When planning a construction project, the two most commonly used wall finishes are drywall and plaster. This often leads to the question of whether someone should choose drywall or plaster for their project, but what distinguishes the two? These are drastically different building materials each with their own pros and cons. That is why we have compiled this list highlighting the differences between plaster and drywall.

What is plaster?

Plaster is composed of a combination of cement, sand, and water, and it can contain minerals like gypsum and granite silicone. The mixture is applied to plasterboard or lath in layers during installation. Plaster has been used in homes and other buildings for centuries, and is a highly durable wall finish.

Pros of Using Plaster

There are many pros and cons to using plaster in a construction project. Let’s start with the pros first.


Plaster is a high density material that makes it more soundproof than drywall when no additional soundproofing is added to the wall finish.


Since plaster is a thicker material than drywall, it is a much more durable material. In fact, one of the easy ways to tell if a wall is made of drywall or plaster is if you can easily stick a push pin in the wall; it is most likely drywall.

Energy Efficiency

Due to being thicker than drywall, plaster provides better insulation, making it more energy efficient which helps regulate the temperature inside a building.

Fire & Mold Resistant

Paster is both fire and mold resistant.


If you have curved walls, plaster is a great choice. It is significantly easier to install plaster over curved walls than drywall.

Cons of Using Plaster

Now, let’s take a look at the cons of using plaster.

More Complicated Installation Process

Plaster can be fairly complicated to install, which can make the application process longer. 


Plaster is expensive to both apply and maintain.

Difficult to Repair

Plaster is difficult to cut into, making it much harder to repair than drywall.

Prone to Cracking

Plaster is brittle, so it tends to crack much faster than drywall once it settles.

What is drywall?

Drywall is made by pressing together gypsum plaster between two layers of paper. It is also known as gypsum board, sheetrock, or wallboard. Drywall became a more popular wall finish in the 20th century because it is a more affordable alternative to plaster, and it has grown in popularity over the years. It is secured with drywall fasteners, screws, or nails. Drywall can easily be cut to make space for things like outlets and windows. It usually covers the insulation in new construction projects.

Pros of Using Drywall

There are many pros and cons to using drywall for your wall finish. Let’s start with the positives.


There are gaps between the drywall panels that make it easy to add fiberglass insulation to the walls.


While not all drywall offers soundproofing, some types are specifically designed to provide additional soundproofing.


Drywall is much less expensive to install than plaster.

Easy to Hang Things

If you need to hang anything on your walls, whether it is shelves or pictures, it is significantly easier to do so drywall than plaster.

Faster Installation

Drywall is much easier to install than plaster, making the installation process faster .

Easier to Repair

Drywall is much easier to repair than plaster.

Easy to Add Texture

The drywall is smooth when it is finished, but textures can easily be added to it.

Cons of Using Drywall

Now, let’s take a look at the cons of using drywall.

Transportation and Storage Can Be Tricky

Since drywall is slightly less durable than plaster, it can be tricky to transport and store drywall without sustaining damage. Drywall also has to be stored in a dry place, as it can become damaged by water.

Less Fire and Mold Resistant

Not every type of drywall is highly resistant to mold and fire, but there are some types that are resistant. Types C and X Drywall are fire resistant, while Green Board, Purple Board, and Paperless Drywall are resistant to mold and moisture.

Drywall Panels Are Heavy

Drywall panels are heavy, so they may require equipment to lift and position them.

Drywall or Plaster: Which is Better?

Both drywall and plaster are excellent building materials in different conditions. It is important to think about the conditions of the building and the room you are installing it in to determine which is better for you.

Can You Replace Plaster with Drywall?

While plaster and drywall are designed for the same purpose, they might not always be interchangeable; it depends on the conditions of the building in which you are installing them. It is best to consult the experts at Magnum Drywall to see if you can substitute one for the other.

Let’s Get Started!

If you want more information about plaster and drywall and which one would be better for your building project, the Magnum Drywall team is here to help. Contact Magnum Drywall today to get started!