In most homes built today, the interior walls are made of drywall, an easy to install, repair and finish material that has become ubiquitous in home construction. However, for thousands of years before that, people have been finishing their walls with plaster. Traditionally, plaster would be applied on lath, but today some walls are made of plaster applied to a special kind of wall board called blue board. This board bonds with the plaster and creates a really good wall surface. If you’re considering building a new custom home, it is most likely you will wind up with drywall for your interior walls, but you might want to consider plaster walls if you like a more traditional experience.
Plaster is a very durable material for the walls, and there are hundreds-of-years-old homes whose plaster walls are still as good as new. On the other hand, drywall has not been in use for that long, but it is still relatively durable, though not as durable as plaster. Drywall can suffer from nails or screws “popping” out and creating bulges. It is also more susceptible to water damage, though specialized drywall boards treated for better water resistance are available. However, drywall is less expensive and faster to install than plaster, and because they are so common, you don’t need to search to find someone experienced in its installation.
If you want to put nails in the wall, drywall is much more accommodating, as plaster can chip or break if you try to nail or screw into it. However, this is because plaster is much harder and for this reason much more resistant to damage. Plaster is also more fire resistant than drywall, and it creates a better sound barrier. Plaster will make rooms have more echo, but because it is so dense and solid, it stops a lot of sound from bleeding through to other rooms. Drywall, on the other hand, isn’t always the best sound barrier.
For the most part, most people will stick with drywall because it is easy to install and less expensive, but plaster has been a successful wall material for thousands of years. Be sure to discuss your options with your home builder. Harden Custom Homes has many years of experience building all kinds of custom homes, so be sure to contact us if you have any questions or if you’re looking for a custom home builder. Stop by our model home at 2818 Tropicana Pkwy W., Cape Coral, FL, or call us at (239) 603-6083.