The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Drywall for Your Commercial Project: Insights from Robey Inc.

decorative drywall image with Robey Drywall logo

The team at Robey Inc. understands that making a commercial project stand out goes beyond just putting up walls. Selecting quality materials and aligning with the right partners are critical to driving success when erecting an office building, medical building, grocery store, luxury condo, or high-rise apartment building. Serving the DMV area (Washington, DC – Maryland – Virginia), Robey Inc. has had the privilege of partnering with some of the biggest general contractors in the business, including Fougler Pratt, Armada Hoffler, Davis Construction, Skanska, and more.

The insights we’re sharing come from our years of hands-on experience. We’re here to give you some pointers and advice to make choosing the right drywall for your commercial projects a bit easier, and to improve the results of your next big venture. Think of this as a go-to guide for getting started on selecting drywall. It’s designed to make sure you’re well-informed about what to look out for, helping you make smart choices and dodge those costly mistakes.

Understanding Drywall Basics

Alright, let’s start with the basics. When we talk drywall, it’s not just about throwing up some boards and calling it a day. Drywall is the backbone of your project. From blueprints to the last board, it embodies your vision and values. Knowing your drywall—what’s what and why it matters—is crucial. This isn’t just about a pretty face; it’s about keeping your build solid, safe, and looking sharp.

drywall being installed in commercial building

  • Types of Drywall: You’ve got your standard ‘whiteboard’, fire-resistant ‘Type C’ or ‘Type X’, Mold-resistant ‘Green’ or ‘Purple’ board that won’t wilt if it gets a bit damp, and even drywall that helps keep the peace by blocking out noise. Figuring out where each type goes is more art than science. It’s about making your space not just livable but safe and sound.
  • Thickness Matters: This is a big deal. You’re not just picking whatever feels right. For general walls, you’re mostly looking at 1/2″ thick. But if you’re talking about places where you don’t want fire spreading, such as between apartment units, upgrading to 5/8’’ is recommended. It’s not just for kicks—it affects how sound travels through your walls and how well they stand up in a blaze.
  • Benefits of Quality Drywall Installation: It’s about more than just hanging sheets on studs. You want those seams taped and mudded so well that you forget they’re there. It’s all about aesthetics, durability, and longevity.
  • Environmental Considerations: Places like your bathroom, kitchen, and pet washing stations are going to see more moisture than a bedroom, lobby, or office. Picking the right drywall for these areas, like something that can take a splash, is going to save you from a world of mold and mildew headaches down the line.

ladders leaning against newly installed drywall

With a firm grasp of drywall basics—ranging from the type and thickness to installation techniques and environmental considerations—you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions that will fortify the success of your construction project.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Drywall

Picking the correct drywall isn’t just another item on your to-do list—it’s a big deal. This decision touches everything: building safety, functionality, and how good it looks when it’s all completed. It’s about really getting into the thick of what makes each space tick. You’re not just building for the sake of it. It’s about precision in every corner, guaranteeing that everything works according to plan.

Key factors to consider:

Building Codes and Regulations: 

  • Safety First: In the world of building codes, SAFETY reigns supreme. The goal? To shield your space from fires, prevent mold, and ensure it’s solid as a rock. Skimping on safety standards? Big mistake. Choose drywall that doesn’t just meet the minimum requirements but exceeds them by miles. Your contractor should be a code expert, ensuring your drywall selection is not just compliant but top-notch.

Functionality and Performance:

  • Soundproofing: Consider those spaces where you need to keep the outside racket at bay or contain the clamor within—like hospitals, home theaters, offices, or bedrooms. Boosting the “STC” (sound transmission class) ratings or choosing thicker drywall, such as 5/8″, can significantly dampen noise. It’s like wrapping the room in a sound-absorbing blanket. 
  • Moisture Resistance: Now, for places like bathrooms and kitchens where water is a constant guest, you need to bring in the special ops: moisture-resistant drywall. This is your shield against mold and mildew, keeping your walls strong and clean for the long haul.
  • Fire-Rated Drywall: In spots where fire’s a bigger worry—think boiler rooms or anywhere you’re stashing stuff that burns a little too well—fire-rated drywall is your go-to. It’s like an extra layer of armor against heat and flames. Make sure you and your contractor mark these areas on your blueprint to beef up fire safety.
  • Impact Resistance: For areas that get more foot traffic than a downtown office lobby, or walls that might take a hit now and then, you want tougher drywall. It’s all about keeping your walls looking good, even when life gets a bit rough. Talk over where the hustle and bustle will be with your contractor to ensure your walls can take a punch.

