Drywall or gypsum boards are panels made of gypsum plaster that are pressed between thick sheets of paper. They make for excellent materials for partitions when they are mounted on frames made of wood, metal or other materials. They have largely replaced lath and plaster or brickwork and plaster, which were traditionally used for making internal partitions in homes.
Many Singapore homes will have floor areas completely enclosed by external masonry or concrete walls, leaving the interiors free for the occupier to create the required rooms with the use of partitions. Drywall partitions are very easy to install and require far less work to be carried out as when compared to the conventional masonry construction. In most cases, masonry partitions required to be further worked on to provide any concealed electrical or other utility services. In drywall partition construction, a framework is erected at the required location and the electrical system or other piping can then be installed. The drywall is then fixed to the framework to complete the partition It may be necessary to create openings for the plug points and other required devices in the drywall that are required.
Masonry and other lath and plaster partitions require to be cured with water, and can thus delay other work required for finishing. Drywall partition construction are ready for finishing as soon as they are erected. These partitions are almost 8 times lighter than masonry walls, and this enables them to greatly reduce the loads on the supporting structure, and this is a great advantage in multi-storeyed buildings and can reduce structural costs by 15%.
According to All In Plaster, drywall is relatively fire resistant and can confine a fire for 4 hours, allowing time for evacuation of any affected buildings. They can also help to insulate sound, and the framework can help in the installation of additional insulation that can help to reduce energy loss and also increase sound insulation. Their low thermal conductivity can help to reduce loads on airconditioning units. They can take on any type of finish, from paints to wallpaper, and laminates. They are cost effective and can greatly reduce the time for completion of a living or working space in Singapore.
Most drywall work is carried out over GI steel frames that are fixed to the floor, roof slab and any side walls. Once this fixing is completed, the necessary electrical conduits or wiring is installed. The outlet points are noted and marked on the drywall that will be fixed over the frame. Drywall is fixed to the frame with self-tapping screws that are countersunk into the drywall. Drywall is available in standard widths and lengths and this may require joints between adjacent sheets to cover the entire area that is needed. These joints need to be taped and finished with jointing compounds that have gypsum in them. The final surface of the partitions can then be painted over or finished as desired.
Drywall is fragile when compared to masonry and can crack or break with poor usage. However, it is just as easy to repair and refinish whenever such a problem arises.