Can You Use Regular Drywall in Bathroom? Explained!

So you’ve recently remodeled your bathroom, and now you want to drywall but are unsure if regular Drywall would do the trick. Well, it seems you’re not the only one asking this question, and here is why. 

You should never use regular Drywall in a bathroom unless it’s a non-shower bathroom. For regular bathrooms, you could go for the green board, which is most commonly used but is not the best option. Purple Board drywall is a good alternative but is more expensive, making paperless Drywall the best option currently on the market.

Regular Drywall is inexpensive and is usually the first choice for any type of room. But the reality is that it may not be such a good choice to use regular Drywall in a room where humidity is at its highest. But what would happen if you do and which type of Drywall should you actually be using? 

Is It Ok to Use Regular Drywall in Bathroom?

The short answer is no. You should never use regular Drywall in the bathroom. This is because bathrooms are very high in moisture and are often wet. As moisture is the worst enemy of Drywall, using regular Drywall in a bathroom is like asking for problems. Instead, you should get moisture-resistant Drywall, also known as the green board, which is usually used for bathroom walls and ceilings.

What Happens If You Install Regular Drywall in Bathroom?

So why is using regular Drywalls such a bad idea? Let’s find out. 

Drywall sheets are mostly made from gypsum – a crystalized water substance. This gypsum is wedged between two thick pieces of paper to provide a smooth finish. As Drywall is also made of paper, it’s porous, meaning it can absorb moisture unless you use special Drywall.

When gypsum is exposed to moisture or directly to water, it will turn into a squelchy paste, reducing Drywall’s overall strength and durability. No matter how good the ventilation system is and how powerful the exhaust fan is installed in the bathroom, regular Drywall will break down shortly. This is even if you Drywall over Drywall, it doesn’t make any difference. 

If you install regular Drywall in the bathroom, it will form mold and become soft and crumble. Even if your tiles are over the Drywall, you’ll still face these issues. Moisture can find its way through tile and grout to destroy Drywall. This is why there is a difference between ceiling Drywall and a regular one, for example.

As your Drywall seeps in moisture, it’ll become sag. Afterward, tiles will also start to come loose or even fall off. 

Here are some possible consequences that you might have to deal with if you use regular Drywall in the bathroom:

  • Mold formation on walls
  • Tile installation is falling apart
  • Moisture damages
  • The entire Drywall will crumble

That being said, it’s legally not forbidden to install regular Drywall in the bathroom by the local building codes. You can use regular Drywall anywhere you like for as long as the local building code allows it, but this would mean that you’ll most likely need to redo the whole bathroom soon. If you wish to know how long regular Drywall lasts in good or bad conditions, this article will give you all you need to know.

Do I Need Special Drywall for Bathroom?

The answer to this question depends on factors such as area, budget, etc. For instance, if you renovate your non-shower bathroom ceiling, you don’t need special Drywall. In that scenario, you can use regular Drywall with ½ inches of thickness. 

If you renovate regular bathroom walls and floors, it would be best to get moisture and mold-resistant Drywall. Luckily, Drywall comes in various sizes, thicknesses, and types. 

For your bathroom, you should get drywall sheets that are completely moisture-resistant. These sheets are usually known as the green board. Unlike regular Drywall, they are entirely waterproof. So, you don’t have to worry about moisture at all.

Besides the green board, there are several other kinds of drywalls available in the market that you can use in the bathroom: as discussed below.

What Kind of Drywall Do You Use in a Bathroom?

Most people will tell you to go for a green board, but this is not the only one in the market. In fact, there are better options, but they might be a little more expensive. 

Green Board

One of the best alternatives to regular Drywall is the green board. The green board is the most common type of wall-covering material used in the bathroom as it’s moisture-resistant. It consists of thick wax paper that protects the actual Drywall from moisture and mold.

Although the green board is one of the most common types of drywalls in the market, it’s certainly not the best. This material is an excellent option for high-humidity areas. However, you shouldn’t use it in areas with great moisture, such as the shower. 

Blue Board

Next, we have the blue board. The Blue Board is certainly not as waterproof as the green board. However, the biggest selling point of this type of Drywall is that it dries quickly. The blue board has excellent absorption qualities, making it perfect for mold resistance. It’s ideal for places like basements where mold growth is much more common. 

Moreover, as the blue board comes with a thicker surface, it also provides excellent soundproofing. 

Purple Board

Purple board is another great option to use in bathrooms. In fact, it’s considered the best drywall variation to resist moisture, mildew, and mold in wet areas. However, this kind of Drywall is quite expensive. On average, the purple board is up to 30% more expensive than the regular Drywall.

Paperless Drywall

As mentioned earlier, regular Drywall is made from gypsum and two layers of paper. As the paper is prone to moisture, it’s not recommended to use regular drywall sheets in wet areas. However, there are also paperless drywall sheets available in the market.

The paperless drywall sheet is made of fiberglass sheets instead of paper. As fiberglass is not organic, it perfectly protects you from the growth and survival of mold, making this time the best choice against mildew, mold, and rot.

Cement Board

Last but not least, we have the cement board. Now, cement board is everything you need to renovate your bathroom. It’s durable, strong, and offers excellent waterproofing. Moreover, the cement board provides resistance from mildew and mold as well.

The only issue with cement board is that it’s quite expensive. In fact, the good-quality cement board is the most expensive type of Drywall currently on the market.


Do You Have to Use Moisture-Resistant Drywall in a Bathroom?

Well, it depends upon your installation project. For instance, if you renovate a bathroom ceiling, you can use regular Drywall as long as you protect it from the water. However, you must use moisture-resistant Drywall for bathroom walls and floors to protect your investment.

Do You Need Green Board on a Bathroom Ceiling?

If you have a non-shower bathroom, you don’t need the green board. In that scenario, you can use regular drywall sheets. However, check the local building code to ensure you get the best type of Drywall for your renovation project.

What Type of Drywall Goes Behind a Shower?

You should never use regular Drywall in a shower. In fact, using even the green board in the shower is not recommended as this material is not great for places with a large amount of water.

For your shower, it’s best to use the cement board drywall. The cement board drywall might be expensive, but it’s the most durable Drywall available out there. This material offers excellent resistance from mold, mildew, and moisture, making it perfect to use in a shower. 

Moreover, you can even use cement board drywall to provide a base for the tiles, allowing you to get the smoothest surface possible.

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