Sheetrock vs Drywall: Which Is Better For Soundproofing?

If you’re looking to build or renovate the interior walls and ceilings of your home, you’ll likely encounter two common building materials – Sheetrock and drywall. Often used interchangeably, these terms actually refer to slightly different products.

Understanding the differences between Sheetrock and drywall will help you choose the right materials for your next construction or renovation project.

What is Drywall?

Drywall, also known as plasterboard, wallboard, or gypsum board, refers to panel sheets used for interior wall and ceiling construction. Drywall is made from gypsum plaster pressed between two thick paper sheets.

Gypsum is a soft mineral found naturally in sedimentary rock deposits across the world. It is mined and then processed to produce drywall.

The paper facers on either side of the gypsum core provide strength and protection. The gypsum inner layer gives the drywall its fire-resistant properties.

Drywall sheets are available in various sizes and thicknesses for different applications:

  • 1/4″ drywall – Used for curved walls and ceilings.
  • 1/2″ drywall – Most common thickness for regular walls and ceilings.
  • 5/8″ drywall – Provides extra strength and fire resistance ratings. Used for garage ceilings.
  • 3/4″ drywall – Used for high-impact areas and soundproofing.

Drywall offers many benefits for construction:

  • Fire resistance – The gypsum core contains crystallized water which helps delay fire from spreading.
  • Mold resistance – Drywall contains additives to prevent mold growth.
  • Durability – Paper facers make it more durable than plaster alone.
  • Ease of installation – Lightweight and easy to cut and install compared to other materials.
  • Uniform look – Creates smooth, continuous surfaces for decorating.

In addition to the standard paper-faced panels, drywall also comes in specialized forms such as water-resistant drywall, soundproof drywall, and drywall with fiberglass embedded for more strength.

What is Sheetrock?

Sheetrock is simply a brand name for drywall manufactured by the U.S. Gypsum Company (USG). USG first introduced Sheetrock in 1916 and continues to be the market leader in drywall production today.

The term “Sheetrock” has become almost synonymous with drywall over the years. But while all Sheetrock is drywall, not all drywall is Sheetrock.

Sheetrock brand drywall is available in different specialized forms for various applications:

  • Sheetrock UltraLight Panels – 30% lighter than regular 1/2″ drywall for easier installation. Made from synthetic gypsum.
  • SoundBreak XP – Acoustic drywall designed for noise control. Contains damping polymers that reduce sound transmission.
  • Sheetrock Mold Tough – Treated to enhance mold and moisture resistance. Ideal for bathrooms, basements and humid areas.
  • Sheetrock Firecode X – Type X drywall with fire resistance ratings up to 2 hours for ceilings and walls.

Sheetrock offers reliable performance and comes in a wide range of options. The brand name sheets are slightly more expensive than generic drywall.

Drywall vs Sheetrock: What’s the Difference?

While Sheetrock is technically a type of drywall, there are some key differences between the Sheetrock brand and generic drywall:

  • Composition – Sheetrock contains proprietary chemical additives that provide fire and moisture resistance. Generic drywall composition varies by manufacturer.
  • Brand recognition – Sheetrock is a trusted brand name in the building industry. Generic drywall does not have brand identity.
  • Quality – Sheetrock maintains stringent quality control standards for reliable, consistent performance. Generic drywall quality varies.
  • Prices – Sheetrock brand drywall is marginally more expensive than generic. However, the brand offers quality assurance.
  • Specialty options – Sheetrock offers acoustic, lightweight, mold/moisture resistant and high fire rated products. Generic drywall has fewer specialty options.

While the base gypsum and paper materials are similar, Sheetrock stands apart with brand reputation, quality control and specialty products.

I have written a detailed guide on how to properly use soundproof drywall for effective noise reduction. Check it out if you’re considering soundproofing a room or home theater with drywall.

Sheetrock vs Drywall Comparison Chart

Here is a quick comparison of Sheetrock brand drywall and generic drywall:

ParameterSheetrockGeneric Drywall
CostSlightly higherVaries, typically cheaper
Thicknesses1/4″, 1/2″, 5/8″1/4″ to 1″ available
Paper FacerMoisture resistantStandard kraft paper
Specialty OptionsAcoustic, FirecodeX, lightweightFewer options
Brand IdentityWell-known brand nameNo brand name
ManufacturingStringent quality controlVaries
PerformanceVery consistentVaries by manufacturer

Cost of Drywall vs Sheetrock

On average, Sheetrock brand drywall costs $1-$3 more per 4×8 sheet compared to generic drywall. Though the upfront cost is slightly higher, Sheetrock offers reliable performance that can be worth the extra investment.

For budget-friendly generic drywall, expect to spend:

  • 1/4″ drywall – $9 to $12 per sheet
  • 1/2″ drywall – $10 to $16 per sheet
  • 5/8″ drywall – $12 to $22 per sheet

Here are some typical price ranges for Sheetrock brand drywall:

  • Sheetrock 1/2″ Standard – $12 to $19 per sheet
  • Sheetrock 5/8” Firecode X – $25 to $30 per sheet
  • Sheetrock UltraLight 1/2″ – $17 to $21 per sheet
  • Sheetrock Mold Tough 5/8″ – $18 to $26 per sheet

Always check lumber prices in your area, which vary based on supply and demand. Buying large volumes can also qualify you for bulk discounts.

I’ve written an article discussing is thicker drywall better for soundproofing and when you may want to use 5/8″ or 3/4″ drywall over standard 1/2″ sheets. Check it out for tips on using thicker drywall to improve noise reduction.

Sheetrock vs Drywall: Which Should You Choose?

For most regular drywall needs, either Sheetrock or generic drywall will perform well. Generic drywall will suffice for basic jobs where budget is a main consideration.

For specialized soundproofing, fire resistance or mold resistance needs, Sheetrock brand panels are a better option. The higher cost will pay off where specific performance criteria must be met.

Reputable brands like Sheetrock from USG or ProRoc Drywall by CertainTeed provide quality assurance and specialty product lines.

Be sure to check manufacturer warranties and guarantees when selecting materials. Consider consulting with professional drywall installers for recommendations on the best product for your particular drywall projects.

I have written a guide on how to soundproof a drywall ceiling to block noise from upstairs. Check it out if you need acoustic treatment for ceilings.


Sheetrock and drywall share similarities as gypsum panels used for interior walls and ceilings. However, Sheetrock stands apart as a trusted brand with specialty drywall options.

Understanding the nuances between sheetrock vs. generic drywall will help you pick the right materials for your building or remodeling needs. Be sure to consider factors like budget, performance requirements, quality, and manufacturer reputation when deciding between options.

If you’re debating drywall vs. plywood, I’ve written about whether drywall or plywood is more soundproof for walls and ceilings. The article compares the noise blocking abilities of these two common construction materials. So, do check it out.




Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *