Plaster Walls vs. Drywall: Understanding the Main Differences

Plaster Walls vs. Drywall: Understanding the Main Differences

|March 23, 2023 | Drywall, Tips

If you’re planning to renovate or build a home, you might be wondering what type of wall system to use. Two popular options are plaster walls and drywall. While they might look similar, there are significant differences between the two. Here are some of the main differences to consider when choosing between plaster walls and drywall.


Plaster walls are made from a mixture of gypsum, sand, and water. This mixture is applied in layers to a lath (a narrow strip of wood) to create a durable and long-lasting surface. On the other hand, drywall is made from gypsum board, which is a combination of gypsum and paper. It is available in large sheets that are hung on a framework of metal studs or wooden boards.


The installation process for plaster walls is more complex and time-consuming than for drywall. It requires skilled professionals who apply the plaster mixture in multiple coats and smooth it out to create a seamless finish. Drywall, on the other hand, is easier to install and can be completed in a shorter amount of time. However, it does require some skill to properly cut and hang the large sheets.


Plaster walls are known for their durability and resistance to cracking and damage. They can last for many decades and require minimal maintenance. Drywall, on the other hand, is more prone to damage and can easily crack or dent if it is hit or bumped. However, repairs are relatively easy and inexpensive to perform.


Plaster walls are excellent at soundproofing a room, as they are thicker and denser than drywall. They can absorb and dampen sound waves, creating a quieter and more peaceful environment. Drywall, on the other hand, provides some degree of soundproofing, but not to the same extent as plaster walls.


The cost of plaster walls is generally higher than that of drywall, due to the additional labor and materials required for installation. Drywall is a more cost-effective option, as it is easier and quicker to install. However, the cost of repairs and maintenance over time may be higher for drywall.

In summary, plaster walls and drywall have distinct differences in composition, installation, durability, soundproofing, and cost. While plaster walls are known for their durability and soundproofing capabilities, they require more skill and time to install and can be more expensive. Drywall is a more affordable and faster option, but is less durable and provides less soundproofing. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

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