What Kind of Drywall Do I Need for a Garage? [Explained]

When it comes to finishing a garage, one of the most important considerations is what type of Drywall to use; Drywall is a key element in the structure of your garage and its ability to withstand the elements. Many types of Drywall are available on the market, so how do you know which one is right for your garage?

For attached garages, a type X or 5/8 inch Drywall is mostly required for the wall that is connected to the house. The rest of the walls can be covered with regular or 1/2-inch Drywall and 5/8-inch drywall on ceilings. You can use 1/2-inch drywall panels on all walls in detached garages and 5/8-inch drywall on ceilings.

Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of Drywall and their benefits to help you make an informed decision. Later, we’ll go into more detail on what type suits your garage best and alternatives if you don’t want to use Drywalls. 

Types Of Drywall: A Quick Overview

A drywall is known as a panel made from gypsum plaster crammed between two thick sheets of paper. It sticks to wood studs or metal frames using nails or screws. 

Drywall comes in different types, sizes, and thicknesses. You can buy 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, or 5/8 inch thick drywall and three different sizes: 4 by 8 foot, 4 by 10 foot, and 4 by 12-foot drywalls. 

However, there are five basic types of drywalls that you can use depending on your purpose or the conditions of your garage. These include:

  • Standard: Standard drywalls are simple drywalls without any particular function. These are usually used inside residential areas and areas where no moisture, mold, or fire control is required, such as walls and ceilings of your bedrooms, lounges, etc. There are also sometimes used in finishing the basements or under the basement stairs.
  • Mold Resistant: The mold-resistant drywalls have special coatings to prevent mold buildup and have a paperless back. It is usually used in areas with moisture or humidity, like your bathrooms or kitchens. It also helps enhance the look of interior surfaces in humid or wet regions.
  • Moisture Resistant: Rooms and home spaces prone to moisture or humidity, such as the bathroom or bathroom ceilings, are ideal places to install moisture-resistant drywalls. These panels have unique paperless backs and an additional coating that prevents mold or moisture. It is best used in utility rooms, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, kitchens, etc.; if combined with cement backer boards, you can also use them in high-moisture rooms.
  • Fire Resistant: The fire-resistant Drywall has glass fibers used in its construction and is extra thick. These are best for furnaces, wood stoves, utility rooms, garages, fireplaces, or areas that can spread fire fast. It is included in many building codes, is better at noise reduction than standard walls, generates less smoke, and slows down the speed and spread of the fire.
  • Soundproof: As the name states, soundproof drywalls are made to reduce noise from penetrating between the walls. This type of panel usually has two gypsum layers glued together with a unique noise-dampening adhesive and is the thickest of all other drywalls.

This was an overview of different types, sizes, and thicknesses of Drywall that you can use in various projects and areas around your house. However, let’s see what type of Drywall you need to use for your garage.

Do You Need Special Drywall For Garage?

Before starting your project, you should always check the local building code to see if you need any special type of Drywall in your state or area. However, if there are no rules to follow. You can do as you please. 

You usually don’t need special Drywall for your garage. In general, for attached garages, you typically go for type X or 5/8 inch Drywall for your walls between the house and garage and 5/8 inch drywall for the ceiling; however, the rest can be covered with 1/2 inch drywall panels. For detached garages, you can use 1/2 inch drywall panels on all walls, and a 5/8 inch drywall panel is required on ceilings. 

You will need special Drywall if your garage is prone to mold buildup or moisture. In such cases, for an attached garage, your Drywall needs to be moisture, mold, and fire resistant, while for detached garages, it needs to be only mold and moisture resistant. Therefore, you can use purple or green drywalls in such cases to avoid mold buildup or moisture damage.

What Is The Best Drywall For Garage?

It depends on how you plan to use your garage and its conditions. There are two standard options to choose from. These are the regular/standard Drywall or the green board. Standard Drywall will be best if your garage has no mold or moisture buildup conditions. By conditions, I mean, is your garage attached to the house, or is it detached entirely? 

