Mostly seen and debuting at this year’s INTEX Expo in April, several drywall companies introduced new product lines to the market.

The following are a selection of new launches that reflect these new changes and offer other interesting features for the drywall contractor.



CertainTeed Gypsum’s AirRenew Extreme Impact is an abuse-resistant gypsum board that cleans the air by permanently and safely capturing formaldehydes circulating indoors. It provides an interior finish solution, which can actively help improve indoor air quality and is also resistant to hard impacts and penetrations, moisture and mold. Part of the AirRenew product family, the new EI board contains a specially designed fiberglass reinforcement over a dense, fire-resistive core and uses patented technology to remove VOCs circulating within the built environment. AirRenew Extreme Impact is also lightweight, easier to cut and install, and does not require special tools. It is shipped, handled, installed and finished like standard gypsum board and is a cost-effective alternative to concrete masonry units, often specified for high-traffic applications.

It contains up to 99 percent total recycled content, is available in Type X for fire-rated assemblies, and is GreenGuard Children & Schools Certified.

“IAQ is one of the biggest issues the building industry is tackling,” says Amy Lee, manager of marketing communications and sustainability with the company.

In fact, the average American spends more than 90 percent indoors, and studies show that air quality can affect building occupants’ health, happiness, and productivity, Lee says. 

“For maximum effectiveness it is not recommended that oil-based epoxy paints or vinyl wallpaper be used over AirRenew Extreme Impact IAQ Gypsum Board,” says Lee. “Places where AirRenew Extreme Impact will most often be used are those that have stringent IAQ requirements, such as hospitals and schools, where oil-based paints and vinyl (non-breathable) wallpaper are rarely used.”

The product was officially launched in December 2011. It is currently available in North America.




With the launch of the 2012 catalog, Trim-Tex introduces a full line of Architectural Reveal Beads for creating aesthetic or decorative wall reveals. They are 100 percent in-stock and will ship the same day.

“Architects specifically asked for a reveal that would give them a clean, sharp line. Architectural Reveal Beads feature a sharp mud bump that makes it easy to create clean, crisp reveal edges,” says John Calderero, national sales manager at Trim-Tex. “[The] beads are more flexible allowing them to expand and contract as needed without cracking. The flexibility of the vinyl bead also allows the product to form around curved walls.”

“We offer a complete line of reveal beads that include Architectural Series F Reveals, L Beads, and Z Shadow Beads that perfectly match the Architectural Reveal Beads,” says Calderero.

After a very successful soft launch in 2011 with a few sizes of reveals, Trim-Tex launched a full line of Architectural Reveal Beads, Architectural Intersections F Reveals, Z Shadow Beads and L Beads for 2012.

More than 2,000 dealers are in North America, as well as authorized Trim-Tex dealers found worldwide.




“This could be a real winner. One of the most difficult areas of the wall to finish is where you have either butt to butt joints, or butt to bevel joints,” says Douglas Holmberg, senior analyst at Grabber Construction Products.

It is virtually impossible to effectively blend a butt-to-butt or butt-to-bevel joint without pulling the finish coat over 12 inches per side, and even then you are able to see the crown in a high light area, he says.

Now fast forward to the makers of the RebateMate, a new tool that will “bevel” the butt end of a piece of board. The makers of the RebateMate showcased their product at this year’s INTEX Expo, hoping to score stateside distribution. A lot of people were impressed with the product (National Gypsum donated board to the RebateMate team).

The power tool is designed to cut a recessed edge in preparation for joining sheets of drywall, fiber cement sheeting, Villa board or multiboard, resulting in a stronger seamless joint between sheets in both ceiling and wall applications.

The tool has a specialized head attachment that eliminates butt joint problems such as weakness, glancing light issues, cracking, visible joint and plaster wastage in the joint area. It is fitted with a symmetrical diamond cutting disc which when fitted to a commercial vacuum system creates a dust-free environment. Any dust is simply vacuumed away with the vacuum attached directly to the tool, creating a cleaner, safer and healthier working environment.

RebateMate works on drywall, and all types of cement sheeting, creating the perfect seamless joint in seconds, strengthening the butt joint.



National Gypsum’s Gold Bond e²XP Interior Extreme AR and IR Gypsum Panels were created for building owners, architects and contractors who not only need extra protection against mold and moisture but require abuse or impact resistant properties, as well.

The Interior Extreme AR panel is an abuse and impact resistant gypsum panel designed for interior applications requiring increased resistance to surface abrasion and indentation. The facer and core are enhanced to provide these superior performance capabilities. A fiberglass mesh is embedded into the core, close to the back of the board to provide superior impact and breach resistance.

