Wall Worries: Concrete, Drywall, Plaster, or Plywood?


A house is no house without partitions, and the type of materials you should use depends on what kind of walls you want. Strength, soundproofing, repair options, future remodelling — there are many factors to consider when choosing your indoor partitions.


Concrete isn’t usually used for indoor partitions. Walls made from concrete blocks are more or less permanent, so make sure you won’t be changing your house’s configuration or remodelling. Concrete walls are usually built by construction teams or by skilled workers. The build process is meticulous and expensive — not something you can do on a whim. Concrete is durable, fireproof, and provides a bit of soundproofing. If you’re worried about security, a concrete wall and a sturdy door will stop almost anyone from getting inside your room. Concrete can retain heat, especially in hot weather, so make sure you have adequate insulation and air conditioning. Electrical outlets and piping require planning from the very start of construction, and repairing them will require the services of experts.


Drywall is easy to install, requiring very little skill or expertise. You can easily find dry-lining tools for sale in your local hardware or on online stores — a testament that almost anyone can install drywall. Just measure the partition, build the supports, cut spaces for outlets and piping, and place the sheetrock. The process is relatively easy, though it may require more than one person to do the job. Drywall partitions are less expensive than concrete, plaster, or plywood. They are easily replaced, repaired, or even taken down. Sheetrock is fire resistant and provides a bit of insulation. If you want additional insulation, add insulating material before you install the sheetrock. Drywall is smooth and easily painted to match your house’s design.

Plaster wall

Decorative plaster coating being appliedPlaster walls require meticulous labour and a certain level of expertise. The process requires layering plaster into narrow strips of wood attached to wall studs or ceiling joints. Similar to finishing cement, plaster is coated onto the wood until the surface is filled and smooth. Plastering usually requires three coats of different types of plaster. Plastering is more expensive and labour extensive than dry lining. It produces a more textured look, especially when compared to the smooth, seamless surfaces of drywall. Plastering provides excellent soundproofing and a bit of heat resistance.


Plywood is the easiest to install and requires the least amount of labour. It’s a bit more expensive than sheetrock and provides very little fire protection. It has a bit more flexibility and tensile strength than drywall and won’t easily get punctured or damaged. Both drywall and plywood have smooth surfaces. However, plywood has natural wood grain patterns that home-owners usually prefer to be left unpainted. Plywood provides very little soundproofing and can be vulnerable to moisture damage, mould, and termites.

The best partitions for your house depends on their use, your preferences, and your budget. Decide on what kind of walls you want for your home and choose the right type of material to use.

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