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Drywall Thickness for Basement (Quick Answers)

As a house owner, you decided that you finally want to finish the basement of your house, which you have been sleeping over. 

Now as you try to figure out, you will find out that there are many different types and sizes of drywalls you could use along with different price points. We will be answering all of those sorts of questions for you.

Drywall thickness for basement

A standard drywall for a basement is about half an inch thick. On the other hand, drywalls for the ceiling of the basement should ideally be about eight-fifth of an inch. This is so that the ceiling walls do not sag between the joists, which the half inch thick walls would be more prone to. 

The drywall thickness matters in terms of walls and ceilings for the basement. Let’s get to know more about them.


As mentioned before, the standard drywall thickness would be about half an inch thick, but there are also other common sizes for basement drywalls.

Drywalls come in three common sizes: half an inch, eight-fifth of an inch, and a third of an inch. 

Using thicker drywall options for your basement could be a thing, if you want to minimize noise transfer outside of the basement. Getting drywalls with the thickness of a third of an inch would do the trick. 

However even though it may sound compelling, it would extensively increase the costs on how much you would have to spend on drywalls.

Instead, for things like noise transfer, you could opt for R11 insulation which would be a much more budget friendly option while still keeping half inch thick drywalls.

There are also sizes like one-fourth of an inch for basement drywalls. Although it may be compelling due to even lower prices, it is not recommended to be used.

One-fourth inch drywalls are too flimsy and would be more prone to getting damaged.

Before getting started with buying your preferred thickness of drywalls, make sure to check if your basement is dry or prone to being wet, humid or moist.

In cases of those, you would also have to think about the type of drywalls you would want to install in your basement.


As you already know before, the standard thickness recommendation for a basement ceiling drywall is about eight-fifths of an inch. It is also the thickest rated drywall for a basement ceiling.

Many standard residences use ceiling drywalls which are half an inch thick and can be used with steel and wood framing. However, getting a thicker and more commercial grade drywall can be rewarding.

It is the thickest rated drywall (eight-fifth an inch) which is commercial grade, and they are also known as the firewall drywall. This sort of drywall can be used for making your ceiling soundproof and sturdier.

A firewall drywall is also known to be heavier and is on the pricier end of the spectrum as far as basement drywalls go.

Sometimes, it also depends on the state or province you are located in. Some states would allow you to use a half inch thick drywall.

On the other hand, there are states which would not allow you to use half inch drywalls and you would automatically have to opt for the eight-fifth an inch thick drywall.

The commercial grade basement ceiling drywall is also ideal for its ability of fire protection. It would better resist fire catching on them when compared to a basic half an inch thick drywall.

Is half an inch or ⅝ drywall better for basement?

When it comes to choosing thicknesses for your basement, it is almost always better for you to opt for the thicker option. However, it cannot always be the case when you have a fixed budget to work with.

Although it is pricier, it does come with its own set of pros. A ⅝ drywall holds its struct much better than a ½ drywall.

If you are to install ½ drywall on your ceiling, it might be prone to showing sag, whilst installing ⅝ drywalls would work better to minimize issues like those.

Using ⅝ drywalls also means that your basement or home, wherever you install them would be better at soundproofing and fireproofing your home. The ½ inch thick drywalls are naturally more prone to things like sound leaking and catching on fire easily.

Standard drywall thickness for basement

The standard drywall thickness for a basement is about half an inch, but that does not mean you would be able to use that thickness every time. 

There are house regulations in different states which may require you to have drywalls of a different thickness. On the other hand, some regulations do not even require you to have finished basement drywalls. 

As things can vary from one place to another, from situations to situations, naming something to be the standard could be confusing sometimes, but we still do consider half an inch to be the standard.

Joist spacing on most homes is about twelve inches, which makes the half inch thick drywalls to be ideal for them. But if the joist spacing is not twelve, it is most likely to be about twenty-four inches. 

It is standard to use the eight-fifth inch thick drywall for walls which has a joist spacing of about twenty-four inches. Other sizes are almost never used for drywalls unless it is for things like patching up a damaged drywall, or for walls which have bends in them.

It is most common to see half inch drywalls in households, while the eight-fifth inch drywalls are closely behind those.

4 factors that affect the drywall thickness for basement

There are a lot of factors which could lead you to decide on what thickness of drywalls you should use for your basement. It could be situation or financial based, or it could be depending on your state laws.


When buying drywalls for your basement, you not only need to look at what you get, but for how much you get it. That does not mean you would always go for the cheapest ones.

It is important to look for the perfect balance of budget, quality and the thickness of drywall that you would install in your basement.

State Laws:

Different states have various sorts of laws when building a house. Some states might not even let you move into your house if your basement is not completed.

There are states where they would want you to install half inch drywalls for your ceilings, while other states might require you to have eight-fifth inch drywalls as your ceilings.

Sound Proofing:

Along with prices and state laws affecting your purchase of drywalls, you might also want to consider how much sound proofing each thickness of drywall can provide you.

The thicker the drywalls the better the sound-proofing, and it is also directly proportional to the price of the drywalls.

Fire Proofing:

Although regular households commonly use half inch drywalls, it could be fruitful to consider something thicker as it would be better fireproofing for your home.

Hence, getting thicker drywalls can be a deciding factor here.

How do you use drywall in a basement?

Using the drywall in the basement requires some thinking. Let’s get to know how you can use the drywall in the basement and what type you should use.

Check for mold and moisture in the basement:

One of the most common problems in basements have to do with mold and moisture.

Check for them, and if you have them in your basement, opt for drywalls with mold and moisture-resistance.

Choose if you need green or purple drywalls:

A green drywall is often enough to withstand moisture. But you need to determine if you need something better for your basement.

Purple drywalls are the most waterproof drywall and it is also mildew resistant. You will need to decide if it is the right one for your basement.

Choose the thickness of drywall:

Once you are done with which type of drywall you want to install, opt for how thick you want your drywalls to be. It is supposed to be based on things like soundproofing, sturdiness, etc.

Decide your price point:

Along with everything else, you will also need keep in track about the price point of the dry walls that you are going to buy as the costs quickly add up.

Look for production companies which fit the above criteria:

Finally, you will need to look for manufacturing companies which fit with all the above criteria.

Final Thoughts

Therefore, if we look at the standard thickness measurements for basement drywalls, it would be about half an inch thick. On the other hand, ceiling drywalls should be about eight-fifth of an inch thick. This is to make the ceilings of the basement sturdier to hold structure.