What Is The Difference Between Plaster And Drywall?

texture background
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    There are many wall and ceiling materials options when constructing or remodelling a home or business. Plaster and drywall are two of the most widely used materials. However, despite their superficial similarities, important distinctions between the two materials should be taken into account when deciding which one to use.

    When selecting building materials, it is helpful to have a solid understanding of the distinctions between plaster and drywall in order to make an educated choice.

    What Is Plaster?

    Plaster has been used to coat walls and ceilings since the time of the ancient Egyptians. In addition, plasters made of clay and lime were used to coat the outside of ancient monuments and temples for protection.

    Plasterboard and wet plaster are the two most common plaster varieties used today. Plaster of Paris, commonly known as wet plaster, is made by mixing powdered clay, cement, sand, lime, or gypsum with water. When combined with water, this plaster powder can be worked into a slurry or thick paste and applied to walls with a trowel.

    Plaster and stucco share some of the same ingredients, so the two might need clarification. However, while both can cover flaws in a finish coat, plaster creates a smooth surface, while stucco is an ornamental plaster that gives off a more rustic vibe.

    Different Types Of Plastering

    Plastering is a common construction technique to create uniform and smooth wall and ceiling surfaces. Plastering comes in a variety of forms, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Learning about the various plastering options can help ensure that the best one is chosen for any job.

    Plastering comes in wide varieties, from the time-honoured lime plaster to the more contemporary gypsum plaster, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this piece, we will discuss the various kinds of plastering as well as the uses for each.

    Cement Plaster

    Plaster made from cement is widely used in building and remodelling projects. Plaster is a cement, sand, and water coating applied to surfaces like walls and ceilings. Floats, Trowels, brushes, and other tools are used in the application process to spread the coating evenly and precisely.

    Cement plaster is typically applied in two phases: scratch and finishing coats for increased protection and durability. Cement combined with a coarse aggregate like sand or gravel forms the scratch coat, while cement with finer materials like lime or gypsum forms the finish coat, creating a smoother surface. After it has dried properly, cement plaster can serve as a durable, aesthetically pleasing surface that can be painted over if necessary.

    Gypsum Plaster

    Gypsum plaster is a common building material that creates a flat, uniform surface on walls and ceilings. A paste-like material is created by mixing calcium sulphate hemihydrate, water, and sand.

    The smooth, long-lasting finish that gypsum plaster provides can be painted or left unfinished, depending on personal preference.

    In most cases, it is troweled on in several layers, with each layer being given time to dry in between. Plaster made from gypsum does a better job of insulating than lime and does not need to be cured.

    Gypsum plaster has a long lifespan and requires nothing in the way of repairs or replacements if cared for properly. It also has many practical uses, such as making decorative effects and fixing broken surfaces.

    Lime Plaster

    Lime plaster has been a standard building material for generations. It is applied to ceilings and walls to make a more permanent finish and is made of lime, sand, and water.

    Depending on your aesthetic preferences, you can paint over lime plaster or leave it natural. To ensure uniformity, the coat of plaster is applied with a straight steel edge, wooden float, and other instruments.

    Different methods, such as sand-faced and rough-cast finish, are employed depending on the desired result. Lime plaster protects against moisture and other factors and gives a building a more aesthetically pleasing look. In addition, plastered surfaces can last for many years with only occasional maintenance and repair if treated with the care they deserve.

    Mud And Clay Plasters

    Plasters made from clay and mud have been used for centuries in building and remodelling. To create this substance, natural clay & mud are mixed with other components like straw and waste to make a thick paste.

    Interior and exterior walls can benefit from the long-lasting finish that clay and mud plasters provide. They work particularly well for making decorative patterns and designs in the form of swirls and geometric shapes on the walls and ceilings.

    When it comes to home energy efficiency, clay and mud plasters are a more economical option than traditional lime plasters because of their superior insulation properties.

    You can apply them using a trowel or a wooden float in many coats to achieve different effects, such as a smooth finish or a rough surface. Plasters of clay and mud can last for decades if properly maintained and cared for.

    Pros And Cons Of Using Plaster

    The use of plaster as a construction material dates back thousands of years. It is commonly used for walls and ceilings because of the ease with which it can be produced from a combination of lime, gypsum, sand, and water.

