You have the choice of plaster or drywall to finish or cover your walls. How much does it cost to use either of the two?

It costs $1 – $3 per square foot to install drywall on your walls. You will pay $4.50 – $14 per sq ft if you choose to plaster your walls. The cost covers both materials and labor. Labor costs are higher when plastering walls.

Drywall is more popular than plaster. Several factors determine the cost of plastering or installing drywall on your walls.

drywall vs plaster cost

Materials

You will pay almost the same price to purchase both plastering and drywall materials for your home. The larger the wall, the more you will pay.

You may have to pay more when working on taller walls as you may need to include the cost of scaffolding.

Labor

You will pay more for professional plastering than you will to hang the drywall. There are fewer plastering professionals than there are drywall installation pros. Therefore, you will have to pay more to hire them.

Additionally, it takes more time to plaster walls, which increases the labor charge. You have to prepare the walls before you can plaster them. Drywall installation does not need much preparation.

Further, it is difficult to DIY plastering, unlike drywall installation. You will always need to hire a professional to plaster your walls.

Ease of repair

It is easier to repair damaged drywall than it is to repair a damaged plastered wall. You need a plastering professional to fix any holes or cracks on a plastered wall. The materials to fix the wall cost more than drywall repair materials. It is also time and labor-intensive.

Pros and cons of plaster vs drywall

Pros of drywall

  • Affordable to install compared to plaster.
  • Offers better insulation.
  • You can hang things on drywall.
  • Easy to repair
  • Easy to paint and decorate
  • You can DIY
  • Variety of drywall types to choose from.

Cons of drywall

  • Easily damaged
  • Not soundproof. It requires insulation between layers to make it soundproof.
  • Exposure to moisture can lead to the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Needs framing for proper installation.

Pros of plaster

  • Durable
  • Fire resistant
  • Soundproof
  • More aesthetic appeal compared to drywall.
  • Can be installed on curved walls
  • Professional installation only.

Cons of plaster

  • Expensive to install. Plaster installation costs up to $60-80 per hour.
  • Installation is time and labor-intensive.
  • Hard to get professional installers.
  • High cost of repair.
  • Cannot hang items on plastered walls. You will have to hit a nail into the wall to hang anything on it.
  • Cracks easily since it cures harder than drywall.
  • Can inhibit the use of WIFI due to its thickness.

Should I replace my plaster walls

Many people who live in old houses that have plastered walls have thought of replacing them with drywall. However, whether to replace plaster with drywall is a personal choice. I would advise keeping the plastered walls. They offer a greater aesthetic appeal to your home than drywall would.

When do you plaster walls

If you have curved walls, the only finishing option available is plastering them. Drywall does not bend. Therefore, you cannot install it on curved walls. Additionally, if you want a premium look on your walls, plaster them. You can also install plaster on already plastered walls to repair or refresh their appearance.

Energy efficiency of plaster vs drywall

Plaster is thicker than drywall. Therefore, it may not require insulation as drywall does. The greater thickness increases its energy efficiency. You can save on your energy bills by installing thicker plaster on your walls. Additionally, it helps to regulate temperatures for comfort in your home.

How to choose between plaster and drywall

Whether to choose plaster or drywall depends on the circumstances and your desire for how your space should look.

  • Budget. First, you will need to consider your budget. If you want a premium appearance on your walls and your budget allows it, install plaster. If you are on a tight budget, install drywall.
  • Insulation and soundproofing. For less noise and better-regulated indoor temperatures install plaster. It is thicker than drywall which enhances its soundproofing and temperature regulation capabilities.
  • Remodeling/decor preferences. If you want walls you can change and decorate easily, install drywall. You can hang framed photos and paintings on drywall easily. It is also easy to paint.

DIY or hire a pro

If you choose to plaster your walls, DIY is not an option. Wall plastering is best handled by professionals. It requires that your wall is well prepped for easy plaster application. Wall preparation is time-consuming and requires specialized knowledge and skills. Consequently, you have to pay a premium to plaster your walls.

Drywall is easy to DIY. With a little training and a helper, you can install drywall in a standard room in a few hours. Have all your materials ready before you start the project. It ensures that you can start and finish the installation without breaks due to a lack of sufficient materials.

Hiring a pro to install drywall is not as expensive as plastering. A drywall pro saves you time and produces a more attractive finish than a DIY. If you do not have the required skills for drywall installation, hire a pro.

Hire a pro to install drywall or plaster your walls

Homegardenguides.com is a free-to-use tool that connects homeowners to professional plaster and drywall installation service providers.

To use this tool:

  1. Enter your zip code at the top of the tool.
  2. Fill in the form to provide more details on the service you require.
  3. You will receive three quotes from professional plaster and drywall installers.
  4. Contact the provider who falls within your budget and hire them to finish your walls with your preferred material.
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Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.