What’s The Difference Drywall Vs. Plaster

What’s The Difference? Drywall Vs. Plaster

When constructing a house or renovation, individuals generally think about the granite countertops, the comprehensive square footage or the number of windows in the new area. Much of the time, little idea is offered to among the most important parts of the house– the interior walls.

Many people don’t consider the walls in their homes unless there’s an issue or they move into a studio apartment. Yet, interior walls offer personal privacy and separation. They can likewise function as sound barriers, insulators and even offer additional fire resistance.

Two of the most typical types of interior wall materials are plaster and drywall. Plaster has been utilized because in ancient times. The earliest plaster was generally made from lime, sand, animal hair and water [source: MacDonald] Egyptian tombs, such as that of Queen Nefertari, feature paintings on the plaster walls that line their interiors [source: Getty Conservation Institute] Ancient Roman homes are known to have been embellished with fresco artwork. Frescos are works of art that are produced with various pigments on wet plaster. We have a wide range of property plaster repairs at Hitch Property Constructions. 

An alternative to lime-based plasters, gypsum-based plasters had a much faster drying time [source: MacDonald] This new type of plaster grew in appeal due to the fact that it could speed up the structure process.

As technology advanced, drywall ended up being more durable and easily available. By the 1950s, drywall had surged in appeal as an interior wall product [source: Barber] The product now covers a bulk of the interior walls in modern-day homes.

In this article, we’ll explore the composition, benefits and disadvantages of plaster and drywall for interior wall applications.


There are two popular methods to finish a wall: using plaster or utilizing drywall– and there are valid reasons to use each. The two main aspects that will enter play when you’re selecting which product to utilize our look and budget.

Plaster is more labour-intensive than drywall.

In fact, the scarcity of employees throughout WWII is one of the reasons for drywall’s spike in appeal. Today, plasterers are more specialized tradespersons than drywall installers, so having the skilled workers offered in your area is the first thing to inspect prior to committing to the high-maintenance material. As far as repair work, they can run the range from being as simple as touching up a bit of plaster to reconstructing the wall, particularly in cases where electrical or plumbing work requires to be done behind the walls. Drywall repair, on the other hand, while it is a multi-step procedure, tends to be more simple and much easier for useful property owners to finish themselves.

Plaster costs more than drywall.

Due to the fact that plaster needs more of a specialized ability than drywall installation and takes longer to finish, the labour alone will normally run about three times greater or more than drywall setup. The material expenses are equivalent.

It’s much easier to hang products on drywall, but it’s possible with plaster.

Plaster is harder and more brittle than drywall. Whereas with drywall it’s possible to push thumbtacks into the wall to hang up posters, you likely could not pierce a plaster wall with the flimsy point of a tack. More importantly, you run the risk of cracking or splitting the plaster. If you require to hang a product like an image frame on a plaster wall, use screws instead of nails to avoid potential damage– utilizing a hammer on a plaster wall could be devastating.

Plaster is more sound-proof. However, drywall typically suggests better insulation.

A dense product, plaster blocks sound transmission far better than gypsum drywall. Nevertheless, although plaster is denser, it can’t beat the thermal abilities of standard drywall paired with modern-day insulation typically discovered today. The drywall installation process enables such flexibility to accommodate those layers. Retrofitting initial plaster walls with insulation– just like a lot of deal with plaster walls– can prove tough and still provide less energy-efficient payoff than drywall with insulation.

Plaster has a higher-end look.

It can be applied in either a smooth, shiny surface or a stucco-like textured surface. While drywall is the standard in the majority of houses today, plaster is still utilized for a variety of aesthetic upgrades. For instance, plaster might be the better option on curved walls than the popular choice, drywall, given that it’s challenging at finest and impossible at worst to get drywall to bend as desired.


Drywall is the more economical and labour intensive option. Drywall professionals can very efficiently hang drywall in a short amount of time, and drywall is, without a doubt, the more popular alternative of wall finishes. Since drywall panels are thinner than plaster walls, drywall is not as reliable of a sound barrier. However, drywall does supply a variety of choices as far as insulation goes, making it a more energy-efficient wall option.