    The use of plaster comes with a number of drawbacks, despite the fact that it does offer some benefits. The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of using plaster:

    Pros Of Using Plastering

    1. Durable: Plaster is an extremely long-lasting building material that can last for many years with the right kind of care and upkeep. It is not easily scratched or dented and is durable enough to withstand general wear and tear.
    2. Gives a smooth finish: Plaster's uniform sheen can make for more aesthetically pleasing walls and ceilings.
    3. Fire-resistant: Plaster is resistant to fire, making it a more secure material to use in the construction of buildings. It can assist in bringing fires under control and halting their progression.
    4. Sound insulation: Plaster is useful for soundproofing because it can lessen the amount of noise that travels through walls.

    Cons Of Using Plastering

    1. Difficult to install: When compared to more common wall coverings like drywall, plaster can be a real pain to put up. A higher level of expertise and experience is needed for application and completion.
    2. Prone to cracking: Plaster is a material prone to cracking and often needs routine maintenance to prevent and repair cracks.
    3. More expensive: Plaster is more pricey than other common wall coverings like drywall and panelling. It may increase building expenses.
    4. Not moisture-resistant: Plaster is easily damaged by water because it is not very water-resistant. If it gets wet, it can also serve as a prime location for the growth of mould and mildew.

    What Is Drywall?

    texture background 1024x682

    Drywall, also known as wallboard, sheetrock, cement board, or gypsum board, can be purchased as either prefabricated panels or as a joint compound. Gypsum (calcium sulphate dihydrate) is used to make drywall panels with paper facings on both sides. The board's shape is preserved, allowing drywall screws or other fasteners to be used during installation.

    Drywall panels are used to cover the studs and insulation in a wall in a new home. Some manufacturers produce drywall with added functionality or compliance with local building codes.

    Greenboard, on the other hand, outperforms gypsum plaster blue board in terms of resistance to mould and water. The latter is made from staggered paper layers to give the impression of plaster. In addition, basements and workplaces can benefit from soundproof drywall, which is available for purchase.

    Different Types Of Drywall

    Drywall is commonly used for interior walls and ceilings in residential and commercial construction. It is available in many forms, each with advantages and disadvantages, and it can be installed quickly and cheaply. If you know what kinds of drywall are available, you can choose the right kind for the job.

    There are a wide variety of drywall options, from standard drywall to moisture-resistant and fire-resistant varieties, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Various drywall varieties and their uses will be discussed here.

    Regular Or Standard Drywall

    Normal drywall is drywall that has yet to be upgraded in any way. However, it competes on par with other types and is not inferior to any of them. You won't find any frills here.

    For instance, regular drywall is already fireproof (Gypsum's water molecules act as a firebreak, preventing rapid conflagration), but fire-resistant drywall adds even more protection.

    Mould-Resistant Drywall

    This drywall, which is commonly purple, is resistant to the growth of mould and mildew. In addition, this drywall has been treated specifically for use in high-humidity environments.

    It is more costly than regular drywall and an expense that can add up quickly; however, considering that mould and mildew are sneaky and can cause health problems, the additional cost might be justified.

    Moisture-Resistant Drywall

    Water can be destructive. The majority of homeowners will experience this at some point. Drywall with a special coating designed to repel moisture can reduce the severity of water damage. It works wonderfully in damp environments or near water sources, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

    Cement board, which is even more water-resistant than regular drywall, is the material for use in wet environments such as bathrooms.

    The names "green board," "interior tile backer board," and "cement board" are all used to describe this drywall product. The term "blue board" can also refer to water-resistant drywall. Because it is designed to be covered with veneer plaster, this product is distinct from others on the market.

    Fire-Resistant Drywall

    Garages, bedrooms, apartment buildings, and many commercial buildings are just some of the places where building codes require fire-resistant materials (Type X, fireboard, or X board).

    Type X drywall has enhanced fire safety features in comparison to standard drywall. For example, type C provides up to four times as much protection as Type X, which only lasts an hour.

    Drywall designed to withstand fire is made with special fibres that are not flammable. It's also considerably thicker than standard drywall. Altogether, they reduce the speed at which a fire can spread, giving people more time to escape and reducing the amount of property damage.

