Fire – Rated Drywall Options

Commercial and residential building codes around the country dictate that certain types of drywall should be used in specific places within structures.

In residential homes the installation of fire-rated drywall is often required by state and local building codes on interior and exterior walls near furnaces and utility rooms and recommended on walls that will be near a wood-burning stove. Attached garages often have fire-rated drywall in the walls and ceilings that are adjacent to the main living area of the home.

Fire-rated drywall is required in most of the building walls and ceilings in commercial buildings to meet building code requirements.

In most applications, builders are required to use Type X fire-rated drywall. Type X is installed on each side of a wood or steel stud. This type is not considered to be 100% fireproof, but it is drywall that can stand up against flames longer than general drywall. While conventional 1/2″ drywall can stand up to 30 minutes of fire, Type X drywall increases the margin of safety an additional 30 minutes.

The next level up in fire-rated drywall is Type C, which is sometimes referred to as Improved Type X. It has more glass fiber reinforcement and other ingredients in the gypsum core than Type X, making it a more fire-resistant choice.

Less often used is Type X Shaftliner, which is even more fire-resistant than Type C and has very specific applications.

Fire-rated drywall is a little more expensive than conventional drywall and doesn’t need to be installed in the walls of all rooms in a home. If a fire were to occur in a home, it would move easier through open doors and hollow-core doors than through drywall.

Fire-rated drywall is only one of many methods that should used to retard fire. It’s important to note that all types are fire-rated, not fire-proof.

Merrimack Building Supply stocks an excellent selection of fire-rated drywall and is happy to help you find the right solution for your building needs!

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