Type X and Type C Drywall

The need to minimize property fire damage and maximize safety led to considerable developments in the drywall market. Type X drywall was created to hold longer than regular gypsum boards in the event of a fire, giving people more time to evacuate a building. Soon after, type C drywall was made. This was considered a type X drywall improvement.

Both type X and type C drywall are fire-resistant. That’s their main characteristic. They are made to slow down the expansion of a fire and thus:

a.       Give occupants the chance to evacuate.

b.       Give some extra time to the firefighters to put down the fire.

c.       By slowing down the fire expansion, they may minimize property damage.

Let’s meet type X drywall

Type X and Type C DrywallType X drywall is a 5/8-inch fire code core gypsum board. Type X drywall is made of glass fibers intermixed with gypsum. It is the glass fibers that slow down the fire. Because these panels are denser than the regular ones, they take longer to degrade too. Whereas the regular 1/2-inch panels are rated to last for 30 minutes, X type drywall’s fire rating is one hour.

Due to their density and thickness, such drywall boards better isolate sound and are stronger. These are added benefits.

Let’s meet type C drywall

Type C drywall contains more glass fibers than type X. It also contains an additive (vermiculite) that further resists fire. These may be ½-inch or 5/8-inch panels and their fire rating is two to four hours.

Up until the creation of type C drywall, construction made use of two type X drywall panels for a 2-hour fire rating. With type C, this need has changed. Also, for this reason, type C is broadly used for ceilings.

Fire rating drywall applications

Type X and type C drywall is broadly used in industrial and commercial applications. For residential construction, they are recommended in garages, basements, and areas near heat sources, like stoves, fireplaces, and furnaces.

Type X and Type C DrywallBoth types are useful in many construction projects since drywall installation is common practice. They could be used in older homes where there’s damage and also a need for fire-rating panels. Drywall repair companies may need to replace panels with X or C types, depending on the situation.

Overall, type X is used for the construction of walls whereas type C is used for the construction of ceilings. But it’s best to check with your drywall contractor and remodeler to see what’s most suitable for your particular case.

It goes without saying that such types of drywall boards are more expensive than regular boards. And although the replacement of one single wall with type C or X drywall panels may not exceed one’s budget, a large-scale project that will involve many walls and ceilings will be expensive. Besides, it’s often pointless to pay more for type X and C drywall when fire can find other ways to expand, like hollow-core interior doors.

Type C and type X drywall boards are not fire-proof

Type X and Type C DrywallLet’s clarify one thing. X and C type drywall boards are fire-rated; not fire-proof. That’s important to remember. They cannot stop a fire but slow it down because their components are not easy to burn.

And there’s one more thing. The fire rating provided for each type refers to the board alone. You should consider that any other component of the wall or ceiling assembly (insulation, interior painting coatings, etc.) will also be critical to either slowing down fire expansion or not.

Before you make such critical decisions, it’s best to first talk with a professional drywall company that will assess your specific needs and suggest the best solutions. The vital thing is that drywall C and X type boards can make a difference in maintaining structural integrity, mitigating risks, and, more importantly, saving lives.

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