How To Use Our Drywall Calculator

How much drywall will you need? Our drywall calculator will tell you.

1. Measure the Coverage Areas (walls + ceilings)

Example: a room like the one above, measuring 10 feet by 20 feet with a height of 8 feet, with one door and two windows, will have a wall area of :

10 + 10 + 20 + 20 = 60 x 8 = 480 square feet and a ceiling area of 10 x 20 = 200 square feet

The total area of that room will be: 480 + 200 = 680 square feet

Deduct the door and windows, let's say:

1 door @ 3 feet x 7 feet = 21 square feet
2 windows @ 3 feet x 5 feet each = 30 square feet for both
TOTAL: 51 square feet

Net coverage area: 680 - 51 = 629 square feet

Add 10% for waste (63).

629 + 63 = a total drywall (panel coverage) area of 692 square feet - the number to enter in field No. 1 of the drywall calculator.

If your door+window area is small, omit the doors and/or windows figure and don't add 10% for waste.

2. Determine Panel Size. For a quick calculation, just use the size that you're likely to use the most; usually, that is the standard 4 by 8-foot panel.

For a more exact estimate, do a separate calculation for the different sizes that you plan to use.

3. Joint Compound. The result you get is EITHER/OR, not some of each type.

4. Fasteners. The result you get is EITHER nails OR screws, not both.

5. Other Basic Necessities. This is just to make sure you don't get home with no tape. The primer is not urgent, and the drywall adhesive depends on the type of installation; you may not need it.

1. Panel Coverage Area

square ft.

2. Panel Size

4' x 8' 4' x 9' 4' x 10'
4' x 11' 4' x 12' 4' x 13'
4' x 14' 4' x 15' 4' x 16'
Panels needed:
3. Joint Compound
Ready-mixed joint compounds lb.
Lightweight ready-mixed all purpose joint compound gal.
Lightweight setting-type (dry) joint compound lb.
Setting type (dry) joint compound lb.
4. Fasteners
Drywall Nails
Drywall Screws
5. Other Basic Necessities
Joint tape ft.
Primer (paint) for sealing drywall
Drywall adhesive (29oz. tubes)


This calculator is merely a guide! You or your contractor should check these figures with your supplier.

Don't waste your money! I always order extra and keep the invoice in a safe place; I also make sure the merchandise is kept clean (this means, away from the workers' dirty hands and tools!) so that I can return all leftover supplies to the store for credit once the job is finished.

Time is money, so take a tip from professional drywall installers by using large panels whenever and wherever possible. You will not only save time, you will save on the basic panel cost, on screws, tape, mud, etc. However, I am told that the smaller panels are preferable for ceiling installations, due to the excessive weight of the large panels which increases their tendency to sag. (Sounds reasonable to me!)

Be a smart consumer! Another use for this calculator is as a cross-check for a drywall contractor's estimate, if he's got the materials and labour listed separately (instead of as a price per square foot). You can see if his materials charges are "ballpark" or not. (Surprise! there are dishonest contractors out there.)

Finally, look for drywall wholesalers in your area. I know I saved a lot of money that way. In addition, delivery was free and I got the names of several installers from them, and was able to get a few estimates before committing.




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