    Pros And Cons Of Using Drywall

    Drywall, also called plasterboard or gypsum board, is frequently used for interior walls and ceilings in residential and commercial construction. Drywall has some benefits, but it also has a few disadvantages. The benefits and drawbacks of drywall are as follows:

    Pros Of Using Drywall

    1. Easy to install: When compared to the installation of other wall materials, such as plaster, which requires a higher level of expertise and experience, installing drywall is a relatively simple process.
    2. Affordable: Drywall is a great option for reducing construction costs. Construction can help keep costs down because it is more affordable than many alternatives.
    3. Fire-resistant: Drywall is safer than other building materials because it does not easily catch fire. It can be used to prevent fires from spreading and to keep them contained.
    4. Sound insulation: Drywall is an excellent option for buildings that need sound insulation because it can help reduce the amount of sound that travels from room to room.

    Cons Of Using Drywall

    1. Prone to moisture damage: Drywall is easily damaged by water because it is not very water-resistant. If it gets wet, it can also serve as a prime location for the growth of mould and mildew.
    2. Not eco-friendly: Drywall is not an environmentally friendly or sustainable building material because its production requires significant energy and resources.
    3. Damaged or dented easily: Drywall isn't sturdy and will easily dent or crack if hit. A building with young children or active pets may have this issue.
    4. Difficult to repair: Fixing drywall damage, especially extensive damage, is a task that can be challenging and time-consuming.


    Two common building materials for interior walls and ceilings are plaster and drywall. Ancient Egyptians were the first to employ plaster for wall and ceiling coverings. Most modern constructions make use of either plasterboard or wet plaster.

    Mixing powdered clay, cement, sand, lime, or gypsum with water results in Plaster of Paris, also known as wet plaster.

    While both plaster and stucco include some similar elements, the finishing coat of any material can hide imperfections.

    Different kinds of plastering have their own benefits and drawbacks.

    Cement plaster is a covering made of cement, sand, and water that is commonly used in construction and renovation.

    closeup hand worker plastering cement wall building house

    Gypsum plaster is a popular choice for finishing walls and ceilings because it dries flat and homogeneous. Sand, water, and calcium sulphate hemihydrate combine to form this paste-like substance.

    When properly maintained, gypsum plaster can survive for decades without needing any touchups or replacements.

    Making use of lime, sand, and water, lime plaster has been a standard construction material for many years. It's made of lime, sand, and water, and it's used as a more lasting finish for ceilings and walls. You can either paint over lime plaster or leave it unfinished.

    Plasters made from clay and mud are less expensive and, if cared for, can survive for decades.

    There are benefits and drawbacks to using plaster. It's a better material for building construction because it's long-lasting, fireproof, and muffles noise. It's also helpful for soundproofing, blocking sound waves before they penetrate walls.

    Drywall is available in both prefabricated panels and joint compound forms. It is also known as wallboard, sheetrock, cement board, and gypsum board.

    Drywall is constructed from gypsum boards that have paper on both sides for easy fastening with drywall screws or nails.

    Some manufacturers create drywall with additional functionality or compliance with local building requirements, and these panels are used to cover studs and insulation in a new home.

    Drywall, often called plasterboard or gypsum board, is commonly used for interior walls and ceilings in both homes and businesses.

    It's available in a variety of formats, each with its own set of pros and cons.

    Standard drywall, mould-resistant drywall, moisture-resistant drywall, and fire-resistant drywall are just some of the options.

    Drywall is available in two varieties, one of which is resistant to mould and mildew growth but not fire.

    Cement board is even more water-resistant than moisture-resistant drywall, making it an excellent choice for bathrooms and other damp areas.

    Places like garages, bedrooms, and apartments all need fireproof drywall. Type X drywall has extra fire protection characteristics because of its thicker materials and unique fibres.

    Drywall's benefits include its low price, low maintenance, resistance to fire, and ability to muffle noise.

    It is subject to harm from moisture because it is not highly water-resistant. Denting or scratching it makes repairs costly, and it's not good for the environment. It's also not a good idea for apartments with kids or pets who want to run around.

