Drywall vs. Plaster: Basic Differences
By: Global Associates
Plasterers apply the plaster with a hawk and trowel, whereas Drywall Finishers use a pan and knife. These tools are utilized in a variety of ways, each with its own set of procedures. Without substantial training and practice, Drywall Finishers cannot simply move to use a hawk and trowel, and a pan and knife is a poor choice for spreading plaster. Similarly, a Plasterer cannot quickly move to drywall finishing using a pan and knife. The skillsets and tools are not transferable.
Drywall is less time-consuming and less difficult to install than plaster. Plaster artisans are becoming increasingly scarce, making it difficult to find someone with actual plaster experience. Some Drywall Finishers claim to have plaster experience, but unless they are journeyman Plasterers, they are unlikely to be able to accomplish anything more than minor plaster fixes. Drywall is less expensive than plaster because of these factors. You must consider the cost of the drywall panels themselves, not simply the labor when estimating the cost of drywall. Even with this factored in, drywall proves to be a less expensive choice to plaster.
Plaster is more durable than drywall in general. Its surface is tougher and more resistant to dents and scratches. There are several drywall varieties that promise to be particularly durable. Some abuse-resistant drywall is comparable to plaster in terms of hardness and durability. Plaster also has a higher resistance to water damage. It will break and disintegrate if soaked in a lot of water. When it comes to moisture from high humidity environments like locker rooms, bathrooms, external stairwells, and so on, plaster outperforms even moisture-resistant drywall.
Plaster and drywall have certain commonalities on a high level. Plaster and drywall, on the other hand, are radically different from a tradesman's perspective. A professional Plasterer will not be able to finish drywall with a pan and knife. In the same way, a skilled Drywall Finisher cannot execute plasterwork with a hawk and trowel. It is not possible to swap skillsets and toolsets.
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