Sheathing Recommendations

Cuthriell

Cuthriell
User
Any recommendations for covering insulated walls in a small shop? I see 1/2" plywood sheathing is available for about $22. I want to paint it white before installation. I think I am not interested in drywall due to durability. Has anyone ever used fire resistant construction paper, such as on a ceiling? I could put that up myself without getting someone to install.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Plywood works fine if you want a rated assembly buy fire rated plywood.
For the walls, I would use ACX, then you have a smoother surface.
Fire rated paper is usually used with something else in an assembly. If you want to fire rate something you could just use intumenscent paint. Look at the pricing and figure out what works best for you both pricing and ease of acquiring and installing
 

mpeele

michael
User
I used 1/4" plywood for a shop ceiling. It was easy for me to put up and I covered the seams with some 1/4" strips I cut from 9' 2X4's.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
As for durability, have you looked into using 5/8" Water Resistant (AKA green board or blue board) drywall? It withstands moisture quite well and if you're installing cabinets on the walls, French cleats would be the way to go anyways. Keeping it off the floor 5/8' - 3/4" helps with water wicking and premature failure. Overhead, well, that's another story. Too much Tylenol involved.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
There is a bedroom above my shop garage so it has 5/8 fire rated drywall on the ceiling. It was installed by the contractor who built the garage for me. I wired the walls and hooked up the lights and installed the insulation and sheathing for the walls. I used 7/16 wafer board. At the time it was significantly cheaper than plywood. I skimmed it with drywall compound before painting it with cheap ceiling paint. Works great. I've previously tried painting waferboard without the skim coat and that did not work so great. The surface is too porus with big open spaces. But the drywall mud filled those well enough it took paint a lot better. If I did not have to deal with a bedroom above, I would not hessitate to use waferboard on the ceiling too.

If you use plywood, you should not need the skim coat of mud so for me it would just be a cost decision. If plywood is close enough in price, I would use it. I might even use 5mm luan on the ceiling with battens over the joints. That way you could remove the battens and take down the ceiling if you need to get up there. But it was drywall for me due to the finished space above the shop.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
Check with your local building code officials. Do you already have 5/8" firecode between the garage and the house or is this a detached garage? Some jurisdictions require that between a garage and living space. If you're doing wwing and other activities in there it may be a good idea as an assurance against fire damage to the house.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Plywood or OSB screwed to the walls is a great way to go. Screwing it on allows it to be removed for wiring additions/ changes. I have done this a few times in my shop in 2 years (machines come and go) It also allows you to mount anything, anywhere on any wall quickly and easily.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Gotcha 6 is correct all walls and ceilings that are common with the occupancy of the building require 1 hrs rating per the IBC.
Both the IBC and UL have schedules of c approved rated assemblies made with plywood sheathing. Reference those
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Interesting that everyone steers away from drywall?

My shop walls and ceiling is drywall and air conditioned. My main reason for doing that is the possibility to convert it to heated/conditioned living area for low cost, at some point in the future. I have no issues with durability, mounting stuff on walls and it looks clean.
 

Charlie

Charlie
Corporate Member
Interesting that everyone steers away from drywall?

My shop walls and ceiling is drywall and air conditioned. My main reason for doing that is the possibility to convert it to heated/conditioned living area for low cost, at some point in the future. I have no issues with durability, mounting stuff on walls and it looks clean.
I agree!
 

srhardwoods

Chris
Senior User
I did something completely different. This was at the time that supplies were relatively stable so wouldn't apply now but might help someone in the future if/when they return to somewhat normal. I do not like drywall idea, having to use anchors to hang things from incase you can't hit a stud, labor intensive and then need to paint. I do not like OSB as it takes a pile of paint to cover, rough surface holds dust. I used 1/2" prefinished 1 side import birch ply. They are true 4x8 and not oversized to 48.5x96.5 and I used tan decking screws. Dust does not stick to it, it reflects light really well and you hang it and it's done. The other is I put all my electrical in conduit so that if/when I rearrange the shop, you can easily remove/reroute electrical circuits. If you need to get behind the ply, unscrew it and you have access. My previous shop has a pile of money in the walls of electrical circuits that were no longer used because I rearranged the shop, upgraded a tool and need to move it etc.

Again, when I did this it was very comparable to OSB plus a lot of paint plus a lot of time. I'm building a new shop now and went ahead and paid the difference and did the same things again as time was not on my side and was more important to get it done asap. I as able to put up 50 sheets in half a day and it's done. It worked for me but might not for others
 

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