11 Potential Drywall Alternatives for Your Walls

11 Potential Drywall Alternatives for Your Walls

Walls
Drywall
Interior Design
By Alex Mikayelyan November 15, 2021

Drywall is one of the most commonly used interior walls out there. Many homeowners opt for drywall as it comes with a set of benefits. Drywalls are relatively easy to install which is always a good thing in a major renovation or remodeling project. It’s also fire resistant which means that it is hard to damage with heat. It is also one of the more inexpensive options for interior walls.

But alongside these benefits drywall also comes with a set of disadvantages that are off-putting for many homeowners. While drywall is easy to install, it can be quite heavy which means that transporting it and moving it around during the renovation can be quite difficult if you don’t have an extra pair of hands helping you out. There’s also the question of durability as drywall is not the strongest interior wall material out there. You will be doing regular drywall repairs every time a piece of furniture makes the tiniest hole in the surface. And, of course, there’s appearance. Many homeowners do not like the unappealing look of drywall even when freshly installed.

Luckily there are many alternatives to drywall that you can try out for your interior.

1. Plastic Panels

There Are Barely Any Downsides to Plastic Panels

There Are Barely Any Downsides to Plastic Panels

Very little maintenance, easy installation, and a reasonable price tag are among the many factors that make plastic panels such a popular choice with homeowners all across the country. While it may be hard to imagine lining your interior walls with plastic panels, the material has proven time and time again that it is a great substitute for less durable and heavier drywall.

There is a small downside to plastic panels. Since they are rarely made to order and are mostly manufactured en masse, the designs they come in may not match your preferences. It may take time to find exactly what you are looking for. When you do, it may be a little more expensive than what you’d like to pay for an interior wall. But if the design is to your liking and the price is on point, plastic panels make for great interior walls.

2. Veneer Plaster

Smooth Uniformity Is Guaranteed With Veneer Plaster

Smooth Uniformity Is Guaranteed With Veneer Plaster

Interior design likes to incorporate an element of chaos. Well, to be fair, it is a matter of keeping some semblance of balance between order and chaos. Some interiors, like the Bohi, are skewed closer to chaotic, whereas minimal contemporary interiors push for smooth uniformity. A veneer plaster wall is just one example of how you can bring the two designs together into one.

The brushstrokes and little marks on veneer plaster, also known as plaster skim, walls are just chaotic enough to not be an eyesore, whereas the muted colors they tend to be painted with are subtle and soothing. Whereas the facade of veneer plaster may be comforting and relaxing, the workload that comes with creating it is not. Veneer plaster walls are more expensive than drywall and are also somewhat difficult to get right. You can always have a commercial painter by your side to offer a helping hand, but do keep in mind that the installation and maintenance of your veneer plaster are not going to be easy.

3. Plywood

Plywood Is Among the Most Popular Options

Plywood Is Among the Most Popular Options

Practicality is key to good interior design. Sure, aesthetic is also important as you want your home to look good on top of being functional. But when it comes to inexpensive materials, plywood is a great choice. Installation is super easy, especially if you have a licensed contractor by your side to help you with all the nuances of the process. Because it is a lighter material than others, Plywood requires fewer screws which means less work.

On the other hand, plywood is not very durable and will not last as long as other materials. This does not mean that you can easily break through plywood, but upon a strong impact is more likely to damage it. So, you will need to be careful when moving around furniture. Plywood also does not last as long as other materials. But if you use the material in limited quantities, such as if you are building an accent wall, it can work perfectly as a drywall replacement.

4. Wood Planks

Wood Planks Offer Simplistic Elegance

Wood Planks Offer Simplistic Elegance

Humanity has used wood since the earliest days of building structures. With biophilia still being a major aspect of modern interior design, wood has not shown any signs of going out of style.

Wood plank walls are also quite cost-effective. You can find plenty of suppliers of wood planks, especially since wood is a sustainable resource. There are a few problems with designing interiors with wood, however. Contemporary interior designs, which feature a lot of sleek surfaces and smooth materials tend not to incorporate wood into the aesthetic as much as classic designs do. So, if you are planning to have a modern contemporary interior wood may not be an option for you. Wood is also susceptible to mold and is high maintenance, as you will need to regularly give it a fresh coat of finish to keep its shape and color. But if you don’t mind doing all that and find that wood can fit perfectly into your interior, then by all means try it out and bring a bit of natural zest into your home.

