This year drywall celebrates its 100th birthday. Not much in comparison to plaster which was used as far back as ancient Egypt, but still, it’s been around for quite some time and as technology progresses people are certainly continuing to see the benefits of its use.
The use of drywall is the opposite to traditional plastering methods as it refers to a wall covering that is made without the use of water (unlike plaster, which needs to be given time to dry). It is made mainly of gypsum which is found in huge beds that look like sandy beaches and is mined predominantly in the USA.
So what’s the history of drywall?
Invented back in 1916 by the United States Gypsum Corporation, an early version of drywall called Sheetrock was created to be a cheaper fireproof alternative to plaster that could be put up in much quicker time. Back then, it consisted of several layers of gypsum and paper pressed together, now it’s more like one sheet of gypsum covered by layers of heavy paper.
Today, some of the benefits of drywall still remain the fact that it’s cheaper and quicker to use, thanks to there being no need to wait around for it to dry.
And, in the middle of the last century, the popularity of drywall really gathered pace, because the post war baby boom meant that new houses were needed at a rate of knots, while the cash strapped era left people looking for the cheapest materials as possible to use – and what better for speed and cost effectiveness than drywall?
In our modern day, many still prefer the use of drywall, thanks to its flexibility, speed of use and great insulation, not to mention how much easier it is to use than traditional plastering methods.
And in the US, the drywall industry is still booming, with plenty of gypsum still mined and made into drywall. Traditionally it wasn’t the most environmentally friendly process and it was recommended that workers inhale as little gypsum dust as possible, but from the start it brought thousands of jobs to the areas where it was mined.
So why did it take so long for the use of drywall to take off? Mainly because it was originally thought of as a cheap alternative to the fine art of plastering and who wanted cheap alternatives in their homes?
But during and after the war, having a cheap alternative, while being thrifty and sensible with money was in fashion and with a shortage of people to do the jobs and the need for more houses to be built processes had to be quicker and less labour intensive. Years after the war ended, drywall still remains massively popular and thanks to technological advances it’s much friendlier for the environment too.
Order your drywall tools online
If you have a spot of drywall work coming up and you need a helping hand, then you can order your drywall tools online today with us. Take a browse through the products we have in stock and look forward to making your life easier with the help that they can provide.