When building a home or remodeling, people often focus on what type of countertops and cabinets they want in their kitchen, the number and size of windows, or the square footage in the new space. With so much focus directed to the major aesthetics and space, people typically put little thought into one of the most integral parts of their space — the interior walls. However, these walls act as sound barriers and provide privacy and separation inside a home. Additionally, interior walls act as insulators and sometimes provide additional fire protection.


The Difference Between Drywall and Plaster

When it comes to the walls inside a home, two of the most common types of wall materials are drywall and plaster. The use of plaster dates back to the ancient Egyptian times, as it was often used for tombs. As technology advanced with time, drywall became more durable and available for use. Drywall has a evolved through its history. By the 1950s, drywall spiked in popularity as a material optimal for interior walls, and today the product covers a large majority of the walls inside most modern homes. Let’s take a deeper look at the two types of material.



The most common form of plaster for interior walls is known as gypsum plaster. One of the main benefits of this material is its durability — which is why many ancient Egyptian tombs made of plaster are still standing today. There isn’t much that can bring plaster down. Plus, it produces a high-end finish that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to paint. On the down side, plaster walls require a lot of time for installation. Plaster walls are generally created through a three coat process and often require a certain amount of skill and experience for proper application.



Drywall has become an easy commodity and an efficient way to build a home. Manufactured in factories, drywall sheets are very thin, strong boards made out of gypsum sheets. Installing drywall is a fairly quick process compared to that of plastering. The boards are cut to fit the shape of the walls. These boards are then nailed to the wood framing of a home. Then, the installer will use a joint compound to fill in cracks between separate boards of drywall and to essentially glue the board to the floor and ceiling. Drywall can last decades if it is not damaged through the years. While it’s a great product, if enough force is applied it can easily crack or get holes in the surface. However, it is quick and simple to repair most of the time.


As you can see, both drywall and plaster have their own unique set of advantages. We hope this clears up any misunderstandings or curiosities as to what differences there are between drywall and plaster for interior walls.


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