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What Is Blue Board And How Is It Used In Construction?


Understanding what blue board is and how it's used in construction.

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I often heard sheet rockers talk about blue board but never really understood what it was. I’ve done some research on it over the years and this is what I’ve learned: 

Blue board is a type of plaster used when drywall won’t be enough. It is a durable plaster that can protect against scrapes and dents. Blue board can also help hide joints or seams between wall panels.

Blue board can be significant assets to a project, so long as they are used correctly. 

Learning about the uses of a blue board can help promote the durability of any project. As well as the seamless finish when all is said and done. A successful project can promote your enjoyment of the finished product or your client’s happiness.

Plus, it can be an understanding that you can put forward towards future projects. Or offer advice to novice construction workers or dabblers who want higher quality finished projects. 

What Is Blue Board?   

As mentioned above, the blue board is a type of plaster that is more durable than drywall alone (source). You can find many uses for it, so long as you use it correctly.

While blue boards are more durable, they can be less so when exposed to moisture. You will want to use them in places where you know you will be away from any water source. This action will promote the longevity of your blue boards.

This YouTube video from NS Builders outlines some reasons for choosing blue board as they walk through the finish process on a new home:

Why we use Blueboard and Plaster

Blue Boards Are Plaster And Paper

Blue boards are essentially plaster covered by two thick sheets of paper. The paper is not waterproof, which is why you should not try to paint over it or let it get wet.

The boards will soak up the moisture rather than expel it (source), which won’t look right or last long after installation. Blue boards also don’t have the same seamless look as regular drywall, so you will want to put that on top of the panels to give it a more finished look. 

Blue Boards Should Only Be Used Indoors 

Since blue boards can’t be exposed to moisture, it would make sense to use them in indoor jobs. Rather than using them on the outside of a house or shed.

While you can put another layer over the blue boards to protect them, regular drywall won’t be enough if used outside of a structure.

You would be better off using blue boards inside and putting an additional layer of regular drywall to paint or provide that seamless look. 

How Are Blue Boards Used? 

You have an assortment of options on how to use blue board in various settings.

Construction is a significant area of need due to its durability. Blue boards can be used when insulating walls or even floors since it can withstand many forces. There are also ways around its moisture weakness that can make it even more critical in construction. 

Blue Board Can Help Reduce Noise

Due to its thickness, blue boards can provide noise-canceling effects. This feature can be useful for music rooms or recording studios. It is also great for bedrooms when you don’t want noise traveling all over the house.

Blue boards aren’t only for the walls, either. You can use the plasterboards under floorboards to improve their noise-canceling effects. If you cover both the floor and the walls with blue boards, you will surely keep noise from getting in or out. 

Blue Board Provides A Solid Foundation

Since blue boards can go under other drywall forms, they provide a strong foundation for any space. You want to make sure to use a veneer plaster as a bonding agent.

Blue boards are designed to adhere to that type of application faster and more robust than other types. You also want to coat your blue board panels with a plaster skim to make it less water absorbent. 

Where Can I Get Blue Boards?  

You are set on using blue boards in your next project, so now what? Now you need to go out and buy them. You can find them in several places, such as home improvement stores or even online.

It is crucial to make sure you order the correct size panels for your space. You can always trim down boards that are too long, but you can’t add extra materials if they are too short. 

Check Your Local Hardware or Home Improvement Stores

Places like Menard’s or Lowe’s can often have blue boards in stock for purchase. You can even ask employees for advice or questions about how to install it for your project.

This avenue can help novice builders who are learning as they go rather than using contract construction workers. You can also get measured out materials rather than eyeballing it or hoping you ordered the right size online. 

Hire A Professional

If you are unsure how to install blue boards or are tired of trying on your own, you can call in the professionals.

Construction companies will often send in workers who have all the materials and tools they need to complete your project. You can pay an arm and a leg for it, but it will save you time and headaches.

You can also chat with a professional if you just need a few pointers to install your blue board. Many companies offer consultations that you can use before hiring the company. 

What Else Do I Need To Know About Blue Boards?

Blue boards are used differently than other plasterboards, like green boards (source). You need to make sure you are aware of these facts about blue boards before using it.

These tips can help promote your success with your construction project. It can also save you time and wasted materials since you would need to replace any boards that you used incorrectly.

This guy gives a lot of useful insight on the blue board vs traditional gypsum drywall as he works on this wall:

Drywall differences, green and blue board sheetrock for plastering

Blue Boards Dry Faster Than Other Drywall

Blue board dries faster due to the paper that is around the plaster.

You need to be aware of this fact since you will need to move faster when building with this kind of drywall. If the gypsum dries too quickly, you won’t have much luck adhering other drywall or paint to the surface.  

Blue Boards Can Increase Your Productivity

Since blue board dries faster than other drywall, you can finish home or construction projects quickly. However, remember that that faster drying aspect means that you need to work at a steady pace.

If you have multiple people helping or working with you, the faster the drying time can help you meet deadlines or be out of a construction zone quicker.

Overall, these are just some ways in which to use blue boards. You can incorporate them to provide more durable coverage in walls or further soundproof the space. You can also use them when in a time crunch since they dry faster than other drywall applications.

Related Reading:

How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold? More Than What You Think

How Far Apart Should Drywall Screws be Placed?

Paul

As a homeowner, I am constantly experimenting with making the structure of my house more energy-efficient, eliminating pests, and taking on DIY home improvement projects. Over the past two decades, my family has rehabbed houses and contracted new home builds and I've learned a lot along the way. I share my hard-learned lessons so that you can save time and money by not repeating my mistakes.

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