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Drywall: If These Walls Could Talk, They’d Brag About Being Flexible and Inexpensive
Read Groupon's guide to find out why drywall makes such a good material for remodeling your home.
A plaster wall can last for centuries, but its installation is too labor intensive to be practical. Brick walls are simple to build, but they're no match for a big bad wolf with a sledgehammer. A wall made of drywall, however, is sturdy and cost-effective, harnessing the advantages of two unlikely materials—paper and rock. To create drywall—also known as plaster board or gypsum board—manufacturers grind a mineral known as gypsum into powder, mix it with water, and pour the paste between two sheets of paper, forming a modular rectangle that's easily stacked in piles and can affix to wall studs with nothing but a few nails.
An abundant and naturally occurring mineral, gypsum makes a good building material for several reasons. Because its volume is 50% water, it's largely fire resistant, at least for a limited time, and its density also helps nullify sound—both useful qualities if your pet dragon wants to learn the drums. Drywall is also easy to repair. If you knock a hole in solid wood or plaster, fixing it may require some serious work, but damaged drywall can simply be cut out and replaced. Its many variety of drywall suit several specific projects, too—flexible drywall fits around curves and arches, moisture-resistant board withstands a bathroom's high humidity, and extra-durable panels can survive in high-risk areas such as playrooms.