Drywall and Sheetrock Calculator
Drywall Material Estimate:
Using the Drywall Calculator
Drywall, also referred to as sheetrock or wall-board, is used to cover walls in modern construction. The drywall estimation calculator estimates the amount of sheetrock and supplies needed for your wall-board project. Simply enter the size of your room and the estimator finds the square footage of the walls, estimates the amount of drywall needed to cover those surfaces, and estimates additional supplies, including screws, joint compound or mud, and tape. For example, estimate the sheetrock needed for a 10′ x 10′ room with 8′ ceilings.
The calculator is useful for getting a rough pricing estimate when hiring a professional or to calculate the amount of materials to order for a DIY drywall project. If you need a professional installation estimate you can get free drywall installation estimates.
How to Estimate Drywall Material Needed
In order to find the amount of drywall needed for your project you need to get the square footage of the walls and ceilings that need to be sheet-rocked. Square footage of the walls is the length in feet times the width in feet of each wall. Finding square feet is just like finding an area, by multiplying the length times the width. Use our square footage calculator to find the square footage of your walls.
If the walls are complex and not rectangular then it may be easiest to split the walls into smaller sections and calculate each section individually, then add them together. For example, if you are measuring walls that have a vault it will be easiest to determine the square section and vault separately.
If you have doors, windows, or other areas where drywall will not be installed you may want to find the square footage of those areas and subtract from the total square footage figure. This will help your calculation be a bit more accurate and reduce excess materials and waste.
After you find the square footage of drywall needed, simply divide by the square footage of the sheet size you will be using to find the number of sheets needed. For example, if your wall surface is 1000 square feet and you’re using 4′ x 8′ sheets of drywall, then the number of sheets needed is 1000 / 32, or 31.25 sheets of drywall. It is recommended to order 10% additional materials to account for cuts and material waste.
Estimating Joint Compound and Tape for Drywall Projects
Estimating the amount of joint compound and drywall tape you need starts with finding the square footage. Different joint compound or mud products have different coverage levels so it’s best to check the product you intend to use to verify the coverage. If you’re using a lightweight joint compound (not premixed) then you’ll probably need .053 pounds of mud per square foot of drywall. If you’re using a quick setting product then you’ll likely need .073 pounds of mud per square foot. Drywall tape typically covers about 2-3 square feet of sheetrock per foot of tape.
Sheetrock Panel Size Factors to Consider
- Long sheets require less seams and cost much less to finish, but are more difficult to install
- Long sheets may not fit in tight spaces or through stair wells
- Long sheets are significantly heavier to lift and transport. A 4’x8′ 1/2″ sheet of drywall weighs 54 pounds, while a 4×12 1/2″ sheet weighs 82 pounds.
Don’t forget to consider transportation and delivery requirements when ordering materials. Drywall products are very heavy and you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate tools for moving large amounts of sheetrock. I make sure to use a panel carry when lifting large sheets since 4’x8′ panel size and weight make them very awkward to carry.
Sheetrock Panel Thickness Factors to Consider
- Thicker drywall reduces sound transfer and provides better insulation
- Thicker drywall costs more
- Thicker drywall is heavier and may be more difficult to install
Bear in mind that more complex framing, layouts, or exclusions will require manual estimation of materials, any automated estimation will have a reduced level of accuracy as the complexity of the framing or exclusions rises.
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