How much drywall do I need|Drywall Estimation rule of Thumb[in 2023]

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Written By Sourabh Negi

I cover structural design, construction technology and building materials.

In this article, we will determine how much drywall will you need for your rooms and ceiling. Drywall refers to a wall made up of such material which does not need water for installation. Traditionally walls and ceilings have been constructed using wet mortar/ plaster. The plaster takes a long time to dry and then only the walls/ceiling would be finished.  A Drywall is a panel of standard width, height and thickness made from gypsum.

Raw gypsum is mixed with water and modifiers and a thick paste is prepared. This thick paste is poured over the ivory Manilla paper and another layer of paper is applied on top of it.  The assembly is then passed through the oven, due to which the slurry will dry out and becomes solid. The board is then cut into predefined standard dimensions like 4 x 8 feet, 4 x 10 feet and 4 x 12 feet etc. Drywall of different thicknesses is available in the market i.e. ¼ inch, ⅜inch, ½ inch, and ⅝ inch.

¼ inch thick drywall is used as a skimming material. It is applied over the existing layer to refresh the look. ⅜ inch drywall is used for curve areas due to less thickness it can be moulded easily. It is also used for repairing existing drywall. ½ inch drywall is the most commonly used drywall. It is used for walls and ceilings. ⅝ inch Drywall is used for soundproofing and for making fire-resistant rooms

How much Drywall do You Need?

calculation of how much drywall on the ceiling

Calculate the Square Footage of Room.

If you want to determine how many panels of drywall you will need. First, you have to determine the square footage of your room. You need to know the width and height of the walls. Summing the area of walls and ceiling will give you the total square footage of your room.

Calculate the square footage of one drywall panel.

Now you know the total square footage of your room, you need to decide the size of the panel you are going to use whether it is 4 x 8 feet or 4 x 10 or 4 x 12 feet. You need to know the square footage of your panel. Suppose you are using a 4 x 8 feet panel then the square footage of the drywall panel will be 4 x 8 =32 square feet. Similarly, for 4 x 10 square feet of drywall, the square footage will be 40.

Calculate how much Drywall you need.

Now the third step is to divide the square footage of your room by the square footage of your drywall panel and round off to the nearest whole number. You should also consider wastage and a 10-15% percentage must be added to get the final estimation of the drywall.

How much drywall do I need for Ceiling

5/8 inch drywall is used for the ceiling. 5/8 inch drywall is thick thus it does not sag easily which is why it is used for ceilings. For ceilings, you need to know the length and width of your room. e.g. for a 10 x 10 feet room, the total square footage will be 100 sq. ft. Now you need to know the size of the drywall panel you are going to use.

For example, if you use a 4 x 8 feet drywall panel, then the area of one panel will be 4 x 8 = 32 sq. ft. Next step is to divide the square footage of the ceiling with the area of one panel. e.g. 100/32 = 3.13. Now you have to add 10% extra for wastage. Thus for 10 x 10 feet room, you will need 3.44 = 4 drywall panels of size 4 x 8 feet.

How much Drywall do I need for a 10 x 10 Room

Your room size is 10 x 10 feet. Suppose the height of your ceiling from the floor is 10 feet. This means that you have four walls with a width of 10 feet and a height of 10 feet. Now Square footage of one wall will be 10 x 10 =100 square feet. Similarly, the square footage of all four walls adds up to 400 square feet.  Now your room size is 10 x 10 feet.

It means your ceiling dimension is 10 x 10 feet. The square footage of your ceiling will be 100 square feet. The total square footage of the room will be 400+100= 500 square feet. Now suppose you are using an 8 x 4 feet drywall panel.  The square footage of one panel will be 8 x 4 = 32 square feet. Divide the square footage of the house by the square footage of one panel i.e. 500/32  you will be 15.6 panels. 

Obviously, you cannot buy 15.6 panels, you will have to buy 16 panels. 16 panels will suffice if all things go as planned. Sometimes you will encounter wastage. You should consider 10-15% extra for wastage. 10% of 16 will be = 1.6. Thus you will need 16+1.6 =17.7 =18 panels of 4 x 8 size for a room of size 10 x 10 feet.

Thus for a room of size 10 x 10 feet you will need 18 drywall panels of 4 x 8 size.

How much Drywall do I need for a 10 x 12 Room

A 10 x 12 feet room means two walls of the room are 10 feet wide and two walls are 12 feet wide.  Suppose the height of the walls is 10 feet the Square footage of the wall having 12 feet width will be 12 x 10 =120 sq ft. 

Similarly, for 10 feet width wall square footage will be 100 sq. ft. The total square footage of the walls will add up to 120+100+120+100 = 440 sq. ft. The square footage of the ceiling will be 10 x 12 = 120 sq. ft. Thus total Square footage of the room will add up to 440+120= 560 sq. ft.