Plaster is thought about a high-end wall finish. The installation of plaster walls needs unique training and skills making it more of an extensive labour process than hanging or fixing drywall. Aside from these factors, a plaster wall can develop a texture and feel to your home that no other wall can match. It is also thought about the more sound resistant choice, but the absence of insulation might imply greater energy bills over time.

Make certain you consider these advantages and drawbacks as you’re picking which product to use in your house. When you make your choice, contact Mr Handyman to make an appointment with an expert drywall contractor or plaster wall installer. Through our years of training and experience, we can assist make your home repairs off of your “To Do” list.

Inside Plaster

The most typical form of plaster for interior walls is gypsum plaster. Plaster walls are typically produced through a three-coat procedure. To start, lath must be protected to the framing. Historically, lath has been made from wood strips; however, more just recently metal or plasterboard have actually come into usage. The lath provides the gooey plaster something to keep. Looking for plaster patching on your property? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

After the lath remains in place, the plaster compound needs to be blended. The compound generally comes dry and need to be combined with water. While this step might sound relatively simple, a certain amount of skill and experience is required to get the right consistency [source: Nash] Then. The plaster can lastly be applied to the wall. The very first coat of plaster is applied, scratched and left to dry. It is followed by the 2nd coat or brown coat, and after that, the wall is finished off with a final layer.

Due to the variety of coats and lathing, a plaster wall tends to be thicker than a drywall wall, which can produce a higher air barrier [source: Heberle and Scutella] This density also creates a good sound barrier between rooms. If the lathing and framing are done well, plaster can provide a lot more stiff wall resulting in the reduced possibility of buckling or breaking. Considering that plaster is not strong when it’s applied to the wall, it can be a good option for curved or irregular surfaces. Lastly, the plaster within the plaster has a high water content, which gives the walls fireproof qualities.

Inside Drywall

For basic plaster drywall, the calcined gypsum is blended with water and periodically additives to create the core material [source: Gypsum Association] The thick material is then squeezed, or flattened, between two various layers of paper and dried. One side of the paper is the face, which is strong and smooth, while the other side, or back, has a rougher texture.

Installing drywall is a relatively quick procedure compared to that of plastering. The boards are cut to fit the shape of the walls. They’re then protected to the rough framing of your home. After the boards are in place, the corner bead is attached to the corners to provide a straight edge. The walls are then taped with either paper or fibreglass-mesh tape at the joints, corners and places where the boards have actually been secured to the wall. Then, the common three layers of joint compound are included. After each layer, the wall is sanded to offer a smoother surface area. Once the 3rd layer had actually dried, the wall is ready to be painted.

There are obvious benefits to drywall over plaster. Initially, the procedure of setup needs less time and labour, which can equate to less cost. Drywall likewise assists in lowering noise in addition to having fireproof properties due to the water in the boards.

While drywall does have lots of benefits as an interior wall product, it’s not invincible. Drywall can be harmed by the settling of the structure or homeowner accidents. A common problem is nail or screw pops when the head of these fasteners produces a bulge or becomes visible through the drywall.

Second of all, gypsum drywall is vulnerable to water damage if exposed to raised levels of wetness over long periods of time. There are specialty drywall boards with ingredients that are created for much better water-resistance.

Together with water sensitivity, gypsum drywall boards can have mould problems. To decrease the possibility for mould, new gypsum drywall boards are going paperless.

Whether you pick the adaptability of drywall or the old-world charm of plaster walls, interior walls form the appearance, circulation and feel of your home. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both plaster and drywall assist you in selecting the best system for your lifestyle.

Even with these benefits, plaster has actually fallen out of favour with homeowners today. Let’s look at some possibilities for why that may have happened. First, the plastering procedure is labour intensive, triggering the price to rise. Plastering is likewise lengthy– in using and drying time. In addition, while the plaster is very long-lasting, it can crack with the settling of the building of inappropriate setup. Some of these fractures can be repaired with plaster or a setting-type substance, yet others require structural repair.

These may be some of the reasons that homeowners and remodelers are now most likely to go with the drywall. Let’s take a closer take a look at this interior wall product.

Expert Tips for Drywall

Start With the Right Design

The initial step to hanging drywall is to take a pencil and mark on the floor and ceiling the placement of the vertical studs. This will streamline the attachment of the drywall panels to the framing. (Make certain any insulating work and vapour barrier installation are total before you begin hanging drywall panels.).