Aesthetics and Finishing:

  • Thickness and Smoothness: If you’re gunning for walls that are as smooth as glass, especially where you’re planning a paint job or a top-notch finish, thicker drywall’s your best friend. It’s like prepping a canvas for a masterpiece. Have a sit-down with your contractor to figure out just how thick you need to go to get that perfect, seamless look you’re after.
  • Panel Size: Standard panels measure 4′ x 8′, but for those aiming to reduce taping and mudding work, larger options exist, extending up to 4′ x 16′ or larger. These can create a sleeker look with fewer visible seams. Due to their massive size and additional labor, though, they come with a higher price tag.

Additional Considerations:

  • Budget: The cost of drywall can swing pretty widely based on how thick it is, the kind you’re going for, and any special traits it brings to the table. Be clear in your budget talks with your contractor. They’re in a prime spot to guide you towards options that tick all your boxes—performance, costs, and code compliance.
  • Structural Considerations: Sometimes, you might need to beef up your drywall choice to keep things sturdy, especially in spots that see a lot of action or where you plan to hang heavy items. Let your contractor know how much weight the walls need to handle to make sure the drywall you pick is up for the challenge.

Teaming up with your contractor is key here. This isn’t a solo mission. By putting your heads together and hashing out these details, you’re setting yourself up to pick the perfect drywall for the job. We’re talking peak performance, top-notch looks, and ticking all the boxes for code compliance.

Remember, your contractor’s got wisdom to share—don’t be shy. Ask away and soak up that know-how. Making those smart, informed choices? That’s how you nail your construction project.

Why Professional Installation Matters

In the world of construction, nailing the drywall installation is not just some high-end perk—it’s absolutely crucial. Here’s the lowdown on why partnering with a professional drywall contractor is your golden ticket to project triumph:

construction site with commercial drywall installation

Mitigate Risk & Cost Overruns:

  • Let’s be real, a botched drywall job can kick off a whole mess of trouble. Small slip-ups can spiral into big-time structural headaches, delays, and the kind of rework bills that make your budget cry. Partnering with seasoned drywall pros means you sidestep these nightmares right from the get-go.

Precision & Quality Assurance:

  • At Robey Inc., we’re all in on sweating the small stuff—every cut, every corner, every finish. It’s this kind of meticulous care that’s got big names like Donohoe Construction and Skanska tipping their hats to us. Expect nothing less than top-shelf work that stands up to the strictest eyeball tests.

Compliance & Safety Expertise:

  • Hanging drywall goes way beyond making spaces just look pretty. It’s about locking in tight with safety standards and building codes. Our crew’s always on point with the latest regulations, making sure your project’s not just beautiful, but bulletproof on compliance. It’s about keeping everyone safe—workers, future occupants, you name it.

Time & Budget Efficiency:

  • We get it—time is money, and neither’s to be wasted. That’s why our operation’s dialed in to be as lean and mean as possible. Our experienced hands get the job done quick and clean, keeping your project humming along on schedule and your budget breathing easy.

drywall being installed around a staircase

From skyscrapers to boutique retail stores, selecting the perfect drywall contractor is key to your project’s success. Look for a contractor renowned for meeting deadlines, respecting your budget, and surpassing top safety and quality benchmarks—qualities you’ll find with Robey Inc.

Selecting the RIGHT Drywall Contractor

When profit margins are paper thin and deadlines are short, there’s no room for error. Working with a professional drywall contractor is vital, and every aspect of your project from the initial design phase to the final walkthrough is dependent on them. Selecting the right team is paramount to ensuring a seamless integration of quality and efficiency that sets the foundation for a successful build.

aerial view of a commercial construction project

Unmatched Experience and Expertise:

  • Choose a contractor that’s skilled in both the installation and finishing phases, able to foresee and address issues early, and capable of facing any challenge. A contractor with a proven track record of collaborating successfully with various developers and general contractors, showing the flexibility and expertise needed for your project requirements.

Rigorous Certifications and Comprehensive Insurance:

  • The best contractors backup their claims with documentation. Choose the contractor who values holding top-tier certifications and comprehensive insurance coverage. This commitment to professionalism and safety offers peace of mind, knowing that every aspect of the job is protected throughout all phases of construction.

