Drywall For Ceiling In Bathroom: Everything You Need to Know

Drywall is commonly used for walls and ceilings, but what about places like bathrooms? Can you use regular drywall? Or do you need a water-resistant one? 

There are so many types of drywall panels available out there that it has become a challenge to pick a single variant. Even though you can use 1/2 Drywall on ceilings, can the same thing be said for the bathroom ceiling? Each option has its own pros and cons. Moreover, no two drywall sheets are the same, and the same goes for the supplier. When it comes to places like bathrooms where humidity is a constant challenge, things might get even trickier.

Can You Use Regular Drywall In A Bathroom Ceiling?

Although you can use 1/2 regular drywall in a bathroom, it’s really not recommended. This is because regular drywall is not water-resistant. And don’t think that you’ll get the same result with the help of primer or sealer. No amount of sealer will be able to make it waterproof. Also, some people might tell you that drywall over existing drywall would solve this problem, but this is unfortunately not the case at all.

Similar to the basement, where humidity is almost always a regular occurrence, regular Drywall will not be enough to protect it from moisture.

If you want to drywall your bathroom correctly, then there is no other option than to use a waterproof backing board. Moreover, you can also use “Green Boards” as they can be waterproofed afterward. However, Green Boards are not as effective as “Backing Boards.” 

While moisture-resistant drywall is a must-have for bathroom walls, some builders also prefer Green Board for bathroom ceilings. This approach has both pros and cons. While Green Boards are highly resistant to moisture and mold, they weaken more when it gets entirely saturated.

Simply put, if you think the water cannot get to the bathroom ceiling, you should use regular drywall sheets. This will save you from extra effort and costs. Alternatively, if the water can be a problem, Green Board is an excellent choice for you. In that scenario, also use mold-resistant and calculate enough drywall mud for better sturdiness.

Is Drywall Required On Bathroom Ceiling?

The only place where drywall is required is above the shower and tub area. You don’t need water-resistant drywall in the entire bathroom. Regular drywall for the rest of the room is totally fine. If the walls are made of concrete, you need to ensure not to glue drywall directly to concrete as this will cause moisture to sip through it. This is especially the case when your drywall is touching the floor.

However, drywall is not the only material you can use on the bathroom ceiling. In fact, you have numerous options, including fiberglass, cement board, tile, and acrylic. However, most of the time, drywall would take less time to finish than any other option.

Even though these options are available, it would still be best to cover your bathroom ceilings with water-resistant drywall. While it’s one of the most affordable options currently on the market, drywall sheets have several additional benefits.

And if you have a Tongue and Groove ceiling, you might want to consider Drywall under it to get some extra safety and help prevent dirt and air infiltration.

Drywall sheets give your bathroom ceiling a refined, perfect, modern, and polished appearance. Although good-quality drywall can last for decades, you can change them whenever you want without putting much effort.

What Is The Best Drywall To Use For A Bathroom Ceiling?

When it comes to drywall, you have so many different options. While this is a good thing, too many options make it difficult to pick a single product. As no two drywall types are the same, you need to know all about different options to get the best product for your bathroom.

To give you a better perspective, below, we have compiled a list of some of the best drywall types that you can use in your bathroom:

Green Board

On top of our list, we have the Green Board. This drywall is quite similar to regular drywall. However, its surface is covered by was for mold and moisture resistance, and it has a comparatively thicker coating than conventional drywall.

Green boards are also known as MMR boards. The central gypsum composition and green board’s surface are specially designed for moisture resistance. Moreover, these drywall sheets are usually made from recycled material, making them a popular eco-friendly choice. Quick note, they are Water-Resistant, not Waterproof, which is where most people tend to get confused. 

Purple Drywall

Another drywall type that deserves a spot on our list is the purple drywall. These panels are used in areas prone to mold, moisture, and mildew. The purple drywall comes with a moisture-resistant core that is sandwiched between mold-resistant recycled material.

If you have a non-shower bathroom, you don’t actually have to use purple drywall. Due to their moisture and mold-resisting qualities, they should be used around vanities, toilets, and basins or as tile backers for shower ceilings and splash-backs.

Blue Board

Last but not least, we have the blue board. This type of drywall is known for its unbeatable adhesion. The blue board is water-resistant and mold-resistant. Therefore, they are used in most areas with a lot of moisture.

The best thing about the blue board is that you don’t have to apply numerous layers of joint compound to get a smooth surface. All you need is plaster and tape on the seams. This type of drywall is a better option than conventional drywall when it comes to noise reduction and accidental knocks.

Alternatives To Drywall Ceiling In Bathroom

If you cannot find moisture-resistant drywall for the bathroom ceiling, you don’t have to give up. Luckily, there are several alternatives to drywall available in the market. Some of these alternatives are even more durable than drywall.

To help you out, below are some of the best alternatives to drywall for bathroom ceilings:


Bathroom ceiling tiles are an excellent drywall alternative – especially for humid climates. If you select tiles for your bathroom ceiling, you don’t have to worry about moisture and mold, allowing you to use them in a sauna or a steam shower.

Bathroom ceiling tiles are even a better option in extreme humidity than wood. Moreover, if you’re planning on doing an accent wall, tiles will be an excellent choice as they will help to level the tile overhead. 

Cement Board

A cement board can be used on the bathroom ceiling and to cover the wall’s wet segments. Usually, cement boards are used as backer material to protect your bathroom ceiling from mold. This material is an excellent choice for wet areas, including the bathroom corners and space above the shower cabin.

False Ceiling Glass

There is no denying that using glass on bathroom ceilings is an expensive approach. It can cost you a fortune depending upon the quality and quantity. Therefore, using false ceiling glass is recommended to cover the bathroom ceiling.

False ceiling glass is a budget-friendly material for bathrooms that lack proper lighting and ventilation. This material also increases the aesthetic look of your bathroom space, making it an ideal pick for modern bathrooms.


You can also find water-resistant fiberglass to cover the bathroom ceiling. Keep in mind that fiberglass is not waterproof by default. However, you can make it waterproof by applying resin and allowing it to cure. In fact, you don’t have to do any of this and can get waterproof fiberglass from the market.

In America, moisture-resistant fiberglass is one of the most commonly used materials for bathroom ceilings. While this material is affordable, it’s durable, sturdy, and long-lasting. Most builders believe waterproof fiberglass is the best material for your bathroom ceiling renovation project.


Lastly, we have acrylic sheets. This one is also a popular drywall alternative for bathroom ceilings. The best thing about acrylic sheets is that they are available in various designs and sheets. You can select among the various thickness, designs, colors, shades, and sizes.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can get opaque and transparent acrylic sheets for bathroom ceilings. As these sheets are moisture-resistant, you can use them anywhere in the bathroom without worrying about water damage.


What To Put On Ceiling Above Shower?

Water-resistant drywall on the ceiling above the shower is recommended to protect yourself and your investment. Moreover, fiberglass is one of the most popular materials used in the bathroom. You can get water-resistant fiberglass which is quite inexpensive compared to other materials.

Can I Use Normal Plasterboard for Bathroom Ceiling?

If you are creating a non-shower bathroom, you can use normal plasterboard. However, make sure to keep the water away from the plasterboard to protect your investment. Alternatively, for shower ceilings, it’s recommended to use an MMR board.

You can use both 12.5mm or 9.5mm plasterboard on the bathroom ceiling, but it’s recommended to use the former. Moreover, if your existing plasterboard is smooth and level, you can even fix the new one over the old board using plenty of screws.  

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