Prior the end of World War II, the interior walls and ceilings in homes and offices were typically made on site by workmen who applied several layers of wet plaster to an underlayment called lath. This special backing is usually composed of thin strips of wood or metal nailed to the studs, which gives the wet, sticky plaster a solid base.
The plastering process is labor-intensive and time-consuming largely because of the number of applications and the drying time associated with each layer.
At the end of the War, veterans returning to civilian life faced a housing shortage because there were not enough homes available. Construction companies wanted to increase the output of new homes and shorten the length of time required to build. To meet demand, the construction industry developed a new method of finishing walls and ceilings called drywall.
Drywall or Sheetrock, as it is sometimes called, is similar to plaster. During production, drywall is created by pressing gypsum plaster between sheets of paper and drying the sheets in an oven at the factory. The finished product is shipped hard and ready for installation.
During construction or remodeling, drywall is installed by nailing or screwing the sheets to the wooden framing and then filling the seams. As an alternative to a week-long plaster application, an entire house can be drywalled in one or two days by two experienced drywall contractors.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Drywall is inexpensive and when compared to plaster does not require as much labor to install. Contractors can efficiently hang drywall in a short amount of time and there are more wall finish options are available such as knockdown and orange peel textures.
On the other hand, plaster is a harder material and more echoing occurs because the acoustics are not the same. Plaster is prone to chipping.
When it comes to durability, it's really a matter of preference. Drywall can be repaired easily with joint compound. Although it's a little more difficult to patch, plaster will be able to withstand a little more abuse.
Deciding between plaster and drywall involves understanding the difference between the materials and how they are installed. Cost, expertise in installation, and time are all important factors to consider when choosing between plaster and drywall. Regardless of your choice, A1 Handyman is here to help with all your home improvement and repair needs. Call (208) 995-6457 today and schedule professional handyman services for your home. High quality, consistent work by our expert contractors means every home repair, installation, maintenance or odd job is quickly checked off your list so you can officially get it off your mind.