Drywall vs. Blueboard: Which to Choose?

Drywall vs. Blueboard: Which to Choose?

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If you are planning on constructing some walls, then you have many different materials to choose from. Two of the most commonly used materials on this front are drywall and blueboard. Now, both drywall and blueboard are very similar to each other, but they do also have some major differences between them.

Let’s figure out what both drywall and blueboard are, what makes them different from each other, and which one you should use for your next job.

Drywall and Blueboard: The Basics

Before we start talking about similarities and differences, let’s first figure out what both drywall and blueboard are.

What Is Drywall?

First, we have drywall, which is a special type of panel made with calcium sulfate and gypsum. A slurry or paste is made, which is then sandwiched between two pieces of specialty paper and allowed to dry into panels. These panels generally come in standard sizes, such as 4’ x 8’, 4’ x 12’, or 4’ x 16’.

Drywall is very easy to cut and fit into virtually any shape or space. Drywall is usually installed by hanging and joint compounds, often combined with a special veneer that allows it to be more impact and scratch-resistant. Drywall is fairly durable overall, although its impact resistance is limited. If you trip and fall into or punch a piece of drywall, it will break.

Drywall is also designed to be somewhat moisture resistant, at least to the point where it is easy to clean with some water. That said, drywall is not waterproof, and will begin to absorb water with time. Also, although drywall is easy to paint, it is somewhat rough in terms of both its appearance and texture. Finally, due to its need for joint compound, installing drywall can take three days to complete.

What Is Blueboard?

We then have blueboard, which is very similar to drywall, as it is a type of gypsum panel. However, unlike regular drywall, blueboard has a blue paper on the outside, with this blue paper being designed to bond with a special type of plaster, which allows for great control over the final appearance and texture of the panels.

This outer layer does help to make blueboard a bit more durable and resistant to water, although the main benefit has to do with its appearance.

Because the paper that blueboard is made with is highly absorbent, it’s much easier to achieve a smooth texture and appearance, plus you don’t need to use joint compound either. So, not only does blueboard tend to look much nicer than regular drywall, but it’s also much easier and faster to install.

Similarities of Drywall and Blueboard

Now that we know what both drywall and blueboard are, let’s figure out what makes them similar to each other.

1. They Are Both Gypsum Panels

Although the exterior layers on both of these panels are different, the middle is still the same. The interior of both panel types features a combination of gypsum and calcium sulfate that is pressed in between two pieces of paper.

2. They Come in Standard Sizes

Another similarity here is that both blueboard and drywall come in a few standard sizes that builders often use. These include 4’ x 8’, 4’ x 12’, and 4’ x 16’. Other sizes may also be available, although it is not quite as common.

3. Limited Impact and Moisture Resistance

The other main similarity here is that both blueboard and drywall have limited moisture and impact resistance. It’s not like they are weak, but a very strong impact may break them. Moreover, it’s also not like they can’t resist a bit of moisture, but constant exposure will be a problem.

Differences Between Drywall and Blueboard

Now that we know what makes drywall and blueboard similar, let’s figure out what makes them different from each other.

1. Installation Time and Requirements

One of the main differences is that, due to needing jointing compound, drywall can take three days to be fully installed. On the other hand, blueboard can be installed in a single day, because you just have to apply tape and plaster, without the need for any joint compound.

2. Appearance of the Joints

Due to the way in which blueboard is made to easily absorb plaster on top, and because it does not require joint compound, it has much smoother joints or seams. It’s not nearly as easy to see joints on blueboard as on drywall.

3. Overall Appearance and Texture

Also because blueboard is designed to work with specialty plaster, it also allows for a much smoother finish than drywall. Drywall can appear a bit rough, whereas blueboard will look smooth.

4. Versatility

Because blueboard is designed to bond with specialty plaster, it is also much more versatile than drywall, as it provides builders with increased control over the final texture of the wall.

5. Cost

The only real downside when comparing drywall to blueboard is that blueboard is slightly more expensive.

Drywall vs. Blueboard: Which Should You Use?

If you want a way to make interior walls that only take a day to complete, have no visible joints, are smooth, and have an easily controllable texture, then blueboard is the way to go. That said, of course, it is also the more expensive of the two.


There you have it folks, all of the similarities and differences between blueboard and drywall.

Now that you know what makes these two building materials different from each other, you can make an informed choice between the two. That said, you might also learn about other drywall alternatives.

How Does Drywall Compare with Other Materials?

You might also be interested in seeing how drywall compares with: