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Drywall Category Players, Part 1

In this study, we found that both Georgia-Pacific and Knauf are selling gypsum board products to DIY consumers and professional contractors. Please refer to our attached spreadsheet for this study. Furthermore, below is a detailed explanation of our methodology and findings.


We initially started the research by searching how Georgia-Pacific and Knauf compare with each other in terms of their drywall gypsum board products. While checking the official website of Georgia-Pacific, we found that each product page has information regarding specs, warranties, resources such as installation instructions, and FAQ for a particular product. We could not find any page that focuses on professional installation only. Its FAQ and safety pages also did not mention any product that requires professional installation only. Since we could not find any pages that are dedicated to professional builders only, we assumed that all the products of Georgia-Pacific are available to both B2B and B2C customers.
Next, we checked the official website of Knauf and found that it has no pricing and ordering information. In this website, we only found information regarding the company, its history, company sponsored works, and product details. We also checked the U.K.-based website of Knauf. From this source, we only found product information without pricing, but with a request information button for each product, and a page for requests and purchasing. However, the website did not specify any products for professional builders or individual consumers only.
Since the official websites of Georgia-Pacific and Knauf did not state that their products are available to individual consumers or professional contractors only, we assumed that all of their products are available to individual consumers and contractors. We also assumed that any advertising of their products made is directed at both B2B and B2C consumers.


Georgia-Pacific has four types of gypsum products, namely: exterior roof, exterior systems, exterior walls, and interior. For two exterior roof products, one has hail resistance. Its one exterior system has an air barrier, gypsum sheathing, and water-resistive barrier around the gypsum board. It also has two exterior wall products - one having a moisture barrier. For multiple interior wall products, seven are fire rated, four are moisture resistant, three are lightweight, three are for specialty applications, two are made for abuse or impact, and one is standard. Each individual product page has its own specs, warranties, product resources such as installation instructions, and FAQ as shown in ToughRock® Fireguard X.
Georgia-Pacific has two main types of interior gypsum board products, namely: fiberglass mat-faced panel and paper-faced panels. The fiberglass products (Dens® Solutions) are made for high moisture areas and abuse/impact areas, while the paper-faces products (ToughRock®) are used in standard or special applications including fire rated, lightweight applications, and curved applications.
Georgia-Pacific does not sell products directly to the public, but has a “Where To Buy” page on its official website. Menards carries 12 types of Georgia-Pacific drywall sheets amounting from $9.98 to $28.99 per sheet. It also offers special deals for contractors, but no pricing options. Lowe’s carries four types of Georgia-Pacific drywall sheet amounting between $7.86 and $11.79 per sheet.
Georgia-Pacific has a YouTube Channel for its product line named “DensElementTM Barrier System” with 526 subscribers and more than 3,000 views. Due to the upswing in DIY, it had a campaign in the mid-2000 named “Stop Feeding the Mold” that became successful in promoting its paperless drywall. However, the campaign ended and the link to its campaign’s webpage is directing its customers to its current mold resistant drywall. Georgia-Pacific has a Facebook page that showcases employees, products, and the company’s charitable efforts. Currently, it has more than 29,000 followers.
Since 1965, Georgia-Pacific believes that it is committed in providing the best quality of gypsum boards and building products. It is also proud to continue to become innovators and to create new products to help builders in building homes and commercial buildings with the best quality. Georgia-Pacific’s taglines include “A Storied History of Innovation - with a Focus on the Future”.


Knauf has 15 products (four are interior gypsum board products) available in the list of Worldwide Product Range. Other products include cement board, specialty board, floor scree, and joint compound. It also has diamant board with enhanced sound insulation, fire protection, and high humidity. Knauf’s safeboard is made for radiation protection, and silentboard has a special gypsum core for highest sound shield insulation.
The U.K.-based website of Knauf did not have pricing options, but has “Purchase Terms and Conditions” page that has orders and requests that must be complied online. Alibaba shows that Knauf’s gypsum board prices amount from $.10 to $12 from many retailers.
Knauf is a popular brand for high-quality plasterboard in the U.K. Its award-winning advertising campaign in the U.K. included paid search, press ads, social media and email, direct mailer, and online game based on the campaign’s theme “Are You Missing Something?” that informs customers that its more than just a drywall company. Knauf recently purchased U.S. Gypsum to become the global leader in the gypsum market, and to establish a presence in North America. France-based Knauf has a Facebook page that shows the buildings that have used its products. Currently, it has more than 29,000 followers.
The official website of Knauf has “Worldwide Reference Page” that shows the buildings globally that have used its products. The company believes that it is dependable since it is already making and innovating drywall products since 1958. The four values of Knauf are menschlichkeit (humanity), partnership, commitment, and entrepreneurship. It is one family of workers who work as team, trust each other, take responsibility for their work, and help the company to grow. Knauf’s taglines include “Global Player with a Sense of Togetherness” and “Exceptional products for exceptional projects”.
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Drywall Category Players, Part 2

We have entered the requested details about Continental Building Products and National Gypsum in terms of their drywall gypsum board products on rows 3-7, columns E-F of the attached spreadsheet.

Continental Building Products' product lines include Standard, Fire Resistant, Mold and Moisture Resistant, Shaftliner, Abuse and Impact Resistant, Glass Mat Faced, and Level 5.

National Gypsums' product lines include Standard Gypsum Board, Mold Resistant - XP Products, Mold Resistant - eXP Products, Abuse and Impact Resistant, Acoustical, Shaftliner, Shaftwall and Area Separation Wall, Gridstone Ceiling Panels, and Factory Built Housing.

Both companies made no reference to differences in products, prices, positioning, marketing, and messaging to B2B vs. B2C customers.

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Drywall Category Players, Part 3

A complete competitive analysis of Saint-Gobain and U.S. Gypsum's drywall gypsum board products, including each company's product offerings, pricing, competitive advantage, and messaging, has been compiled in rows 3-7, columns G-H of the attached spreadsheet.


When it comes to their drywall gypsum products and services, Saint-Gobain offers abrasive grains, adhesives, architectural membranes, coated abrasives, custom products, decking & railing, exterior cladding, hardware, mosaic and marble reinforcement, protective films and tapes, refractories roofing, single-use systems, wall covering, wall reinforcement, wallboard, wallboard finishing, and waterproofing carrier. This translates to both B2B and B2C market. The company’s pricing for their products are not available on their website. We also tried other related sources that could contain this information but it is not available.

Saint-Gobain's most recent campaign's message is: "Saint-Gobain creates revolutionary materials that improve the way we live together every day."

U.S. Gypsum

U.S. Gypsum has been acquired by Knauf in August 2018. Therefore, we profiled Knauf as the category player in the drywall gypsum industry.

For both B2B and B2C, Knauf’s message is: "We make gypsum products to help architects and designers create better spaces."


The full competitive analysis has been compiled in the attached spreadsheet.
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Drywall Purchasers: B2C Demographics

According to the manufacturers of gypsum drywall, Continental Building Products, construction, remodeling and repair of residential buildings account for over 80% of the demand and sales of gypsum. However, there was no information on the typical US consumer of drywall products. Below is the methodology that we used in an attempt to get this information.


The first strategy was to check for information from publications by industry bodies such as the Association of the Wall and Ceiling industry and the Gypsum Association. In this case, we were looking for information on the typical US consumer for interior drywall products. However, while these statistics were not available, there was a report from the Gypsum Association with industry statistics, although this was locked behind a paywall.

The second strategy was to check for information from press releases, articles and news report from credible publications like Business Insider, PR Newswire and Forbes. This strategy was unsuccessful since these sources only contained details on construction in general and drywall specification and pricing data.

The final strategy was to turn our attention to the annual reports by drywall manufacturers such as US Gypsum and Continental Building Products. None of these sources provided detailed information on the demographics of their customers. However, they featured information on the volume demand of their products, such as their use in repair and remodeling activity. These details have been provided in the paper as helpful findings.

In conclusion, there is limited information on the demographics of drywall consumers since most of the buyers could be contractors or professionals, as opposed to individual customers.




One of the leading manufacturers of gypsum drywall is Continental Building Products. In its 2017 annual report, it stated that the leading areas in demand for gypsum wallboard are remodels, repair and residential construction. As such, these sectors accounted for 80% of product and demand sales of gypsum wallpaper.

Similarly, the largest manufacturer of wallboards, US Gypsum also stated that remodeling activities and repair in both residential and nonresidential areas account for 51% of their business. As such, the main use of drywall products is the repair and remodeling of residential areas.


  • AGE: A report by Housing Wire states that individuals older than 55 years old were responsible for 50% of current home improvements. This is based on the fact that 72% of all homeowners, about three million are older than 55. Similarly, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University also stated that although spending on home improvement increases from the time one reaches 35 years old, there is a steep rise when one approaches retirement. Between 35 and 44 years, the average amount spent on repairs is $2,060 while between 55 and 64, the average amount spent is $3,000.
  • GENDER: Baby Boomers have the highest expenditure for home improvement, but there is no information on the specific gender that makes these purchases.
  • LOCATION: Homeowners located in Northeastern and Western metros spend the most on home improvements.
  • HOUSEHOLD INCOME: Repair and remodeling activities are high in households with a median income of $83,000 and median house values of $270,000. This is because these households can finance extensive repairs.
  • MARITAL STATUS: Families with children spend more than any other type of household on remodeling and repair of their homes.
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Drywall Purchasers: B2B Demographics

Construction managers and drywall installers are the main US B2B consumers of drywall products. The average age of construction managers in the US is 45.6. There are more men than women in the professions of construction management and drywall installation.


We began our research by looking for information on drywall purchasing professionals. We were able to find information on these construction industry professionals: General Contractors, Construction Managers, and Drywall Installers. We provided definitions for these professions. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics had several reports on Construction Managers which are included in this report. The BLS definition of a Construction Manager includes the duties of the General Contractor and Construction Manager, and there is no separate labor designation for General Contractor, so Construction Manager Data was used. The Construction Manager designation on the report did not break out any further statistic on type of construction manager or whether or not drywall was purchased. We also found statistics for 'Drywall Installers, Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers', which is the designation used for statistical breakdown by the BLS for this labor group. These statistics are also included in this report. The statistics did not give information on drywall purchasing, or if this statistic included drywall company owners or employees.
We also reviewed construction industry publications such as Builder magazine, Pro Remodeler, Construction Dive, and Professional Builder for news reports and studies regarding the drywall industry, and demographics for construction workers. We were able to find many articles about the state of the industry today, but the information was about labor shortages, an aging workforce, and new housing statistics. Articles with demographic information were repeating information from the BLS, so that information was not added to this report. We dug deeper and reviewed national trade organizations such as the National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Women in Construction, and National Association of Minority Contractors looking for information on their memberships or professional studies. Here, we found more statistics and links to other reports on construction managers and some demographic information, which are included in this report. However, none of the data found was directly linked to drywall product B2B purchasing. Although the information provided is not directly pointed at drywall B2B purchasers, we believe this information on construction managers and drywall installers is a good representation of professional consumers of drywall products.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics had several reports on Construction Managers and Drywall Installers which are included in this report. While the reports listed the education levels required for each labor designation, there was no information given on the percentage of workers with specific education levels. We also did not find information on home ownership, marital status, and number of children. We also reviewed construction industry publications such as Builder magazine, Pro Remodeler, Construction Dive, and Professional Builder for news reports regarding the drywall industry, and demographics for construction workers. We found many articles about the state of the industry today, but the information was about labor shortages, an aging workforce, and new housing statistics. Articles with demographic information were repeating information from the BLS, and we were unable to find educational information on construction workers in general or professionals who purchased drywall specifically.
We continued our research by looking at education sites such as Study.com and MyMajor.com and Statistical sites such as Data USA for information or case studies regarding degree programs for construction and drywall professions. We were able to find percentages on bachelor degree majors for Construction Managers, but we were unable to find any data for high school diplomas or advanced degrees for drywall installers.
We dug deeper and reviewed national trade organizations such as the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry and the Gypsum Association looking for information on their memberships or professional studies. We found information regarding the industry today, but no data on education home ownership, or marital status, for or about drywall installers. Due to the fact no education is required to be a drywall installer, we did not conduct additional research, as we assumed that any other source would not reveal educational information regarding drywall installers.


General contractors are hired to organize construction work on various projects, including homes, roads, office buildings, and stores. They are tasked with hiring and overseeing subcontractors, buying materials and supplies, reviewing plans, and meeting deadlines. A general contractor is an individual or company that manages the daily activities in a construction site.

Construction managers work together with project owners and ensure that all team members complete their assigned tasks on time and within the stipulated budget. Construction managers can also be advice project owners on design and budget. The Bureau Labor of Statistics notes that construction mangers primarily work in an office setting. However, it also mentions that they are key decision makers in construction projects. On the other hand, drywall contractors and installers are in charge of measuring, cutting, and fastening drywall panels on the walls of residential and commercial buildings.

b2b consumer demographics

The Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS) reports that in the construction industry, there are 11,181,000 workers out of which 9.9% are women, 88.4% white, 6.2% black, 2.0% Asian, and 30.7 % Hispanic. According BLS, construction managers make approximately $93,370 per year or $44.89 per hour. Most of them have a bachelor's degree and have undergone on-the-job training. States with the highest employment rates of construction managers include California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina.

States with highest location quotient of construction managers include Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, Nevada, and Oregon. Conversely, states with the highest employment rates of drywall installers include California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Washington. States with the highest location quotient of drywall installers include Utah, Nevada, California, Idaho, and Washington.
In 2017, BLS reported that women made up 9% of the construction sector. BLS reported that there are 737,000 construction managers out of which 6.7% are women. When it came to drywall installers, 1.6% of 150,000 drywall installers, tapers, and ceiling tile installers were women. In the construction and extraction industry, 0.3% of women are white, 0.2% black, 0.1% Asian, and 0.6% Hispanic. In terms of full-time construction managers, there were 471,000 managers with a median wage of $1,329 per week. Forty-two thousand were women (no weekly wage given), and 429,000 were men with a median wage of $1,357 per week.


A report from Data USA shows there are 653,000 construction managers in the US with an average age of 45.6 and an average salary of $85,385. 587,000 construction managers are male (89.9%) and 65,700 are female. One percent of workers in the construction workforce are drywall installers, ceiling tiles hangers, and tapers. Men's average salary is $86,985, and women's average salary is $71,084.
According to the report, the average age of a male construction manager is 45.8 and that of a female construction manager is 43.3. Construction managers are 89.5% white. In terms of college majors, 26% of construction managers studied engineering, 24% business, and 15% construction.


To become a general contractor one requires a high school diploma or equivalent, however, a bachelor's degree in construction management, civil engineering, or building and construction science can be beneficial. To become a drywall contractor or installer, no formal education is required. Some apprenticeship programs require a high school diploma. Apprenticeships can take 3 to 4 years.


According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average age of drywall installers, ceiling tile installers and tapers was approximately 38 years old. The average age of construction managers was approximately 47 years old. According to the National Association of Minority Contractors, 31% or 50 million Americans work in the construction industry. Hispanics are approximately 30% or 15 million, African Americans are approximately 17% or 8.5 million, and other minority groups are approximately 2% or 2 million. The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs reveals that there are 652,561 construction firms in the US. Approximately 20,000 businesses focus on drywall installation and have a combined annual revenue of $25 billion.

paywalled reports

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Drywall Purchasers: B2C Psychographics

According to our research, the typical consumer of drywall products are Millennial homeowners. These individuals tend to conduct research on products, topics, and projects and receive advice from others before making a purchase. Out of all the generations, they are more likely to be frugal. Millennials are also the least patient generation and wish to obtain information quickly. Traditional marketing strategies usually do not work on Millennials as they are attracted to innovation. Finally, most Millennial females believe their homes reflect their personalities. Below we have presented an overview of our research strategy, any assumptions we have made, and the findings from our research strategy.


To determine the psychographics of the typical drywall consumer in the United States, we first searched for relevant home improvement statistics, particularly those that homeowners perform themselves. After scrutinizing information published by both financial and home project sites, we were able to conclude that most of the home improvement projects have been performed by Millennials. The reasons for this include their ambition to save money, as well as their aspiration to personalize their own homes.

Afterward, we explored marketing databases to gather more information on recent trends witnessed by big-box retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes. Using this research strategy, we found that the listed retailers have implemented marketing strategies targeted at Millennials and their propensity to conduct DIY projects. With the information that we gathered, we assumed that a large portion of the drywall consumer market in the United States consists of Millennials, chiefly those that own homes.



Millennials are very interested in social media and utilize it to obtain information. Moreover, they appreciate being a part of a marketing experience and are prone to buy products from brands that administer this strategy. Millennials also favor buying online as opposed to in-store shopping. More than three-fourths (79%) of Millennial females say their home reflects their personalities, so they are willing to go to extreme measures to improve, renovate, and decorate.


Millennials are the earliest generation to be raised following the digital revolution, and they typically depend on technology. They are also more inclined to conduct research on products, topics, and projects. Millennials usually invest in themselves first. Around 94% of them utilize coupons or seek out sales.


Compared to the older generations, Millennials are more accepting of others. They are considered to be the most entrepreneurial, frugal, and liberal among the various age cohorts. Since they also serve as one of the most diverse generations in the United States's history, marketing that is personalized is more effective with them. Millennials are more inclined to buy from brands that are environmentally and socially proactive. Additionally, they favor labels that develop an innovative buying experience.


Millennials serve as the least patient generation as they wish to acquire information swiftly. Millennials, namely homeowners, are more prone to obtain guidance prior to making a purchase. They have departed from the traditional life stages system. Instead, they make significant breakthroughs whenever they believe they are ready. Traditional marketing tactics are not particularly effective with them, since millennials are more attracted to innovation.


  • Homeowners aged 35 and below employ the DIY method for more than half of their home improvement projects, which is more frequent than the other age cohorts.

  • Lowes has launched a marketing operation centered on DIY home improvement that is primarily targeted at Millennials.

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Drywall Purchasers: B2B Psychographics

Based on our research, B2B consumers chose drywall products because they are concerned with fire resistance. These consumers want sound isolation and value the ease of installation associated with drywall. They look for durability, want an eco-friendly option, and choose an economic and versatile option. B2B consumers show interest in affordable housing and therefore, drywall are of their interest.


Initially, we started looking into why drywall is generally chosen in the construction industry. Drywall business is growing because constructors chose this material for the unique features it has. We found several reasons of why this material is becoming more popular in the industry section and later, we deepen our research looking into each one of those specific features. For each reason why drywall is chosen by home builders or contractors, we included an overview and the relation between that reason and why drywall fits their choice.

psychographic profile: US B2B consumer of drywall products

1. Concerned with fire resistance

B2B consumers of drywall products are concerned with fire resistance. For them gypsum board is an excellent fire-resistive building material. Its composition has 21% of the water in combination with other chemical components, retards the transfer of heat and the spread of fire. The Type X Drywall or the so-called fire-resistant drywall is commonly purchased by the consumers. Most importantly, the regulatory trends in the US about fire resistance in construction have a big impact on the development of Type X Drywall.

2. Want Sound isolation

A "single layer of soundproof drywall is equivalent to eight layers of conventional drywall." Home improvement and construction efforts have created a rating system for determining the effectiveness of products intended for soundproofing. It's called "Sound Transmission Class Levels", or STC. For B2B consumers of drywall products, it is the easiest and more economical way of soundproofing.

3. Value their ease of installation

Drywall panels are relatively large compared to other materials and require only a few tools for their construction. Also, it's a lightweight material and only two workers can easily handle most panels and cover large areas in a very short time period. The construction with drywall is four times faster than other materials.

4. Look for durability

Constructors use drywall in order to construct strong, high-quality walls and ceilings that offer excellent dimensional stability and durability. Damaged drywall can be patched up in a quicker and easier way than other materials. Drywall repair techniques can quickly fix damage, cracks, holes, and chips. There is no need to replace the entire section. Therefore, it is a good choice for B2B consumers of drywall products.

5. Want an eco-friendly option

End-use influencers, architects, and part of it is in regulation changes on how much material can be landfilled. In the US, standards are being developed to incentivize the practice of recycling. These guidelines include what materials can be recycled and therefore, eco-friendly drywall is a good alternative. Drywall is "easy to recycle and is made of green and recycled materials. Drywall is made from 90-95% recycled material and the paper exterior is made exclusively from 100% recycled content, mostly old newspapers. Although builders are showing interest in this product, time will tell if people will be willing to pay a premium for reduced carbon emissions.

6. Looks for an economic and versatile option

Drywall satisfies a wide range of architectural requirements for design. It can be installed at significantly lower labor costs than most alternate systems. Less time and labor is required for the construction of drywall with a 25-40% decrease in the labor cost. It can be shaped or molded as the constructor needs. They are moisture and mold resistant and can take all types of finishes such as wallpaper, wall paint, and laminates. Drywall partition can be curved and put into different shapes conveniently.

7. Show interest in affordable housing

For B2B consumers of drywall products, the demand for affordable housing leads to the fast growth of the wall panel and modular industries. Panel construction has several benefits including the requirement of fewer employees on site, decreased amount of waste materials, lowered chance of job site burglary, and the allowance for volume purchase. Panelization is becoming more and more of a focus of the construction industry.

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Drywall Market Trends: B2B

One trend driving the purchase decision-making process for B2B drywall consumers in the U.S. is the growing usage of pre-decorated boards. Below is an explanation of our research methodology that explains the limited information that was available on this topic. The entirety of the information that we were able to find about trends currently driving the purchase decision-making process for drywall in the U.S. is included below.


Information about trends currently driving the purchase decision-making process for drywall in the U.S. was extremely limited. We included the most information that we could find on this topic. Here's how we went about conducting our research and looking for this information. First, we reviewed numerous drywall market research reports because some of those reports include information about trends. We found some relevant information in those reports, but not as much as we had hoped to find. Second, we reviewed a significant quantity of articles published by industry sources such as Builder Online and Green Builder Media. However, the information in those articles focused on drywall products and application-related information, but did not discuss trends. For our third strategy, we utilized industry statistic sources such as Statista because from them, we had hoped to find information about the most-popular/top-rated drywall products in the U.S., from which we could have reasonably deemed those to be trends. However, the data that we found pertained to the industry revenue in general and thus did not provide information sufficient to ascertain a trend from. We included as much relevant information about this topic as we could find that was specific to the U.S.


We deemed the following trends as trends because they were either referred to as such or because the data shows the popularity of such, thus reasonably inferring that the trend is actually a trend.

1. pre-decorated boards

The first trend driving the purchase decision-making process for drywall in the U.S. is the popularity of using pre-decorated boards. These drywall products "have decorative surfaces, and are either painted or printed." According to a MarketWatch report, "Pre-decorated boards are gaining momentum, due to their flexibility. Moreover, ease of assembly, and scope for customization, according to end-users, are also major factors driving pre-decorated boards['] growth." Though that report referenced global trends, we ensured that the trend applied to the U.S. with this market report published by Grand View Research. In that report, this graph shows that the pre-decorated board revenue has been and is projected to continue increasing annually in the U.S.

2. gypsum fiber board

The popularity of gypsum-fiber board constitutes a trend attributable to the U.S. because a market research report published by Market Insights Report states that North Americas has a 47% share of that market. It's reasonable to logically infer that trend applies to the U.S. because (1) the U.S. is part of North America and (2) that large market share (47%) is likely the result of popularity throughout North America as a whole (and thus including the U.S.).

3. glass mat drywall

We also found a trend cited by Principia Consulting in a 2016 article about the drywall industry. While we realize that is from a few years ago, we included it because (1) it was directly applicable and (2) the article described the magnitude of the trend, thus inferring that it would likely last for a while. That article stated the following: "Glass mat products are potentially the most profitable and fastest growing segment of the drywall market with even more opportunity to expand."

4. popular uses of wallboard

While the following information about popular uses of wallboard is not a per se drywall product-specific trend, we wanted to include it because it's related to this topic. That information comes from a report published by MarketWatch which states the following about the popular ways that wallboard is being used: "[W]allboard accounts [for] the largest market share and is expected to remain dominant over the forecast period [2019-2023]. Increasing use of wallboard in non-load wearing walls and suspended ceilings[] drive the demand of the market. Wallboard . . . has come to be recognized as a better alternative to traditional plank and plaster products . . . [and] is revolutionizing both[] residential and commercial construction equally." Since that information is from a global market report, we ensured that the trend applied to the U.S. with this graph published by Grand View Research which illustrates that the wallboard product segment has been and is projected to continue growing in the U.S. annually.
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Drywall Market Trends: B2C

Some current trends driving the purchase decision-making process for the general consumers of drywall in the US are:; an increase in the number of houses that are being built, remodeled and restructured, an increase in demand for environmentally sustainable solutions, and an increase in popularity for new materials that are easy to install, versatile and have superior qualities as compared to traditional materials.


In our endeavor to identify some trends driving the purchase decision-making process for general consumers of drywall in the United States, we started by searching for drywall and gypsum board market reports. The strategy proved resourceful, as we were able to identify some different reports such as those published by the Grandview Research, Market Research and the Mortgage Reports among others, that had useful insights surrounding the topic. The reports highlighted insights on the global market, but the information was segmented based on subtopics such as geography, trends, gypsum board applications among others. Although parts of each report, including some paragraphs referring to trends, were publicly available, additional market insights were hidden behind paywalls. Nevertheless, we were able to utilize the publicly available data to establish three essential trends surrounding the drywall market and got some additional insights on each of these trends from media outlet publications such as by Forbes and LA Times. The three trends are as herein presented.


According to a market report by the gypsum board industry, it appears that new residential construction, as well as repair activities in developed countries such as the United States, have contributed to the growth of the gypsum board market. The United States and Canada are the fastest growing markets in this sector. The U.S. is the largest market for gypsum board products. In the United States, 97% of the structures built in 2018 utilized gypsum boards. The increasing number of people that moved to the cities resulted in the construction of new residential buildings. Also, repair activities are equally responsible for market growth as the market report suggests.

According to findings by the National Association of Realtors, in 2018, 5.34 million existing homes were sold in the United States, as compared to only 667,000 newly constructed homes sold in the same year. The Market Research report confirms the fact that the market growth for this industry was the result of key factors such as an increase in construction activities as well as an increase in remodeling and restructuring of existing homes. In total, Americans spend about $340 billion every year on activities related to remodeling and repairs. This phenomenon has seen a significant increase over the past five years, and it will continue to grow until 2021 when it is predicted to reach stagnation. The average American house is about 38 years old. It, therefore, means that a lot of the homes are quite old and require upgrading.

Home prices are increasing and, consequently, so are mortgage rates. This means that people will remain in the same house for longer. Obtaining a home-equity loan is easy; therefore, in terms of finance, remodeling makes more sense than buying. The Zillow Housing Aspirations Report suggests that 76% of Americans would prefer to remodel and upgrade their current home than having to make a down payment to purchase a new one.


Increase in demand for environmentally sustainable construction materials is another trend that contributes to the growth of the drywall industry. People and governments are becoming more and more environmentally conscious. Environmental regulations imposed by the government have a significant impact on the market. Today more than ever, customers and architects are preoccupied with finding environmentally friendly solutions, such as recyclable materials. This trend pressures market players to create innovative gypsum products.

Sustainability has become a trend in interior design. People are paying attention to the type of materials from which their home decor items are made. Current trends also show that millennials prefer eco-friendly materials. Drywall is made from recycled materials, and it is, in turn, easily recyclable for the consumer. Finding solutions for zero carbon emissions for drywall manufacturing is one of the environmental challenges that the industry is facing.


When it comes to home improvement, about 25% of Americans had a remodeling project last year; however, only 7% decided to hire professionals for assistance. Most people prefer to learn how to do it themselves with the aid of technology. People who prefer to turn house remodeling into a DIY project are more likely to be millennials.

In terms of remodeling trends, since 2017, walk-in closet searches rose 7,000% on Pinterest. It shows that building a walk-in closet appears to be a trend among millennial homeowners. Building a walk-in closet often involves installing drywall. Furthermore, based on an article published by How Stuff Works, homeowners often opt for turning drywall installation into a DIY project, precisely because it is easy to assemble and doesn't require specialty tools. Moreover, millennials seek to personalize their homes and create spaces that reflect their style. In terms of gypsum board products popularity, in the United States, wallboard is at the top of the list, followed by ceiling boards and pre-decorated boards.
Wallboards, pre-decorated boards, and ceiling boards have become preferred alternatives to products such as the traditional plank. These materials are changing the face of both residential and non-residential construction alike. Flexibility and decorative potential are the main reasons why pre-decorated boards are becoming so popular. They can be customized, and their decorative surfaces can be painted or printed, easily assembled and utilized for a wide variety of purposes
A 'Gypsum board market size & share' industry report confirms that, in the United States, wallboards are likely to gain popularity over plywood, hardboard, and other previously employed building materials. Buyers prefer wallboards due to their superior properties. They are easy to install and adaptable to a multitude of purposes, are fire-resistant, durable and soundproof.

Gypsum ceiling boards are also expected to gain popularity since their utilization enhances both sound and thermal insulation at lower cost. They are stronger at the core and more rigid, yet lighter and easier to install. As compared to other materials, they resist better to structural strain and fire. Not only that but also they can be decorated, improving the aesthetic aspect of a room. Boards require very little maintenance. They are easy to install and allow for flexibility while simultaneously offering stability and the capacity to maintain color over time.
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Drywall Customer Journey: B2C

Customers of drywall products in the US use online resources such as YouTube guides on drywall installations, home-related and construction-related publications, and advises from experts such as architects, builders, drywall specialists, and licensed contractors when it comes to making decisions about purchasing drywall products.

Some essential points to note when it comes to purchasing drywall is the quality (if it’s fire-resistant or mold-resistant) and safety from health hazard contaminants of some synthetically-produced drywalls.


We started the search by highlighting the important information required in the research such as resources of information, need/ pain points, and key factors in selecting drywall vendor/ products. Resources of information for drywall products are available in home-related and construction-related magazines. Experts also advise consumers when it comes to purchasing drywall. YouTube also offers different DIY videos for the installation of drywall.

When it comes to the essential points to address when it comes to purchasing drywall products, we found that there are certain features that different drywalls have and that this could be an advantage in specific locations. Additionally, we found that the key factors to consider when purchasing drywall products are the label, material weight, drying compound, setting type, tapes, and edge and corner beads are all important factors. We found all the required information in reliable articles, media and organization publications, and video guides.

Resources used by Consumers for Collecting Drywall Information

YouTube is one of the more famous online resources for guides when it comes to purchasing drywall. The site offers video guides that cover the installation of gypsum boards and advises on the quality of materials to use. Home-related and construction-related publications also give consumers information about drywall building and materials. Some of these publications include Construction Pro Tips, EWG, The Spruce, The Balance Small Business, and others. Moreover, experts about the topic such as architects, builders, drywall specialists, and licensed contractors can also help consumers make the right decisions for their drywall needs.

Points to Address

Consumers must know if the drywall that they are planning to purchase is fire-resistant. Additionally, different kinds of drywall fit better in certain areas. An example of this would be greenboard or mold-and-mildew drywall not being recommended in wet areas.

Local building inspectors can help consumers in identifying where drywall is required and what kind of drywall can be used for specific areas. Additionally, proper personal protective equipment is necessary for cutting or sanding drywall. Sulfur and mercury are known contaminants of drywall made of synthetic gypsum. If personal protective equipment cannot be secured, it is recommended to avoid drywall made of synthetic gypsum altogether.

Key Factors in Selecting a Product

There are six key factors in selecting the right drywall product. This includes the label, material weight, drying compound, setting type, tapes, and edge and corner beads. First of all, it is recommended to buy the US made drywall from 2016 or later. In addition to this, consumers must check that the drywall they are purchasing is “Greenguard certified, no biocides, no synthetic, no or low VOC joint compound, and no formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other health-harming contaminants.”

The right material weight is essential for different applications of drywall. When it comes to ceilings, a half-inch drywall is recommended. A lightweight drywall version is also highly recommended for ceilings as it is stronger and weighs 25% less. When it comes to repairing old houses, about 3/8 inches is recommended. About 1/4 inch of drywall is recommended when covering bad walls. This size is known to be flexible, hence, making it suitable for the job. However, it is important to note that screws do not countersink well with this kind of drywall. Lastly, it is still vital to seek professional help when it comes to deciding as to which drywall weight and size is needed. Experts are usually the ones who determine which drywall is to be used for certain functions and projects.

Another key factor is the drying compound of the drywall. An all-purpose drying compound is recommended for the first coating of drywall because it has the most durable type of drying compound and it also contains a lot of adhesives. A light-weight all-purpose drying compound is easier to sand. However, it is not as hard or durable as the all-purpose drying compound. Additionally, it is not recommended embedding with a mesh joint tape as this might lead to cracks within the drywall. When it comes to setting type, a natural setting compound is known to be hard and durable, but very hard to sand. A lightweight setting compound is recommended for sanding. It might not be as strong, but it is much easier to sand than a regular sanding compound.

When it comes to tape, there are three types of tape recommended being used in drywall. These are paper tape, fiberglass tape, and reinforced paper tape. Paper tape is known to be cheaper and stronger than fiberglass tape, but fiberglass tape has an adhesive on its side, making it easier to use than paper tape while the reinforced paper tape is primarily used for inside corners and wall-to-ceiling angles.

Edge and corner beads can be used for finishing edges. There are many choices when it comes to edge and corner beads. The choices include metal, vinyl, square, and bullnose. An even bead is recommended for non-90-degree corners or arches. Moreover, a metal corner bead is recommended than other corner beads as it is easier to install than other corner beads.


The customer journey starts by looking for advice from the internet and experts. From that point, a customer will decide the material requirement and quality of drywall products that he or she will purchase. Installation can be done DIY or with help from Drywall specialists. The key factors — the label, material weight, drying compound, setting type, tapes, and edge and corner beads — to consider in buying drywall will help the consumer get the product which will fit their drywall needs based on quality and use requirements.

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Drywall Customer Journey: B2B

B2B purchaser and/customers include professional home builders, experts, and contractors. These individuals begin their customer journey by finding out about competitors in the drywall space by looking at drywall companies competing in a bid, going through drywall association websites, going to conventions and exhibits where drywall manufacturers meet and using online forums and social media groups. By gathering this information, the B2B consumer of drywall products is looking to address interior health and safety, acoustic control and durability of the home. Some of the key factors that play a role in determining which vendor or product a B2B consumer of drywall products chooses includes the costs involved, fire resistance, mold and moisture resistance of the drywall products. Below is a deep dive of the customer journey for B2B consumers of drywall products in the U.S.


  • Drywall companies competing in a bid.
According to Charles Schneider, CEO, Builder Sourcing Corporation, from the drywall builder’s perspective, working with drywall companies is more straightforward compared to working with other contractors. The purchasing technique of most drywall builders is to consider drywall turnkey bids which combine both labor and materials. The builders, therefore, consider the bids of the various bidding companies so that they can use the varying cost information to set prices and determine which drywall company to work with.
  • Drywall Association websites
Websites such as the Gypsum Association contain a lot of insights on drywall or rather gypsum boards. The association promotes the advancement of the gypsum industry in the U.S. among other countries. It contains member companies such as American Gypsum Company LLC, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC, and Unites States Gypsum Company CGC Inc. This list of companies may most likely be competing in the drywall space and forms a good start for BB2B consumers of drywall to start their information search.
  • Conventions and Exhibits
Conventions such 'Walls and Ceilings Annual Convention’, Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry convention and INTEX Expo are some conventions which facilitate the meeting of drywall manufacturers, suppliers, and B2B consumers of drywall products. These are annual conventions with the latest one being held in 2018 in Orlando, Florida.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show is another event which draws large crowds. In the latest event in 2019, home building professionals from around the world flocked to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center with attendees totaling about 85,000.
  • Online forums and Social media groups.
Drywall professionals and enthusiasts have several online platforms through which they can track and share their latest projects, start and share their own blogs, and review products and tools in the drywall space. Such online forum is Drywalltalk.com which is solely dedicated to the drywall space. In addition to the online forum, drywall professionals are also using existing social media platforms such as Facebook to create groups where they can further drywall conversations. One such group is Drywall junkies/Steel Stud Addicts which has 29,117 members.


B2B drywall consumers usually seek to address the needs of their clients who are usually homeowners. Such needs include:
  • Interior health and safety.
Information from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that compared to outside air, indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted. As a result, headaches, fatigue, and asthma among other problems have been linked to poor indoor air quality. This information is already known to home buyers who are in search of healthy living spaces. Drywall companies have had to come up with products such as AirRenew which can cater to this need of having good indoor air quality of homes.
  • Acoustic control.
Some homeowners consider a quiet environment as being comfortable. With a home setup, noise emanates from several quarters such as HVAC equipment and entertainment centers, and if uncontrolled, such noise may decrease concentration and may lead to increased stress levels. A drywall product engineered to sort this out is SilentFX Quick Cut noise-reducing drywall which helps to maintain serenity and tranquility in homes.
  • Durability.
Due to various wear-and-tear conditions subjected to walls, wall systems may deteriorate quite fast leading to extra repair costs. For those homeowners who want more durability, there are drywall products designed to withstand a great deal of wear and tear such as Habito. By understanding the different wall systems and knowing the consumers’ priorities, home builders are able to achieve home buyer satisfaction at a higher rate.


Most home builders consider the lowest costs of acquiring drywall turnkey by comparing bids from competing drywall companies while ensuring that the bids incorporate labor and material costs.
According to Harrison Kral’s article on construction pro tips, local building inspectors usually require a certain type of drywall to be installed on garage walls, under stairs, and ceiling adjoining living spaces. Thus, it is prudent to get such an inspector’s opinion on which drywall to use since some drywall is designed to slow the spread of fire and is, therefore, mandatory in a residential building setup.
Wet and damp locations such as shower and bath enclosures have to be fitted with the right drywall product to avoid the growth of mold and mildew. Whereas ‘greenboard’ has typically been used for such areas, there are better alternatives for such wet locations.


Overall, a B2B consumer of drywall products in the U.S. begins their customer journey by gathering information on the drywall space by going through drywall association websites, attending builders’ conventions and expos, joining online drywall forums and comparing competing bids from drywall companies. They then look at the need that they need to address which could include interior health and safety, sound control, and durability of the wall systems. Some of the key factors that determine the builders’ choice in a vendor or drywall product include costs of both labor and materials, fire resistance of the drywall product, and its mold and moisture resistance capabilities.

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From Part 01
  • "By combining the second and third producers globally, the acquisition significantly strengthens Knauf's competitive position in the world drywall and building plaster industry, an industry in which Saint-Gobain was previously the undisputed market leader."
From Part 04
  • " The principal sources of demand for gypsum wallboard are residential construction, repair and remodel "
  • "We sell our products in the new residential, R&R and commercial construction markets. We estimate that new residential and R&R construction accounted for more than 80% of 2017 industry wallboard demand"
  • "Based on our estimates using publicly available data, internal surveys and industry shipment data for gypsum board, as reported by the Gypsum Association, we estimate that during 2017 volume demand for gypsum board was generated by: residential and nonresidential repair and remodel activity of about 51%"
  • " The median home value of almost $270,000 in these areas is more than a third higher than the national median, while the median owner income of $83,000 is more than 15 percent higher."
  • "In general, remodeling expenditures rise sharply among owners age 35 and over, thanks to higher incomes and growing families. Spending remains at this elevated level until homeowners approach their retirement years "
  • "Homeowners age 55 and over already generate a little more than half of all home improvement expenditures in the nation. After 2005, the share of spending by these older homeowners increased sharply from 31 percent to about 52 percent by 2015,"
  • "Families with dependent children (including married, singleparent, and unmarried partners) traditionally outspend all other household types by a considerable margin. "
  • "Armed with record amounts of home equity and an expressed desire to remain in their homes as they age, older homeowners are driving the home improvement market."
  • "A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that households 55 and older account for half of all current home improvement spending."
  • "Nearly 3 million homeowners, of which more than 72% were at least 55 years old, said they were taking on one or more projects that would improve accessibility."
  • "Life expectancy for women at age 65 is 20.6 years, compared to 18 years for men, though the gap between the sexes is narrowing. Still, in 2016, there were 12.6 women 65 and older for every 10 men. "
From Part 05
  • "AnythingResearch uses Big Data to create clear, focused reports that provide data on market changes affecting each of over 1,200 industries. "
From Part 09
From Part 11
  • "Most builders buy drywall turnkey, whereby both the material and the labor are provided by the same contractor. "
  • "We analyzed the purchasing practices and costs of many builders buying drywall. The results were surprising. We learned that for a category that was relatively easy to manage and understand, little data were available to help the builder validate or justify the costs being paid. The only way costs could be analyzed was by comparing bids from competing drywall companies."
  • "Of all the categories in home construction, drywall is the easiest to still buy turnkey yet bid unbundled with each of the cost elements detailed out because there is a short list of significant items. From a materials standpoint, this includes the quantity and cost of drywall sheets, screws, mud, and tape. Then add in the labor cost, which typically is a function of the labor rate per sheet of drywall. Builders tell us that they can get this information from drywall companies on occassion, but not always."
  • "In his recent projects, Mouzon says house builders are starting to pay attention to alternative methods and suggestions, possibly because being eco-friendly is a current trend, but possibly also because the cost of drywall has increased dramatically. In December 2012, drywall purchasers began to file class action lawsuits against USG and the seven other major North American manufacturers for price-fixing. The purchasers alleged that a 35 percent price hike for gypsum wallboard that year was the largest within a decade and that drywall manufacturers had stopped giving them job quotes, which meant prices could change at any time during a project."
  • "The Gypsum Association has promoted the proper use and installation of gypsum products while advancing the development, growth, and general welfare of the gypsum industry in the United States and Canada."
  • "AWCI represents 2,200 companies and organizations in the acoustics systems, ceiling systems, drywall systems, exterior insulation and finishing systems, fireproofing, flooring systems, insulation, and stucco contractors, suppliers and manufacturers and those in allied trades. Our mission is to provide services and undertake activities that enhance the members' ability to operate a successful business."
  • "Taking place every spring, AWCI's Convention & INTEX Expo brings people together from the United States and internationally for the industry’s premier trade show, in-depth education sessions and stellar networking receptions."
  • "For 100 years, the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry has served as the national voice for contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and stakeholders in the industry. AWCI helps member companies and their employees strengthen their business practices and professional skills through education, best practices, networking, and discounts on valuable services. "
  • "The industry’s biggest trade show will feature new ceilings, drywall related products, EIFS/stucco, steel framing, pumps/hoppers, hand and power tools, building material cranes and lifts, insulation and plenty more. "
  • "This year’s show in Orlando brought out many companies from the industry and associations, including drywall, trims and molding, EIFS, stucco, steel framing, housewrap/waterproofing products and so much more. "
  • "Trends for building and construction materials are driven by ever-developing technology, changing demographics and increasing demands for attributes like energy efficiency, smart and healthy homes. To make the most of these advancements and a more educated consumer, building industry professionals have an opportunity to offer the latest innovations to their customers that can create a real competitive advantage and differentiation for their business."
  • "As awareness of indoor air quality has grown, so has the homebuyer demand for healthy living spaces. The past few decades have seen an abundance of research tying all manner of health issues to poor indoor air quality. While most typically think of industrial air pollution when they think of polluted air, the fact is there are more negative health impacts from the air that we breathe inside. "
  • "Acoustic control is very important in creating a comfortable home. A quiet environment is considered a comfortable environment. Uncontrolled noise decreases concentration and can lead to increased levels of stress."
  • "Another factor on the mind of some homeowners is durability. Even under the best of circumstances, walls take plenty of abuse from day-to-day scrapes, bumps and collisions. Some wall systems can deteriorate quickly under these circumstances, leaving homeowners with the choice of paying for repairs or living with a damaged wall."
  • "Is drywall fire-resistant? “Type X” drywall is 5/8 in. thick and designed to slow the spread of fire. It’s often required on garage walls and ceilings that adjoin living spaces, ceilings between living spaces inside the house, and under stairs."
  • "Mold and moisture resistant Also called “greenboard”, mold-and-mildew-resistant 1/2-in. drywall is a somewhat different animal. Manu­facturers use various methods to eliminate or treat the paper that covers the gypsum core. Getting rid of the organic paper food source was supposed to keep mold and mildew from growing. Builders used to install it in wet and damp locations, placing it behind tile in shower and bath enclosures. Those enclosures have already been or soon will be replaced as the greenboard fails."
  • "Half-inch drywall 1/2-in. drywall is the best choice for most walls and some ceilings. There are standard and lightweight versions. Lightweight is stronger and weighs 25 percent less."
  • "Which drying compound is the best?"
  • "If you’re doing repairs in a house that was built in the ‘50s or ‘60s, you may very well have 3/8-in. drywall. You’ll want to match that thickness to patch an existing wall. Measure the existing drywall or take off a switch plate cover to find out."