For many years, the market has offered stronger and longer-lasting options than drywall, presenting a variety of budget-friendly choices that can significantly enhance your home’s value.

Wood plank, plywood, and plastic panel walls are rated among the best drywall alternatives by contractors due to their low prices, easy installation, and wide range of available options. Other excellent substitutes for drywall include veneer plaster, brick, and textured wall panels.

Drywall is flimsy, dull, and, let’s face it, looks cheap on any wall. But homeowners seem stuck with it. Several drywall options can give your home the look and feel of a luxury apartment at no high extra costs. We have compiled a list of 12 alternatives. Read on for more information about their prices, features, pros, and cons.

Wood Planks

Cost: $2.50 – $7 per square foot

wood planks drywall alternative

Wood planks are an excellent option over drywall. Normally used for exterior siding, shiplap wood siding is a great alternative and can be installed newly or over an existing wall but will cost more than drywall. They are an ideal substitute for homeowners who crave a classic rustic style look. Plus, wood planks can be worked on by an experienced decorator to contrast with your current home decor beautifully.


  1. Wood planks are available in many different wood types and finishes.
  2. They can have a longer lifespan.
  3. The natural beauty of wood can be applied to a near-universal range of home designs ranging from modern to industrial and traditional-style homes.
  4. Wood planks are relatively easy to install. They are not gimmicky, and most
  5. homeowners can quickly figure out the process.


  1. Outdated looks lack universal appeal.
  2. It can be expensive to purchase.
  3. Wooden planks do not easily blend into an existing traditional interior home decor.
  4. Wooden planks are not fire-resistant.


Cost: $4.26 – $6.44 per square foot

plywood wall covering alternative

Plywood is an excellent option if you are operating your home renovation or construction project on a tight budget. Apart from being inexpensive, you can paint plywood in various textures to suit your decor aesthetics. An emerging trend among homeowners is installing plywood walls for decorative reasons. So, go ahead, fasten those plywood sheets into place, and paint them in your favorite colors.


  1. Plywood is one of the most easily installed dry wood alternatives in the market.
  2. It is inexpensive, and plywood is that low-budget wall option that won’t break the bank.
  3. You can paint plywood, and it adheres to paint without difficulty.
  4. Plywood is available in industrial and decorative grades, and it can be finished to
  5. compliment your interior decor.


  1. Plywood is heavier than drywall, and you’ll need additional labor to install it correctly.
  2. Plywood isn’t fire-resistant.
  3. Plywood is susceptible to water damage.
  4. Some plywood types have a unique appearance that doesn’t blend with conventional wall painting or decor.

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Plastic Panels

Cost: $1.24 – $2.48 per square feet

plastic panels drywall coverings

Using plastic panels as a drywall substitute may seem out of place, but they are excellent options to consider. Plastic panels produce a clean, almost sterile look, which is nice if you have small children.