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Garage Drywall Thickness (Complete Guide)

Drywall is the last step of decorating a garage. Because it gives the garage a furnished and poised look, hides the scrambled wiring, reduces outside noises, and provides insulation. Drywall took the construction industry by storm once it was introduced centuries ago and from then till now, it has been the ultimate tool for paneling walls and ceilings. Even though the name drywall makes you imagine a 4 x 8 panel but in reality, there are many types and criteria of drywalls to choose from.

So, let’s see the standard drywall thickness you may require for your recently furnished garage.

When the garage is detached from the main portion of the house, you should use a 1/2-inch panel on the wall and 5/8 inch on the ceiling of the garage. In case of an attached garage, you’ll use 5/8 inch or type X fire-rated sheetrock on the wall, eventually connecting the garage with the home.

A garage wall is based on framing, sheathing, and adding material supports. To maintain the weight of the structure, an exterior garage wall is required. The local codes and standards for drywalls are proclaimed for the perfect measurement to ensure safety and durability.

The standard thickness for the exterior wall of the garage is 6.5 inches. Even though geographical location, environment, and weather play an important role in deciding the actual thickness of exterior walls and drywall. Depending on the interior material of the walls, you should choose the drywalls for the garage. In general, the framework of a wall needs a panel of 2×6 or 2×4, following a layer of thick drywall for resistance to fire.

There are four thicknesses available for drywalls. Those are_ 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, and 5/8 inch. Each thickness has specific performance and application but for garages, mostly 5/8 and 1/2 inches are used. Regular 1/2 inches are commonly used in the construction of garage walls and ceilings.

Based on the thickness of the framing, you need to decide the thickness of the drywall. For walls, the common thickness for drywalls is 1/2 inch panels. But in an attached garage, the requirement will shift to 5/8 inches panels or type X-rated drywalls, especially the connecting wall between the garage and house.

But on other walls, the standard 1/2 inches drywall will suffice. For the ceiling, the regular thickness used is 5/8 inches panels. For the ceiling, the general rule is that the installation should be of the largest panels which can be fitted safely. The larger the panels, the fewer seams it will require. When you are taping out the drywall, the large panels will be durable.

Garage drywall thickness code:

Every community has its own codes and standards for the required drywall thickness. In lots of communities, when an adjoining wall is attached to the house and garage, the wall must fulfill the fire code regulations. Whether the walls and ceilings are attached or detached, the code will regulate the thickness of the walls.

Thicker drywall is required for the walls and ceilings that are covered in a texture or skim coat in a place with joists and studs. The thicker the drywall, the more fire-resistant the material is. So, depending on the location, attachment to the house, or environment, the codes and standards will vary from community to community.

Do you need 5/8 drywall in a garage?

5/8 inch drywall is not a required thickness for walls under any codes and standards in single-family residential. It perhaps can be a jurisdictional requirement, but only when it is specified. 1/2 inch will get most of the job done but in exceptional cases, 5/8 inch may be required.

According to the International residential code, all common walls between garage and house have to have a 20 minute equivalent fire membrane on the garage portion. So, accordingly, the thickness for walls is required 1/2 inches. But when the garage is underneath the habitable rooms, the ceilings in that case should shift to being 5/8 inches.

Whenever, any portion of the house is attached with the garage, the common wall or ceiling should be 5/8 inches thick. In case of fire risk is more prominent in the household or neighborhood, it is advisable to install 5/8 inches on all the walls.

What kind of drywall do you use in a garage?

If the garage is detached from the main portion of the house, you can opt for regular, standard 1/2-inch drywall for walls and ceilings. It is easy to install and budget-friendly. But if the location is in humid areas, the regular drywalls can’t provide 100% insulation. It can tone down the noise but can’t guarantee a noise-free environment.

When the garage wall is against the house and ceiling, the codes require you to install a fire-resistant type. These drywalls will not prevent the fire from spreading, since they are not fire-proof, but will their non-flammable fiber, they can resist and hold the fire for a certain period.

Type X is the 1st fire code material for drywalls. It is made from gypsum which helps to increase the fire rating for an hour minimum. Type C, on the flip side, is a more durable and viable option than Type X.

“5” factors that determine garage drywall thickness

Drywalls come in different sizes and types. Standard sizing is very important for your garage because a wrong size or type will void the purpose of the drywall in the first place. It will cost more to reconstruct the whole thing. So, before choosing the drywalls, you should take these into consideration­­­_

Local code and standards:

Since drywalls are related to the fire safety of the garage and house, the local communities have prescribed guidelines and instructions for suitable drywalls. Before purchasing the drywalls, check the local codes whether the material is allowed in that area.


The weather of your garage plays an important role. If the area is humid and contains moisture, you will need moisture-resistant drywalls. Since garages are not climate-controlled, moisture content from the humidity, snow, or rain will dilapidate the drywalls easily.

Sound and noise:

If you live in a neighborhood, the sound pollution will get you one way or another. A garage is a safe place to relax and chill. So, depending on the sound level, you have to opt for the compatible thickness of drywalls.


The most common sizes are 4×8, 4×12, 4×16, and 2×2 sq. feet drywalls. Depending on the size of walls and ceilings, the sizes vary. While small sizes are easy to install, bigger ones are budget-friendly and durable.


The prices go up and down with the sizes and types as well. For example, sound-resistant drywall will cost you four times more than regular drywall.

How to choose the right drywall thickness for your garage?

Since drywall is a long-time investment, you can’t make wrong choices about them. There are lots of factors to consider before you bring the correct and compatible drywalls for your garage. So, it is very crucial to choose the right drywall thickness for the garage.

Let us find out how you can choose the right drywall thickness for your garage_

Find out the thickness of the wall:

A wall or ceiling of the garage should be 6.5 inches thick with the framing and sheathing. If the wall framing is thick itself, opt for lightweight drywalls. But if you want a sound-resistant garage, the thicker panels will work best.

The reasons for installing drywalls:

Usually, drywalls are not the prime materials for construction. But it has become a norm to use them in garages and basements for different purposes. A drywall has more purposes than giving the garage a furnished look. So, considering your reason is very important for choosing the right thickness.

If your reason is to chill and relax in the garage, the thickness should be thick to mystify the outdoor sounds. If the reason is mold prevention, drywall thickness will depend on the mold-resistant type.

Check the local codes and standards:

You can’t choose your ultimate drywalls without the consultation of the local codes and guidelines. Since the drywall has a direct link with fire safety and resistance, the required thickness of the code will play an important role in the ultimate thickness of the drywalls.

Consider the attached or detached:

The last step for choosing the right thickness will depend on the situation of common walls with the attached home. If the walls and ceilings have an additional attachment, the thickness of the drywall will have to be 5/8 inches on the side of the garage.

Final Thoughts:

the thickness of the drywall in the garage should follow the local codes and standards. In a detached garage, the standard 1/2 inch of thickness will suffice. But in the attached wall, the thickness should be 5/8 inch. Sometimes the local codes will allow two 1/2 inch panels for fire resistance.