If you use a 4 x 8 feet size panel, the number of drywall you will need for a 10 x 12 feet room will be = 560/32 = 17.5 panels. Adding 10% for wastage = 17.5 x 10% = 1.75.

17.5+1.75 =19.25. Thus you will need 20 drywall panels for a 10 x 12 size room.

How much Drywall do I need for a 10 x 20 Room

For a room of size 10 x 20 feet, two walls will be 10 feet wide and two walls will be 20 feet wide. Let us assume the height of the ceiling will be 10 feet. Thus square footage of walls of 10 feet in width will be 10 x 10 = 100 sq .ft ( for one wall). Area of the wall of 20 feet in width, 10 x 20= 200 sq. ft. (one wall).

Total square footage of wall = 100+100+200+200 =600 sq. ft. the area of the ceiling will be 10 x 20 = 200 sq. ft. Thus total area will be 600+200= 800 Sq. ft.

Let us assume that you are using a 4 x 10 feet size drywall panel. Thus, the number of panels of drywall required will be 800/40= 20 panels. Adding 10% wastage, the total panels will be 20 x 10%= 2. Thus a total of 22 drywall panels of size 4 x 10 feet size will be required for a 10 x 20 Room.

How much Drywall do I need for a 12 x 12 Room

All walls of the 12 x 12 room are 12 feet wide. Let us assume that the height of the ceiling is 10 feet. Thus, the total square footage of all 4 walls will be 4 x 10 x 12= 480 sq. ft. 

The square footage of the ceiling will be 12 x 12 = 144 sq. ft.

The total square footage of walls and ceiling is 480+144 = 624 sq. ft.

If a drywall panel of size 4 x 8 is used then the total number of panels will be, 624/32 = 19.5, adding 10% wastage total square footage will be 19.5 + 1.95 = 21.45, say 22 panels. Thus for a 12 x 12 feet size room 22 panels of drywall will be required. 

How much Drywall do I need for a 24 x 24 Garage

Let us assume that the height of the ceiling of the garage is 10 feet. For a 24 x 24 Garage, let us calculate the total square footage.

Square footage of ceiling = 24 x 24 = 576 sq. ft.

Square footage of 4 walls = 4 x 24 x 10 = 960 sq. ft.

Total square footage = 1536 square ft.

Let us use a 4 x 10 feet size drywall panel.

Thus no. of panels = 1536/40= 38.4, adding 10% wastage = 38.4+3.84 = =42.24 thus you will need 43 panels of size 4 x 10 feet for a 24 x 24 feet garage.

How much Drywall do I need for a 1000 sq ft House

For a 1000 sq. ft house if you are using a 4 x 8 feet size drywall panel, then you will require 1000/32 +(adding 10 % wastage) = 34.38= 35 panels

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1000/40+ 10% wastage = 27.5 = 28 panels will be required.

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1000/48+ 10% wastage = 22.9= 23 panels will be required.

How much Drywall do I need for a 1200 square foot house

For 1200 square foot house, if you are using 4 x 8 feet size drywall panels, then you will require 1200/32 +(adding 10 % wastage) = 41.25= 42 panels

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1200/40+ 10% wastage = 33 drywall panels will be required.

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1200/48+ 10% wastage = 27.5= 28 drywall panels will be required.

How much Drywall do I need for a 1500 square foot house

For a 1500 square foot house, if you are using 4 x 8 feet size drywall panels, then you will require 1500/32 +(adding 10 % wastage) = 51.56= 52 panels

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1500/40+ 10% wastage = 41.25= 43 drywall panels will be required.

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1500/48+ 10% wastage = 34.38= 35 drywall panels will be required.

How much Drywall do I need for a 1600 square foot house

For a 1600 square foot house, if you are using 4 x 8 feet size drywall panels, then you will require 1600/32 +(adding 10 % wastage) = 55 panels

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1600/40+ 10% wastage = 44 drywall panels will be required.

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 1000/48+ 10% wastage = 36.66= 37 drywall panels will be required.

How much Drywall do I need for a 2,000 sq ft House

Let us calculate how much drywall for a 2,000 sq ft house. For a 2000 square foot house, if you are using 4 x 8 feet size drywall panels, then you will require 2000/32 +(adding 10 % wastage) = 68.75= 69 drywall panels

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 2000/40+ 10% wastage = 55 drywall panels will be required.

For 4 x 12 size drywall = 2000/48+ 10% wastage = 45.83 = 46 drywall panels will be required.

How much Drywall do I need for a 3000 sq ft House

For a 3000 square foot house, if you are using 4 x 8 feet size drywall panels, then you will require 3000/32 +(adding 10 % wastage) = 103.12= 104 drywall panels.

For 4 x 10 size drywall = 3000/40+ 10% wastage = 82.5 = 83 drywall panels will be required.

For 4 x 12 size drywall = 3000/48+ 10% wastage = 68.75 = 69 drywall panels will be required.

Installation of Drywall

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