How often do you think about your drywall? If your business has been affected by the recent shortages, then you're probably ordering your drywall months in advance and checking on it often. With booming demand creating increased awareness in the wallboard industry, manufacturers are taking steps to build brand loyalty and improve their products--all good news for the housing industry.
USG, the country's major supplier of wallboard products showcased new standard product developments at the Home Builder's show in Dallas last January. Specifically, Sheetrock gypsum panels have been improved to make installation faster and easier for contractors, as well as making product more durable during transport and storage.
New panels feature improved scoring and snapping capability. The panels snap more crisply and cleanly, creating cleaner edges that require much less rasping time to smooth edges than the previous product. These improvements also shorten preparation time, especially around doors, windows and electrical outlets.
"The new board is definitely easier to score and snap, and more rigid than other drywall," says Conrad Stitser, president of Stitser Drywall in Reno, Nev. "We're projecting up to a 10 percent savings in installation time, meaning crews can finish a typical job more quickly. Because the boards snap so cleanly, they fit more tightly."
In addition to improved snapping and scoring, the wallboard's added strength makes it easier to carry and hang, reducing the tendency to flex that can result in accidental or hidden core damage. New panels also remain flat during storage and won't become warped or wavy. These properties result in less material waste, stronger walls and improved overall appearance. Better bonding of face paper also provides for fewer blisters, easier finishing and increased adaptability to varied climate conditions.
These enhancements result from improved core production technology that all USG plants have been modified to use. "By listening to and working closely with drywall contractors, we have created a product that keeps them in the flow and ensures fast results that are critical to their success," says Ed Bosowski, USG Corporation's vice president.
USG is also freely distributing pamphlets detailing new guidelines adopted by the Drywall Finishing Council for specifying and applying paint over gypsum board. Called Recommended Levels of Paint Finish Over Gypsum Board, the brochure offers a glossary of common terminology and explains the specific differences between finishes ranging from levels 0 through 5. It also includes general tips and a list of additional resources.