Gypsum vs Drywall: Difference and Comparison

Gypsum and drywall are the materials used for building construction. Both of these materials are used for building beautiful and strong walls.

However, although used for the same purpose, these two materials differ in many aspects.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gypsum is a mineral commonly used in the construction industry to make plaster and cement.
  2. Drywall, also known as plasterboard, is a type of building material made from gypsum used to create walls and ceilings in homes and buildings.
  3. Gypsum is a natural mineral mined from the earth, while drywall is a manufactured product produced in large sheets and then cut to size for use in construction.

Gypsum vs. Drywall

The difference between gypsum and drywall is that gypsum is a naturally occurring natural mineral used for construction work. At the same time, drywall is a manufactured product with gypsum as one of its raw materials. A lot of properties of the drywall are because of the gypsum plaster present in it.

Gypsum vs Drywall
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Gypsum is a naturally occurring prevalent mineral found in layered sedimentary deposits. It is composed of calcium sulfate, i.e., CaSO4.2H2O, and has very high commercial importance.

Gypsum is derived from the Greek word “gipsies” meaning plaster. It is partially soluble in water, but at high temperatures, it becomes less soluble.

Drywall is a human-made material that is used for the application of walls without using the materials like mortar or plaster. It is also known as wallboard and comprises gypsum plaster and paper.

Drywall is sometimes used as a sheathing material for covering the exterior of a building. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonGypsumDrywall
DefinitionIt is a naturally occuring common mineral.It is a man-made material used for construction purposes.
OccurrenceIt is found in the layered sedimentary rocks by the lakes, hot springs, volcanic vapors, etc.It is a manufactured product made up of gypsum plaster and paper.
Other formsIt has three other forms, i.e., alabaster, selenite, and a mineral that is the hydrated product of anhydrite.It does not have any other form.
PropertiesIt has a lot of different properties, like heat resistance, durability, etc.Durable, easy to install and repair, soundproofing, etc.
UsesUsed as material for construction purposes and raw material for various other products.Used as material for construction purposes, basically for building’s interiors.

What is Gypsum?

Gypsum is a naturally occurring prevalent mineral found in layered sedimentary deposits. It is composed of hydrated sulfate and has very high commercial importance.

Gypsum is derived from the Greek word “gypsos,” meaning plaster.

It is used as a raw material for making many products such as plaster, chalk, fertilizers, etc. Gypsum has three various forms that have their uses.

It has a finely-grained white type known as alabaster, used for sculptures by various cultures such as ancient Egypt, Rome, and medieval England.

Gypsum also has a translucent crystal form known as selenite, and its third type is a mineral that is a hydrated product of anhydrite.

Gypsum is partially soluble in water; however, it becomes less soluble at high temperatures. It is known to be deposited by lakes, seawater, hot spring, and even volcanic vapors.

Gypsum has plenty of uses, like gypsum blocks and gypsum mortar, used as the concrete block for constructing buildings.

It is also used in the formation of fertilizers. Gypsum deposits are found all over the world.

However, the largest gypsum quarry in the world is in Nova Scotia. In contrast, the USA is the primary producer of gypsum in the world.

gypsum

What is Drywall?

Drywall is a human-made material used to apply walls without using the materials like mortar or plaster. It is also known as wallboard and comprises gypsum plaster and paper.

Drywall is sometimes used as a sheathing material for covering the exterior of a building. It is a construction material required to make the interiors of a structure, such as the walls and the ceilings.

Drywall is a prevalent material used nowadays because it is effortless to install, so a person does not require much outside help. It is durable, and if damaged, it can be repaired easily.

It is a faster and better alternative to plaster and wood.

A drywall is very useful when it comes to soundproofing the building. However, to do so, one has to cover the walls with multiple layers of drywall.

Along with the positive results, it has some negative factors as well. Drywall is very vulnerable to moisture, so it should be used in a room with humidity, such as a kitchen.

It can also have harmful health effects on people, and it has lousy odors.

drywall

Main Differences Between Gypsum and Drywall

  1. Drywall is commonly used for finishing the building’s interior, whereas gypsum is used to make buildings and many other manufactured products.
  2. Drywall is a human-made material, whereas gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral.
  3. Drywall is a manufactured product. In contrast, gypsum is one of the raw materials that are used in the formation of drywall.
  4. Gypsum has three other forms with industrial uses, whereas drywall has no other forms.
  5. Gypsum is a mineral that occurs naturally and has water, whereas drywall has gypsum plaster as a raw material without water.
  6. Gypsum is naturally heat resistant, while drywall is heat resistant because of its presence.
Difference Between Gypsum and Drywall
References
  1. https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-015-0137-y
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213343720303134

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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