Over a cup of coffee a friend had asked my opinion on using plaster vs drywall to finish interior walls. Well to be frank, I’ve done a lot of drywall installation and repairs but other than tearing down plaster walls my knowledge is limited when it comes to plaster. So with that I started to do in a little research and below is what I found……
- Dust free (for the most part)
- Durability is high since plaster dries like cement
- Increases sound barrier with thickness of plaster and support structure
- More fire resistant than drywall – I have no evidence of this other than comments pulled from web
- More versatile for specialty designs features like archways/curves for example
- Considered a more upscale and sophisticated look
- More expensive to install since it takes a higher level of craftsman to install correctly.
- More expensive to repair
- Easy to install (DIY)
- Cost less to install
- Makes a mess after each sanding (clean up)
- Durability is lower than plaster
If you know of other pros/cons for each applications please add your comments below.
My conclusion is that I would tend to go with drywall based on what I know now (but my opinion is a work in progress). I have no evidence, that when professionally done, you could visually tell the difference between the two techniques. The main goal is obviously to have a smooth consistent wall finish and if professionally done I believe both techniques can deliver. Since most DIY projects will use drywall it’s easy to see how you can get a wider range of results with that product. Bottom line is if the application is done poorly or unprofessionally then the end results reflect that. My only caveat would be if you’re looking to retain the historical integrity of you home with plaster walls I would go with plaster. I think it’s worth the extra cost, but obviously go with a seasoned professional (if you need help finding one let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction 603-418-5939).