Both e²XP Interior Extreme AR and IR are produced in a 5/8 inch thickness with a Fire-Shield Type X core. They are manufactured with moisture and mold resistant gypsum core and facer and are easily identified by the back facer in National Gypsum’s purple color and printing on the tapers. The panels are GreenGuard Certified for indoor air quality, the most stringent standard in the industry.

“With the addition of our Abuse/Impact e²XP products, National Gypsum now offers one of the broadest lines of fiberglass-faced gypsum panels in the industry,” says Jay Watt, director of sales and marketing/product development for National Gypsum. 




Strait-Flex International’s Butt-Tape was introduced to eliminate ceiling cracks due to drywall shrinkage and structural movement. It is twice as strong as standard paper tape and eliminates flat spots. The product was designed with drywall contractors in mind and can be used for anyone who wants a quality-looking butt joint.

The product has been field tested by 10 major drywall contractors across the country and in Strait-Flex’s lab using the Butt-Buster Test.

Butt-Tape is twice as strong and fast as standard paper or mesh tapes, says the company’s President John Conboy. “No pre-filling is required and it has no delayed shrinkage. Butt-Tape leaves butt joints virtually unnoticeable, cuts easily and guarantees no cracking.”

Introduced at this year’s INTEX, the product is available at all professional drywall supply dealers,  and is available in over 15 countries around the world.



Also exhibiting at INTEX Expo was The Planex Drywall Sander and CT 36 AC Autoclean Dust Extractor by Festool USA. This drywall sander and self-cleaning vacuum is designed for high volume usage.

The suction control comes from being able to set the extraction through the pad via collection holes, or from around the exterior of the pad. A suction control on the handle also regulates the amount of “pull” from the machine to the surface.

The tool is modular and can be adapted to a wide range of situations. It can be broken down to fit hallways, bathrooms, closets and other confined areas, or it can be extended by adding sections to the tool (up to 83 inches). The tool also features strong dust extraction with two options; first option is to use the holes in the center of the pad and paper allowing the sander to be “pulled” into the surface with the Dust Extractor. 

A favorite feature of many of users so far is the removable brush section around the pad. This allows the sander to work up against an edge or abutting surface which drastically cuts down manual sanding tasks where the user would normally have to use a block sander to sand those areas.

The Planex can be found at any of the company’s dealers (Festool USA distributes in the U.S. and Canada).




Continuing with the trend for manufacturers offering lighter board, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum launched ToughRock Light & Strong gypsum board, a single board that can be used on walls and ceilings due to improved sag resistance. The board is lighter than traditional ToughRock.

“We developed an improved 1/2-inch ToughRock lightweight gypsum drywall because installers and contractors had been asking for a lighter board, but they made it clear the board had to perform as well as our traditional drywall,” says Rebecca Serbin, associate product manager at the company. “Lighter boards cause less wear and tear on installers as well as speed the installation process.”

The new board has increased impact resistance for greater durability than traditional 1/2-inch ToughRock. The board has other improved characteristics, including sag resistance for ceiling use, and greater flexural strength to prevent cracking during handling and installation.

This product is primarily sold in the U.S. and Canada.




Final Coat Ultra White Gel from Tuberville Enterprizes is a formula designed for the purpose of achieving a high quality Level 5 finish while costing the consumer less in material and labor dollars. Using the product, contractors will be able to more quickly and consistently achieve the high quality of interior finishes being called for on today’s construction projects.  Final Coat has a built in primer that when added to joint compound will ensure you achieve a flash free, Level 5 application. By adding Final Coat Ultra White to textures, it can help you will attain an even spray pattern without taped surfaces showing through after drying. Adding Final Coat to joint compound is an economical way to apply a user friendly solid surface that will be scratch and nick resistant after curing the surfaces covered with Final Coat.

With only 8 ounces of Final Coat Ultra White Gel added to a 5-gallon bucket of joint compound, drywallers can spray a solid surface coat that is guaranteed not to flash, bleed or compromise the job in any way.

Key features include:

  • 750-plus square foot coverage from one 5-gallon bucket of joint compound.
  • Sanding not required.
  • Dries a bright white color.
  • After curing the surface, it’s scratch and nick resistant.
  • This product does not need to be wiped down or touched up with a knife after it is sprayed on.

 The company distributes the product in the U.S. and has partnered with Wallboard Trim and Tools for distribution throughout Canada.