What is DensArmor paperless drywall? It is a new building material that eliminates the paper facing traditionally used on sheets of drywall and replaces it with fiberglass mats. Read on to find out if it is an ideal option for your next drywall project.
Traditional Drywall Basics
The walls and ceilings of most newer homes consist of sheets of drywall, sometimes known as sheetrock or plasterboard. Most drywall consists of gypsum sandwiched between sheets of thick paper. It is attached to the studs of the wall during the installation process. When installed properly, drywall creates a smooth surface for walls and ceilings. So what is the problem with regular drywall? The paper lining provides a good environment for mold. In the case of household mold, what you can't see can hurt you. Mold can cause allergic reactions and irritation.
DensArmor paperless drywall is manufactured by Georgia-Pacific. The moisture-resistant core is covered on the front and back by fiberglass sheets. The paperless drywall line includes 3 different types:
- DensArmor Plus High-Performance Interior Panel: This option is recommended mainly for residential drywall projects, particularly for bathrooms and basements that may experience higher moisture levels.
- DensArmor Plus Abuse-Resistant Interior Panel: This product is meant for high-traffic areas in commercial buildings that are susceptible to indentations and other surface damage. It boasts the same mold-resistant qualities of the High-Performance Interior Panel with the added defense against abuse. Georgia-Pacific recommends it for hospitals, dorms, schools and other busy commercial buildings.
- DensArmor Plus Impact-Resistant Interior Panel: Similar to the other two varieties, the Impact-Resistant Interior Panel is meant for high-traffic areas that may also experience higher moisture levels. Not only does it resist the moisture, it offers additional protection against abuse and impacts. It adds an embedded layer of fiberglass mesh for more stability.
Advantages of DensArmor Paperless Drywall
Why would you want to choose a drywall covered in fiberglass mats instead of paper? The main reason is mold. Traditional paper backing is more susceptible to the growth of mold which you may not even realize until it's too late.
This paperless drywall is considered mold-resistant. While this doesn't entirely eliminate the possibility of mold, it does greatly reduce the chances. The product received a 10, the highest score, based on ASTM standards for mold resistance.
This new type of drywall is installed in the same way as traditional drywall. It is available in the usual 4 foot by 8 foot sheets. The paperless drywall is cut the same way as traditional drywall and is attached to the studs using drywall screws. The usual tape and mud finishing technique still applies to the paperless drywall. Once it is installed, you can prime and paint it as you would any other drywall. Other finishing options, such as wallpaper or textured surfaces, are also a possibility with DensArmor.
The glass mats help it resist moisture. It also boasts a moisture-resistant core which increases the protection in damp conditions. Georgia-Pacific recommends using it in areas that in the past would have used greenboard such as residential bathrooms. It should not be used in areas with unusually high levels of moisture and it is not meant for exterior applications.
As with any home improvement product, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Consider these potential negatives about DensArmor:
- The cost is higher than traditional paper backed drywall. If you plan to do the project yourself, check with your local home improvement store to get estimates on the price difference. If going through a contractor, ask for estimates for both DensArmor and traditional paper drywall.
- It is not mold proof, meaning there is still a chance for mold growth behind the walls, particularly in areas prone to moisture.
- You may experience some irritation from the dust and residue when working with DensArmor Paperless Drywall.
It is always best to do your research before deciding on the appropriate building materials for a home improvement project. If mold is a big concern, DensArmor is worth a look. Compare it to the traditional paper-backed drywall to determine if it is the best solution for your project.