While amateurs often install drywall panels vertically, so that the long joints align along a stud, this is not the typical professional approach. Instead, start in one upper corner of the room and install panels horizontally with the leading edge against the ceiling. Pros typically install the top row of panels first.

Ensure the end of the panel tips over the centre of a stud; you may require to score and snap the panel to make it fit. While DIYers normally work with 8-ft.- long panels, the professional method generally is to utilize 10- or 12-ft.- long drywall panels, which in some cases will cover the entire length of smaller sized spaces.

Professional drywall hanging crews normally include two employees. In taller spaces, one worker may wear drywall stilts in order to arrive of upper panels. Drywall scaffolding can also be used.

Where an entire space is being drywalled, expert teams constantly do the ceiling initially. A pulley-driven drywall lift is the tool of choice for lifting panels into location against ceiling joists. However, some teams construct T-shaped “crutches” to brace the panels into location while screws or nails are driven. Besides this, the techniques are the same when it comes to connecting drywall panels to walls.

Attach the First Panel to the Studs.

Start accessory by driving some screws or nails on completions and down the centre of the panel to hold it in place versus the studs. Screws must be driven far enough to ‘dimple’ the surface area of the drywall, but not enough to break the paper surface area. Breaking the paper ruins the strength of the accessory. Drywall guns have adjustable clutches that permit you to control the depth of the screw bit.

If you are using 1/2-inch-thick drywall, usage 1 1/2- inch-long screws or nails; for 3/4-inch-thick drywall, utilize a 1 3/8- inch screws. Along the sides of the panel, keep the screws at least 1/2 inch far from the edge. The area the fasteners 8 to 12 inches apart along the side edges, and no greater than 16 inches apart where screws connect to studs in the field.

Cut the Adjoining Panel.

Step the distance in between the first drywall panel set up and completion of the wall. For large rooms, you might be installing a complete second panel, but smaller spaces will likely need you to cut the adjoining panel to size.

The easiest way to cut drywall panels is to score the face of the panel with an energy knife guided by a drywall T-square or metal straightedge, then snap the panel far from the scored line. With the panel bent backward at an angle, the behind of the drywall can be scored along the fold. Snapping the panel back in the initial instructions will cleanly sever the pieces.

Continue the installation until the leading row of drywall panels is positioned and connected in between the walls. Pro teams usually finish the leading row of panels around the entire space before continuing to the bottom panels.

Make Cutouts Around Outlet and Switches.

Unfinished electrical mains outlet socket with electrical wires installed in plasterboard or drywall for plaster walls in apartment or condo is under construction, remodelling, rebuilding renovation and improvement. Concept of house improvement.

To make cutouts for electrical boxes and other blockages, you can take careful measurements and move them to the drywall panels to mark cutout places. But the professional method to speed this process is to utilize coloured chalk to mark the edges of packages or obstructions, then place the drywall panel versus the wall in its final position. Press the panel strongly versus the wall to transfer the chalk markings to the back of the drywall.

Then, remove the panel and utilize a wallboard saw or rotary drywall cutout tool to finish the cutout along with the marks.

The panel can now be positioned on the wall and connected with screws or nails.

Hang Drywall Around Windows and Door Openings.

Where drywall panels fit around doors and window openings, the panels will require to be notched to fit around them. This is normally done by taking measurements, marking the drywall panels, then cutting along the marks with a rotary cutout tool (a handbook drywall saw can also be utilized). Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of Melbourne plaster painting

When connecting panels around doors and windows, ensure to use all the needed screws or nails because structural strength is crucial. If possible, avoid aligning the joints in between panels along the edges of windows or doors, or placing them directly above or listed below doors and windows, as the regular structural movement of your house can cause these drywall joints to break.

Hang the Lower Panels.

Now, install the bottom row of panels. Begin installation in the opposite corner of the room in order to balance out the vertical joints from the top row to the bottom. Drywall has the most structural strength if these vertical seams are balanced out by a minimum of 4 feet.

You might need to utilize a foot-operated wallboard lift to lever the lower panels upward to snug them up against the leading row of drywall. It’s chosen that there be a 1/2-inch space between the bottom of the lower drywall panel and the flooring because this allows room for seasonal growth and contraction of the drywall and prevents buckling. This gap will be covered by baseboard moulding.

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