Everyone who’s been involved in a renovation or construction project, from industry professionals to home and business owners, knows about drywall. Also known as gypsum board, sheet rock or wallboard, drywall has been North America’s go-to material for walls and ceilings since the beginning of the twentieth century.

However, just because it’s the most well-known material doesn’t mean it’s the best. Enter magnesium oxide board (MgO board), a green alternative to drywall. MgO board is highly durable, fire resistant, mold and mildew resistant and provides excellent sound control. Over the last few decades, MgO board has been making a name for itself and is set to become the new “it” product in building construction materials.

A Brief History of Magnesium Oxide Board

Magnesium-based cements are some of the oldest building construction materials in the world, used as mortar in the Great Wall of China and other ancient structures. In the twentieth century, Portland cement began to replace magnesium for masonry uses because of its low cost, but in the late 1800s magnesium-based cements were rediscovered. Around 40 years ago, the mortar from the Great Wall was reverse-engineered and magnesium oxide board as we know it today was developed. MgO board was used extensively at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to increase the sustainability of the Games and the world’s tallest LEED Platinum building, Taipei 101, uses magnesium oxide board in both interior and exterior finishing applications as well as for fire proofing.

Magnesium Oxide Board vs Drywall

There are many advantages to using magnesium oxide board over drywall. The inherent stiffness and strength of the product means it does not require the use of backing boards or plugs in areas where heavy items are to be hung as with drywall. MgO board joints do not need to be over a stud and corners do not require a corner bead. Unlike drywall, it is impervious to water and can be power washed if necessary. It is antimicrobial, easier and faster to paint and safer to work with due to its absence of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Magnesium Oxide Board is Environmentally Friendly

Magnesium oxide board is a highly sustainable material. It has a very low carbon footprint and can be recycled or repurposed. Because it is classified as a mineral, it contributes to clean landfills and when ground into a powder acts as a soil amender. MgO board is a popular choice for construction within the healthcare industry because it does not emit carcinogens or toxins of any kind. With increased attention directed toward eco-conscious architecture and construction practices through the recent release of the NECB (National Energy Code for Buildings) and other government policies, it is clear that MgO board will be a vital material moving forward.

Why We Recommend Magnesium Oxide Board

At Cadillac Coatings, we know the benefits of magnesium oxide board and we recommend it in conjunction with powder coating to our clients for interior and exterior finishing in both residential and commercial design. The durability and environmental friendliness of MgO board is completely in-line with what Cadillac Coatings stands for: dependability and sustainability. If for some reason MgO board is not the right choice for your project, there are many other materials we can coat. Just ask us!

To find out more about our magnesium oxide board and our powder coating process contact us today!