A Portfolio That Speaks Volumes:

  • Choosing a contractor who brings a portfolio of diverse projects to the table means you’re setting your project up for a win. Their range proves their team can handle just about anything thrown their way, blending innovation with top-notch quality. Plus, when you hear rave reviews and see happy client stories, you know you’ve got a team that delivers not just quality buildings, but satisfaction too.

interior of an empty grey room under construction

The importance of selecting the right contractor cannot be overstated; you’re looking for a team that brings more to the table than mere equipment and promises. Aim for one with proven skills, strong certifications, and a stellar track record. This is why Robey Inc. stands out as the choice throughout the DMV area for those aiming to elevate their project.

Innovative Drywall Solutions for Commercial Projects

The latest in drywall tech opens up new doors for smarter construction work that’s also kinder to the planet. The goal is to partner with a skilled contractor that’s not only got a handle on the nuts and bolts of building but is also skilled at blending in the latest trends.

commercial building under construction

Innovations in Drywall:

  • The construction industry’s methods and materials are always evolving, especially in the drywall space. These innovations are streamlining drywall installation to cut down on time and manpower, and ultimately making projects more budget-friendly. Changing how contractors schedule and bid future construction projects. By leveraging these advancements, you can elevate your project without sacrificing quality, strength or budget.

Eco-wise Materials Take Center Stage:

  • Commercial construction is getting a “GREEN” makeover, and a huge focus is on drywall that does more with less—less waste and less harm to our air. When you build with drywall made from more recycled sources and cuts down on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), you’re not just building interior spaces; you’re building a better, healthier world inside and out. Going green shows you’re serious about doing right by the planet and the people who’ll live and work in your spaces.

Local Sourcing + Waste Management = LEED:

Sourcing local materials and smart waste strategies into your build does more than just green up the process; it’s your ticket to LEED certification. Partner with a professional contractor who knows the ins and outs of cutting-edge drywall techniques and show you’re all in on building in a way that respects our planet and looks out for the folks who’ll live and work in these spaces.

interior of a large commercial building under construction

Choosing a contractor who’s up-to-date with the latest in drywall innovations can really take your project from standard to statement—A rock-solid build quality combined with a fresh, eco-conscious design.

Optimizing The Drywall Installation Process

Hanging drywall right is non-negotiable for any build worth its salt, calling for tight planning and coordination with all trades on-site. It’s all about making sure the place stands strong and looks good from wall to wall. Zeroing in on the details and making sure they slot perfectly into the project’s overall timeline—that’s the game.

Robey Drywall professional installing drywall

A focused approach can lead to outstanding results:

On-Schedule Timeline Integration:

  • Our project management crew excels at integrating the drywall work right into the big picture of the project’s schedule, making sure nothing is overlooked. By planning and communicating with all the other trades on site, we’re on top of the little things early, preventing them from turning into big hold-ups and keeping the build on schedule.

Strategic Collaboration and Communication:

  • Keeping every trade on-site in sync for the entire project is a significant challenge. We encourage a culture of transparency and flexibility with everyone on our team and the various trades on-site to reach the project’s end goal. This united effort is key to addressing challenges swiftly and maintaining a level of quality that goes beyond what’s expected.

Adaptability in Execution: 

  • In our world of construction, expecting the unexpected is part of the job. Our team is always prepared to pivot — even if that means fine-tuning our approach, schedules, or even the materials we use — keeping your project on course for completion. Our team’s ability to adapt ensures the steady progress and integrity of the project, reflecting our dedication to seeing it succeed, no matter what.

Robey Drywall professionals dressed in safety gear

Our method really makes us stand out, making sure every job we tackle is more than just finished—it’s executed with an eye for craftsmanship that raises the bar. Sticking to these core ideas, we lay the groundwork for projects that are the very picture of top-notch construction, showcasing our unwavering commitment to excellence every step of the way.


The right drywall is more than just a step in commercial construction; it’s a pivotal decision that shapes your project’s success. The best drywall contractor offers more than materials—they become a pivotal ally, steering you to choices that hit the mark on safety, function, and style. This choice influences everything from code compliance to your project’s final look.

At Robey Inc., commercial drywall isn’t just what we do—it’s our craft. Our track record with top-tier contractors like Fougler Pratt, Donohoe Construction and Armada Hoffler speaks to our capability to rise to any challenge. We aim to surpass what’s expected, delivering spot-on drywall installations that not only meet the codes but elevate the overall aesthetic and quality of your build.

Partner with Robey Inc. and experience the difference a trusted drywall contractor can make.  Let’s build a legacy of excellence together.