A standard sheet of plasterboard in the UK is 2.4m x 1.2m (8ft x 4ft) and are available in different thicknesses, commonly 9mm and 12mm. Smaller 1.2m x 0.9m (4ft x 3ft) sheets are available and tend to be common in DIY stores as they can fit neatly inside car boots.
Why is 1.2m x 2.4m the standard size?
Plasterboard sheets are made to this size to fit the standard stud spacing used here in the UK. Studs are commonly built at 400mm or600mm widths. So with a 1.2m wide plasterboard sheet, you can span three or four studs, meaning you can fix the sheet at each side and once or twice down the middle. This is why even the smaller sheets still have the same 1.2m width.
The standard height is 2.4m as very few ceilings are built higher than this. What this means is that a single plasterboard sheet can be cut down to the correct height. This is more important when drywalling as it cuts down on the number of joins on the finished wall.
What are the advantages of the smaller plasterboard sizes?
The main advantage of the smaller sheets is simply manoeuvrability. The main reason they exist is so DIY’ers can purchase these in-store and bring them home themselves without requiring a van.
They are also easily moved around the home due to the smaller size. Making them easier to cut down and manoeuvre.
What are the disadvantages of the smaller plasterboard sizes?
The main disadvantage of the smaller sheets is that they cover less area. This means it will take you longer to complete a wall using these smaller sheets. If you are planning on drywalling, you will also have many, many more joints. This makes these smaller sheets unsuitable for drywalling entirely.
What are the advantages of the larger plasterboard sizes?
The main advantage is that you can cover a wall from floor to ceiling with one sheet. This means you will spend less time doing the job and have fewer joints in the finished job. If you are planning on drywalling, then tapered plasterboard is essential.
What are the disadvantages of the larger plasterboard sizes?
The larger sheets are too large to fit in the vast majority of cars. Meaning DIYers will either have to get them delivered or hire a van to collect them.
They are also quite unwieldy once they are in your house. These are big sheets so moving them around, particularly solo, is not easy.