because they are quite thin and fragile.

Your drywalls must be thick and robust for commercial construction applications because they offer excellent soundproofing. Alternatively, if you use 1/2-inch drywall, they won’t be durable and long-lasting. 

What To Keep in Mind While Drywall for Commercial?

So by now, we’ve established that thickness is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to consider. However, it’s not just the thickness. 

Here are some of the things to keep in mind while selecting drywall for commercial buildings:

Drywall Length

The length of your drywall is the 2nd most vital thing to consider. If you buy drywalls with the correct size, you’ll minimize the number of joints, making the installation process a breeze. While getting drywalls, make sure they are easy to carry and bring them home.


Most drywall suppliers offer a panel with water resistance. These panels are perfect for utility rooms, basements, garages, laundry rooms, kitchens, and other places that are prone to water damage. Getting water-resistant drywalls is a rational decision if a commercial building is associated with water. This would also mean that if those are concrete walls, gluing them might not be the best option.


While selecting drywalls for commercial construction applications, you have considered the fire-rated requirements. If your building has non-fire rated requirements, you can use 1/2-inch drywalls for walls and 5/8-inch drywall on ceilings.

Alternatively, you must get 5/8-inch drywall panels if the building requires fire resistance. They are the most expensive types of drywalls, but they are worth every penny.


You also have to consider the insulation if a certain room does not retain heat well. Fortunately, there are several insulated drywalls available out there. Usually, insulated drywall panels are 1/2-inch thick. Moreover, they mostly have a high-strength “polyfoam” core to avoid warping. However, for proper insulation, Drywall might not be enough.


Can 1/2 Drywall Be Used on Ceilings?

Generally speaking, 1/2-inch drywalls are standard thickness for ceilings and interior walls. They are easy to hand and carry as these types of drywalls are not that thick. However, if you select drywalls for commercial buildings, you cannot use these drywalls for ceilings.

1/2-inch drywalls can only be used on walls if your commercial building has non-fire-rated requirements. Even for non-fire rated requirements, you need 5/8-inch drywalls for ceilings. Furthermore, you shouldn’t select 1/2-inch drywalls for noisy buildings as they are not ideal for soundproofing.

When Is 5/8 Drywall Required?

5/8-inch drywalls are required for commercial construction applications. When choosing drywall, you have to consider the fire-rated requirements as well. If your commercial building has non-fire rated requirements, you only need 5/8-inch drywalls for ceilings.

However, if your building has 1-hour fire-rated requirements, you need 5/8-inch drywalls for both walls and ceilings. In addition, 5/8-inch drywalls are quite strong and thick. Therefore, you can also use them for soundproofing in noisy buildings.

What’s Better, 1/2 Inch Or 5/8 Drywall?

Well, if you are looking for drywall for commercial construction, you should stick with 5/8-inch drywall. Although 5/8-inch drywalls are more expensive than 1/2-inch, they are worth every single penny.

5/8-inch drywalls are thicker and more durable. They can withstand more pressure and last longer; they can also be used on walls and ceilings. On the other hand, 1/2-drywalls can only be used on walls.

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