    Content Summary

    • Plaster and drywall are commonly used wall and ceiling materials.
    • Understanding the differences between plaster and drywall is crucial for making an informed choice.
    • Plaster has been used since ancient times and can create a smooth surface.
    • Plaster types include wet plaster (Plaster of Paris) and plasterboard.
    • Cement plaster provides increased protection and durability.
    • Gypsum plaster creates a flat, uniform surface and offers insulation properties.
    • Lime plaster is a traditional material that can be painted or left natural.
    • Mud and clay plasters are long-lasting and energy-efficient options.
    • Each type of plastering has its own advantages and disadvantages.
    • Plaster is durable, provides a smooth finish, and is fire-resistant.
    • Plaster also offers sound insulation properties.
    • Plastering can be challenging to install and requires expertise.
    • Plaster is prone to cracking and may be more expensive than other options.
    • Plaster is not moisture-resistant and can be damaged by water.
    • Drywall is also known as wallboard, sheetrock, or gypsum board.
    • Drywall panels are prefabricated and can be easily installed.
    • Different types of drywall offer various functionalities and comply with building codes.
    • Greenboard is resistant to mould and water.
    • Soundproof drywall is beneficial for basements and workplaces.
    • Regular drywall is fireproof, while fire-resistant drywall provides extra protection.
    • Mould-resistant drywall prevents the growth of mould and mildew.
    • Moisture-resistant drywall repels water and works well in high-humidity areas.
    • Cement board is highly water-resistant and suitable for wet environments.
    • Fire-resistant drywall provides enhanced fire safety features.
    • Type X drywall offers increased protection compared to standard drywall.
    • Drywall installation is relatively easy and cost-effective.
    • Drywall is more affordable than many alternatives.
    • Drywall is fire-resistant and helps with sound insulation.
    • Drywall is prone to moisture damage and can promote mould and mildew growth.
    • Drywall production is not environmentally friendly.
    • Drywall can be easily damaged or dented.
    • Repairing drywall damage can be challenging and time-consuming.
    • Understanding the differences between plaster and drywall is essential for making an informed choice in construction.
    • Plaster has a long history, dating back to ancient times and provides a smooth surface.
    • Different types of plastering, such as cement, gypsum, lime, mud, and clay, offer various benefits and effects.
    • Plaster is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and fire-resistant while also providing sound insulation.
    • However, plaster can be difficult to install, prone to cracking, more expensive than alternatives, and not moisture-resistant.
    • Drywall, also known as wallboard or gypsum board, is commonly used for interior walls and ceilings.
    • Drywall installation is relatively easy and cost-effective compared to plaster.
    • Drywall is fire-resistant and offers sound insulation properties.
    • However, drywall is susceptible to moisture damage, not eco-friendly, easily damaged or dented, and can be challenging to repair.
    • Plaster and drywall have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on specific needs and preferences.
    • Plastering provides a smooth and aesthetic finish, while drywall offers easier installation and affordability.
    • Both materials have fire-resistant properties, but plaster is more durable and provides better sound insulation.
    • Moisture resistance is a concern with both plaster and drywall, with plaster being more susceptible to damage.
    • Drywall production has environmental implications due to the resources and energy required.
    • Repairs for both plaster and drywall can be time-consuming and challenging.
    • Understanding the different types of plastering and drywall allows for selecting the most suitable option for the intended purpose.
    • Considerations such as durability, cost, fire resistance, moisture resistance, and ease of installation should be taken into account.
    • Whether choosing plaster or drywall, it is important to weigh the pros and cons to ensure the desired outcome in construction or remodelling projects.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Plaster and Drywall

    Plaster is made from gypsum, water, and sometimes sand or lime. Drywall, conversely, is made from gypsum plaster sandwiched between two layers of heavy paper or fibreglass matting.

    Yes, you can paint plaster walls. Plaster walls are often painted to give them a finished look and protect the surface. Preparing the surface before painting is important, including cleaning and priming the plaster to ensure the paint adheres properly.

    Plaster can last for many years, even up to a century, while drywall typically has a lifespan of around 30 years. However, the lifespan of both materials can vary depending on maintenance, installation quality, and exposure to moisture or other environmental factors.

    To repair damaged plaster, you can clean the area, apply a plaster patching compound, and then sand and paint the surface. For damaged drywall, you can cut out the damaged section and replace it with a new piece of drywall, then mud and sand the joints and paint the surface. Both repairs require some skill and tools but can be done with a little practice.

    Yes, plaster and drywall can be used together in the same construction project. In many modern homes, it's common to use drywall for the walls and plaster for the ceiling. To use them together, the drywall is typically installed first, then the plaster is applied to the ceiling or other areas as desired. Care must be taken to ensure the two materials are properly integrated, and the joints between them are properly finished.

    Google Rating
    Based on 33 reviews
    Scroll to Top