Helping Homeowners Choose the Right Wall for the Right Home

Walls are a major part of any home, and there are many options from which to choose. No matter the primary focus there are solutions to suit their needs.  

May 9, 2016

When building or remodeling, homeowners are faced with a dizzying array of product choices. How those decisions are made depends on the priorities and point of view of the homeowner. One owner might focus on performance or cost, while another might be driven by looks, sustainability, or something else entirely.

Builders who take the time to understand the needs and priorities of different types of homeowners can help effectively steer them toward product choices that will best satisfy them in the long term.

Walls are a major part of any home, and there are many options to choose from. Is the owner part of an active family primarily interested in sturdy, durable walls that will stand up to lots of abuse? Or are they concerned about the healthiness of their indoor environment and want something that contributes to clean air? Or is it a multigenerational home where sound control is top of mind? No matter the primary focus of the homeowner, there are solutions to suit their needs.  


In the past several years, there has been more consumer awareness of indoor environmental quality (IEQ). For many, particularly environmentally conscious millennials and young families with small children, it is very important to use products that do not contain harmful substances.

Indoor air is often much more contaminated than outside air. Many common household products can emit harmful substances like formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The presence of these substances can lead to asthma, headaches, fatigue, and other health problems. Since people spend the vast majority of their time indoors, the importance of good indoor air quality is clear.

Young homeowners are often looking for products that do not contribute toxins to the indoor environment, but imagine being able to offer a product that actually removes some of the toxic substances from the air? AirRenew M2Tech gypsum board from CertainTeed actually achieves this.

The formaldehyde-absorbing technology in AirRenew actively removes the toxic substance from the air and converts it to a safe, inert compound. Based on tests, it can deliver up to 75 years of effective VOC absorption and even delivers enhanced moisture and mold resistance, which also improves air quality. Even when finished with multiple coats of water-based acrylic or epoxy paints and breathable wallpaper, AirRenew gypsum board continues to absorb harmful substances.


Acoustic control is very important in creating a comfortable home. A quiet environment is considered a comfortable environment, and many homes have rooms that need to perform as workspaces, theaters, study rooms, and more.

Uncontrolled noise decreases concentration and can lead to increased levels of stress. In a home, noise comes from many places, ranging from appliances like laundry or dishwashers to entertainment centers and HVAC equipment. This is to say nothing of the noise generated by children, neighbors or other occupants of the house.

Particularly in multigenerational homes, or houses where someone works in a home office, sound control can be very important. Having quiet spaces is important for concentration, comfort and quality of life.

For homeowners concerned with preserving peace and quiet, CertainTeed’s SilentFX QuickCut noise-reducing drywall is designed to maintain tranquility in even the busiest of homes, and the most hectic of neighborhoods. It features a viscoelastic polymer between two specially formulated gypsum boards to significantly reduce noise between rooms and in between wall and floor/ceiling assemblies.

SilentFX QuickCut works within a range of wall systems. It scores, snaps and installs like standard drywall while outperforming traditional methods such as double-layer drywall, resilient channel or use of insulation alone – reducing airborne sound transmission between rooms up to 90 percent. In addition, it uses less material than other sound mitigation approaches, thus saving construction time and material cost.

With a sound transmission class (STC) rating of 50 or higher, the SilentFX QuickCut wall system is engineered to reduce sound transmission between rooms by up to 90 percent. This greatly improves resident satisfaction and helps create a more comfortable indoor environment.


Another factor very much 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. Typical drywall can deteriorate pretty quickly under these circumstances, leaving homeowners with the choice of paying for repairs or living with a damaged wall.

For homeowners with large, active families who generate more than their share of wear and tear, durability can be a big factor. For these folks, there are drywall products designed to weather a higher level of use.

Habito, a new durability-focused wall solution from CertainTeed combines the strength of old world plaster with the convenience of modern day drywall. It has the impact resistance of a 5/8-inch abuse board in a ½-inch product. Habito is strong enough to hold an incredible amount of—up to 30 pounds on a single #10 wood screw. And no predrilling, wall anchors or stud finders are required.

CertainTeed’s AirRenew Extreme Abuse and AirRenew Extreme Impact wall systems also can stand up to tough tests life throws at them. The fiberboards are lightweight and designed with impact resistant fiberglass reinforcement. The Extreme Abuse product is designed to withstand surface abrasion, indentation, and soft body impact that occur when hard objects are dragged across the wall surface. The Extreme Impact product is built to withstand dents, punctures or penetration of the wall surface when struck by a hard or heavy object.

By knowing the types of wall systems available and understanding the priorities of homeowners, smart builders can serve as a resource to help their customers create the kind of home that will keep buyers happy—and singing their builders’ praises –  for years to come. For more Wall-to-Wall Solutions, visit

Ian Lavelle serves as the residential marketing manager for CertainTeed Gypsum. Lavelle is responsible for working to develop strategic partnerships with key builders while creating programs that educate consumers about innovative gypsum solutions. He was a top sales performer in his previous role as the Northwest Territory Manager. Lavelle can be contacted via email at


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