Whether you’re planning to build your house from the ground up or you’re doing a remodel, you have a lot of options for finishing the interior walls.
Drywall is one of the most commonly used finishes, but it’s by no means the only one.
Before diving into these different options, let’s consider the pros and cons of drywall.
Plaster has long been used by builders, however drywall is one of the most common options you’ll find in the interior walls of modern homes.
This is because it is easy to install, and because you’re covering a large surface area with each sheet of drywall it’s quicker too, keeping the cost of labor (if you’re not doing it yourself) down.
Drywall can also be repaired fairly easy too; if the wall is damaged through normal wear and tear resulting in cracks, chips or scrapes it can be repaired with a minimum of expense and time.
Also, because gypsum is used in the production of drywall, it is fairly fire resistant and can be treated with mold and moisture resistant properties, which is healthier for you and your family.
And because drywall can be resistant to mold and moisture, it will retain its strength longer.
Finally, drywall is recyclable, making it an eco-friendly choice.
While easy to install, drywall is rigid and heavy, and when not handled correctly it can be damaged while installing.
Although drywall is fairly durable, it is prone to cracks and holes, resulting in more maintenance than other types of wall finishes.
After drywall is secured, it needs to be taped, floated and sanded to get a smooth finish, otherwise the seams between sheets of drywall will become visible.
These options can be more expensive than drywall, but they can lend a different feel and/or character to a room than drywall.:
1. Plastic Panels
Plastic panels have a lot of designs to choose from and can be easily installed.
They’re great to use in cases where you need to repair damaged drywall; just click the panels together and you’ll have a finished wall in an hour or less.
They’re also resistant to mold, and their low maintenance makes them a cost-effective choice for homeowners.
Like most things in life, you’ll pay more for better quality. In the case of plastic panels you’ll also pay more for more options as the cheaper panels are available in fewer designs than more expensive panels.
2. Wood Planks
Wood planks are a good choice for a more rustic look. They’re easy to hang and offer plenty of wall space for you to hang your wall decor anywhere you’d like (less worry about finding a stud).
They’re also available in a variety of wood types and can be painted or stained, depending on the look you want.
One thing to note, wood planks are susceptible to mold and they require more maintenance than other types of wall finishes, so factor this in when deciding what finish works for your home.
Plywood is an inexpensive wall option that is also easy to install. It’s so easy to install that many homeowners choose to do this themselves and save the difference to pay for professional help in other areas such as plumbing or electrical.
However, just like wood planks, plywood is susceptible to both mold and moisture, which can reduce its lifespan, so ventilation is key to preserving the life of this wall finish.
4. Corrugated steel panels
Yes, the same steel panels that people have seen on roofs are being seen in a wide variety of homes. From industrial to cottage home designs, people are using this material inside their homes.
It’s sturdy, fast, and easy to install and not subject to mold or rot, and some styles come in a variety of long wearing color choices.
Finally, there’s pegboard.
Although pegboard isn’t technically an alternative to drywall, it is a trend that is growing among homeowners. This finish is perfect for mudrooms, closets, garages and/or storage rooms and is a very easy DIY project.
Not only is pegboard easy to install with just a few screws, it offers a storage solution as well.
It’s obviously not a solution for every room and the design options are few, but if you’re remodeling or building a room where vertical storage is desirable, pegboard could be what you’re looking for.