Drywall vs Plaster and the differences
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Drywall vs Plaster and the differences

Plaster and drywall are both materials commonly used in construction, but they have some significant differences.

Plaster is a building material that has been used for centuries. It is a mixture of gypsum or lime, sand, and water that is applied in layers to a surface, typically walls or ceilings, and then smoothed and finished. Plaster is typically applied in several layers, and the process can be time-consuming and requires a skilled worker. Plaster is known for its durability and resistance to damage, but it can also be prone to cracking over time.

Drywall, also known as gypsum board or wallboard, is a more recent innovation and is widely used in modern construction. Drywall is made of gypsum plaster that is sandwiched between two layers of heavy paper. It is much quicker and easier to install than plaster, as it can be cut to size and screwed or nailed to the framing of a building. Drywall is also more fire-resistant than plaster, and it is less likely to crack or shrink over time. However, it is not as durable as plaster and can be easily damaged by moisture.

In summary, plaster is a traditional building material that is durable but time-consuming to apply, while drywall is a more modern material that is quick and easy to install but not as durable.

What’s better?  Drywall or Plaster

Whether drywall or plaster is better depends on the specific needs of a construction project. Drywall is generally considered better than plaster for the following reasons:

  1. Easier to install: Drywall is much easier and faster to install than plaster. It comes in large sheets that can be cut to size and attached to framing with screws or nails. Plaster, on the other hand, requires a skilled worker to apply multiple layers of the material to a surface and then smooth and finish it.
  2. Less expensive: Drywall is less expensive than plaster, both in terms of material and labor costs. The process of applying plaster is more labor-intensive and requires a higher level of skill, which makes it more expensive.
  3. Fire-resistant: Drywall is more fire-resistant than plaster because it contains gypsum, which is a natural fire retardant. In the event of a fire, the gypsum in drywall releases water vapor, which helps to slow the spread of flames.
  4. Resistant to cracking: Drywall is less prone to cracking than plaster because it is made with paper and gypsum, which are both flexible materials. Plaster, on the other hand, is more likely to crack over time due to changes in temperature and humidity.
  5. Versatility: Drywall is versatile and can be used in a variety of applications, including walls, ceilings, and even curved surfaces. Plaster is more limited in its applications and is best suited for flat surfaces.

In summary, drywall is generally considered better than plaster because it is easier to install, less expensive, fire-resistant, less prone to cracking, and more versatile. However, plaster is still a popular choice for certain types of construction projects, particularly those that require a more traditional or decorative finish.

How do you install drywall?

Here are the basic steps for installing drywall in a room:

  1. Measure the walls and ceiling: Measure the height and width of each wall and ceiling surface to determine the amount of drywall you will need. Make sure to factor in any openings, such as doors and windows.
  2. Cut the drywall to size: Using a drywall saw or a utility knife, cut the drywall to the appropriate size for each wall and ceiling surface.
  3. Hang the drywall: Starting at the ceiling, use drywall screws or nails to attach the drywall sheets to the framing of the room. Make sure to leave a small gap between the edges of each sheet to allow for expansion.
  4. Tape the seams: Apply drywall tape to cover the seams between each sheet of drywall. Use a putty knife to spread joint compound over the tape, smoothing it out as you go. Let the compound dry completely.
  5. Sand and finish: Once the joint compound is dry, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots. Apply a second coat of joint compound, if necessary, and sand it down once it’s dry. Finally, apply a coat of primer and paint the walls and ceiling as desired.

It’s important to note that these are just the basic steps for installing drywall in a room. Depending on the specific needs of your project, additional steps may be necessary, such as installing insulation or soundproofing materials before hanging the drywall. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional or reference detailed instructions before starting any construction project.

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