If your garage is attached to the house, the best type would be the X 5/8 inch drywall on the wall between the garage and house and a 5/8 inch thick Drywall for your ceiling.

If the garage is detached, a 1/2 inch standard drywall with a 5/8 inch drywall ceiling will be ideal. Whereas, if you’ll be working with water in your garage or the area where your garage is built is prone to mold or moisture, you’ll need to install the green or purple sheetrock board. 

Check out this article if you wish to know more about the perfect size and thickness for your garage.

What Should I Use For Walls In My Garage?

The best material in your garage is considered Drywall as it is easy to install and increases fire resistance. However, you can also use OSB, an oriented strand board that can be easily screwed to the wall frames and does not require any finishing or taping. By the way, if you wish to know if your current walls are Drywall or plaster, here is how you can find out.

Installing Drywall is easy, but the after steps that include painting, sanding, taping, and mudding can be a bother, so you can also use some other beneficial alternatives. These include:

  • Wood Sheathing: Plywood MDF or OSB are less costly than the others. They can be installed over studs with frame screws and do not require extra finishing, but if you are looking for moisture and mold-resistant options, they are not a great option.
  • Metal Panels: Metal panels are stylish and have many types of finishes. You can use different types of metal panels, from copper to steel, which can have different textures, and these are easy to install by screws into studs. However, it is costly and can rust, causing mold and structural damage.
  • Cement Board: This board is usually used under tiled floors and can also be used for walls. They give an industrial look and are strong and durable, but they are heavy, can absorb high moisture, and will not allow mold growth.
  • Pegboard: Pegboard also installs easily on screws or studs and is excellent for hanging tools or equipment. However, it is not fancy-looking or strong, so it can only be used where you are keeping your tools; it is also not moisture or mold resistant and has holes that are not so great.
  • PVC Panels: If you want to hang tools or equipment on your walls, then PVC panels are great. They are lightweight and easy to install over Drywall or bare studs, and they are resistant to water and mold and can be easily cleaned.

If you don’t want to use Drywall on your garage walls, you go for one of these alternatives as they work almost the same as Drywall. Before you do, you should first see the conditions of your garage and if the type of panel you are using is compliant with the building code or not.

Drywall For Garage Code

If you want to know more about building codes, here are some building codes guidelines according to ICC Building Codes 2018 that you should follow when installing Drywall in your garage:

  • For a wall joining your house and the garage, you should install either a 3/4 inch thick wall or a 5/8 inch thick wall as a fire barrier, according to the building codes.
  • The exterior walls can use 1/2 inch drywall, but according to the building code, it is also better to use a 3/4 inch drywall for the exterior.
  • You should install 5/8 inch drywall on the ceiling, especially if there is a living space above the garage.
  • If the garage wall is attached to the attic and residence, you must use a 1/2 inch drywall.
  • If the garage roof is attached to habitable rooms, you must install a 5/8 inch type X drywall.
  • If structures that support ceilings or flooring are used, then 1/2 inch drywall installation is compulsory.
  • The garages located less than three feet from a residence on the same lot must have at least 1/2 inch drywall on the interior and exterior sides of the area.
  • If garages are not climate-controlled, then mold and moisture-resistant drywalls are required. However, they can also be exempted.


Do You Need Mold Resistant Drywall In Garage?

Mold-resistant Drywall in a garage is a good option as it will save you from spending a fortune on future renovations due to mold. So, if your garage is where you might be spending a lot of time or has mold-up chances, then inserting mold-resistant Drywall is a must as it will help fight mold buildup and ensure that your garage is free from any respiratory diseases.

What Size Drywall Should I Use In Garage?

You should use a Drywall of 5/8 inch and 4 feet by 8 feet in the garage because of its thickness and if the garage walls are 8 feet high. However, if the garage walls are 9 feet or high, 54 inches in width panels can be installed. This is to follow the building code for the garage to build fire-resistant walls inside the garage.

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