The short answer is not much.
Gyprock is also known as gypsum board, drywall, or plasterboard.
For thousands of years, plaster made from lime, sand, animal hair and other ingredients was used to create a smooth interior finish on building walls and ceilings. Ancient Egyptian tombs feature paintings on the plaster walls that line their interiors as did the Romans buildings. Even up until the 1940s, most Australian homes had timber nailed across the frame and then covered in plaster (lath and plaster) to provide a smooth finish for painting.
But a process was invented in 1894 of setting a layer of gypsum plaster between layers of felt paper that was called Plasterboard. These sheets of board provided a smooth finish for painting (or further plaster), as well as insulation, and were faster and easier to put up.The plaster was already dry, between the layers of paper, hence the term Drywall.
Unlike the lime-based plaster that was applied wet, it was found that gypsum-based plasters that had a faster drying time for manufacturing the plaster boards, and that is where the name Gyprock comes from.
A USA company made further improvements to the products’ fire resistance and called their product Sheetrock. Further advances followed in making the product less brittle and easier to handle.
This new form of plaster grew in popularity because it could speed up the building process.
Standard plasterboard is manufactured by sandwiching a gypsum plaster layer between two very thick sheets of specialised paper. There are variations to this process and materials used which can result in gyprock sheets that can be used for soundproofing or have water-resistant properties.
At SY Plastering, we have many years of experience with plasterboard on jobs all over Brisbane and Queensland. We are familiar with the variations in Plasterboard and where they are best used. DIY can be fun, but the right product and technique is important – for example in settings that experience moisture and humidity problems.
And the whole point of gyprock is to have the smoothest possible finish for painting.
A good painter can find it very hard to make up for a rough wall.