Plaster and lath wall systems are rarely utilized nowadays, save to repair existing walls or to restore ancient structures. After World War II, drywall, also known as plasterboard or wallboard, burst onto the scene and has stayed there ever since. It is a composite material made by pouring a wet slurry of cellulose fibers and sand into a sheet form and then drying it.
The main advantage of plaster over drywall is that you can add color to plaster while with drywall you need to paint it after it's been hung up. The second advantage is that plaster tends to be more durable than drywall.
Some people dislike plaster because of its appearance. But you can easily fix that by adding some painting or wallpaper. You can't do that with drywall.
Another reason people might not want to use plaster is because they think it's hard to work with. But if you follow some simple instructions, putting up a plaster wall shouldn't be too difficult.
Last but not least, people don't like plaster because they think it's old-fashioned. But if you take a look at how many houses were built with drywall, you'll see that it's not that old of a technology.
So, plaster is not only usable but also has advantages over drywall.
Because replacing plaster walls with drywall will require a significant amount of time, money, dust, and debris, it is preferable to replace them only when necessary. Minor difficulties with lath and plaster walls, fortunately, are repairable and even possible with DIY labor. Major problems may require the assistance of a professional.
Replacing plaster walls requires knowledge of construction, electrical, and plumbing codes as well as proper safety procedures. The process also requires access to tools appropriate for cutting through plaster and drywall, as well as knowledge of how to use these tools safely and effectively. In general, this type of work is best left to a trained and experienced contractor because there are many things that can go wrong if not done properly.
Drywall is much easier to work with because it's less dense than plaster. It's also faster and cheaper to install. The main drawback to drywall is its appearance - it's very plain compared to painted or wallpaper-covered walls. Modern versions of drywall have improved upon this problem by offering various colors and textures for you to choose from.
If you plan to paint or wallpaper your new room, then it's important to choose a quality product that's going to last for years to come. Be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions because some products require special treatments before they can be painted or wallpapered.
Plaster is considered a higher grade material than drywall and should not be changed in most cases. The only exception is if you're tearing down walls anyhow to rebuild the plumbing and electrical systems. In that situation, replacing it with drywall makes sense. Plaster takes a lot of time and labor to install, while drywall is easy to work with and can be used in almost any type of environment. Drywall also looks better and is less likely to show damage or wear-and-tear over time.
If you do decide to replace the plaster, use molding at the top of wall openings and along baseboards as well as behind doors and windows. This will give your room a finished look without spending extra money on paint or wallpaper.
New plaster walls can be painted or covered with paper products such as fiberglass insulation or wood panels. If you choose to go this route, look for products designed for use on plaster surfaces. They'll provide protection against moisture when painting or covering internal walls.
Drywall is available in an amazing array of colors and textures now, which means that it can easily be used to update your home's interior without having to spend a fortune. It's also very durable so you don't have to worry about damage to its surface over time. For these reasons, it's best choice for those looking to improve the look of their home's interior.