It’s everyone’s dream to own a home or a house someday. A cloud of thoughts and imagination covers one’s mind with a vivid description of how the house will look. Starting from the windows, the countertops, the square footage, ceiling and floor it always seems as if one has everything figured out. However, almost 90% always forget to figure out the most important part of every house, that is the interior walls.
There are two main forms of materials used for interior walls, drywall and plaster
Of the two, plaster the ancient. Plaster was not only used in Roman homes but also in the Egyptian tombs, for example, Queen Nefertari’s tomb. During that era, plaster was made of animal hair, lime, water, and sand.
As time went by, gypsum-based plaster was used instead of lime-based plaster. Gypsum-based plaster became widely used because of its ability to dry up faster hence speeding up the building process.
As time went by many people embraced the drywall technique because it was readily available and very durable as compared to the plaster technique. By around 1950 drywall had become the most used material for interior walls. Drywall as a form for interior walls consists of calcium sulphate as known as the gypsum plaster and additives such as paper, mica, and cellulose.
Let’s dig deeper and see what makes the two forms so different when we talk about interior walls.
Plaster as a Form Used on an Interior Wall
Gypsum plaster is the most used form of plaster on interior walls. To plaster an interior wall there is a three coat process. The first step is securing the lathe to the frame. Over the years wood strips are what was used to make lath. But presently, other materials like plasterboards and metals have replaced the wood strips. The lath is crucial for it offers stability to the gooey plaster.
Once the lath is placed, the mixing of the compound plaster begins. Normally the compound plaster is delivered dry. This means that it should be mixed with water. Mixing the plaster compound with water sounds like ABC but it’s not a walk in the park. To get the right consistency the procedure requires some skills and experience too.
After the mixture is ready and of the right consistency, the plaster can now be applied to the wall, scraped and left to dry. This is what is revered as the first coat. Once it’s dried, it is followed by the second layer also known as the brown coat and finally finished off by applying the third and final layer.
Advantages of Plaster on Interior walls
Thanks to the lathe and the numerous coatings, the final result is usually thick. This leads to the creation of a considerable air and sound barrier.
If expertly done, plaster can give a better rigid wall, reducing breakage or buckling. Plaster is the best option for those who want curves or irregular shapes on the surface. Thanks to its high water contents, this option proves to be of better fire resistance quality.
- Labour intensive
- Can crack if not properly installed
Drywall for Interior Walls
Here, the calcined gypsum is mixed with water, to create core material; sometimes additives are added to the mixture. The material is then compressed between two sheets and later dried. The side of the sheet appears strong and soft in the face. The other side appears rough or uneven in the back.
Advantages of Drywall
The installation part is easy and faster as compared to plaster. Drywall doesn’t require a lot of labour input, hence it’s less expensive. It can act as a good noise barrier and fire resistance. However, drywall is not that invincible for they are presumed to be water damaged if exposed to moisture for long.
As much as the interior wall is the most forgotten part in most constructions, it still plays a crucial part. It offers privacy and acts as both a sound, fire and air barrier.