5. Wahoo Walls

Waterproof and Durable, Wahoo Walls Could Be a Great Interior Choice

Waterproof and Durable, Wahoo Walls Could Be a Great Interior Choice

Wahoo walls have become a recent trend in interior design. They are waterproof, extremely durable, and resistant to mold. While Wahoo walls may be a little difficult to install and can be expensive, they are definitely worth it for homes that are located in areas susceptible to moldy walls.

If you live in a particularly humid part of the country, Wahoo walls will save a lot of money that you otherwise would have spent on mold cleaning. These wall panels are very convenient in rooms that see a lot of moisture, such as a basement or mudroom.

6. Cork Wall

Cork Walls Are Unique in Their Own Way

Cork Walls Are Unique in Their Own Way

A great way to add some variety to your interior is with a cork accent wall. It is generally not recommended to cover the majority of the room with a cork layer. It is quite versatile as it allows for plenty of personalization and flair.

However, cork cannot hold too much weight so you should not put too much pressure on it otherwise everything will fall off. But if you hang lighter pieces of decoration from the cork wall, it will make for a delightfully unique element in your interior.

7. Lath and Plaster

Insulation Is Convenient With Lath and Plaster

Insulation Is Convenient With Lath and Plaster

Insulation is very important when it comes to interior design. Making a room that looks great is always important, but in the cold winter, you won’t be able to appreciate how good a room looks if it is too cold for you to sit in. This is why some homeowners opt for the lath and plaster wallboard, which makes insulation way more convenient.

While it may take longer to install, lath and plaster walls have enough room for some heavy-duty insulation which will keep the room sealed off from a cold winter. Just remember to regularly inspect the wall for mold as lath and plaster are quite susceptible to it.

8. Cement Board

Go Back to the Industrial Basics With Concrete Walls

Go Back to the Industrial Basics With Concrete Walls

Modern trends use bare surfaces to make more with less. Few things come close to replicating this design element in contemporary interiors than leaving an exposed concrete block wall. While more classical interior designs opt for covering up concrete’s rough, jagged surface, the contemporary design uses this industrial look to its benefit.

Exposed concrete block walls are very tough and quite resistant to moisture damage. However, due to how heavy cement board panels tend to be, they are quite difficult to install when working on your own. If you can get the job done with an extra pair of hands giving you some much-needed assistance, you will be rewarded with a concrete wall that is very durable and will require few repairs in the future. No more patching a hole in drywall every month because someone accidentally kicked a hole into the wall. A concrete block wall is far too durable for that.

9. Fiberglass Reinforced Panels

Fiberglass Is a Good Alternative to Plywood

Fiberglass Is a Good Alternative to Plywood

Though fiberglass reinforced panels can be expensive and difficult to install, they are still a great alternative to drywall. They are far more durable than other wall materials and are resistant to moisture damage as well as mold.

If you are looking for something far more durable than your previous walls, gypsum panels are one of the best materials you can work with. These panels are also scratch-proof which means less maintenance in the future. While fiberglass mat gypsum panels have not caught up in popularity to their more common counterparts, many homeowners are finding them to be a great replacement for the far less durable drywall.

10. Brick and Masonry

Brick and Masonry Interior Walls Are Very Durable, but You Might Need a Professional to Install It

Brick and Masonry Interior Walls Are Very Durable, but You Might Need a Professional to Install It

If you are looking for a more unique textured wall and are thinking about turning it into a room accent, brick walls are a great way to go. While brick and masonry are typically reserved for exterior walls, you can still use interior brick walls to great effect.

Brick and masonry are very durable — in fact, this is likely the most durable drywall alternative on this list. If you can get past the higher maintenance requirements, a difficult installation that will likely require you to hire a professional stonemason, and the specialized cleaning materials, brick walls can make for a great change of pace. They work great in a loft and industrial interiors and can accentuate a wider range of other interior aesthetics.

  1. Vinyl Siding
Vinyl Is Not Exclusive to Interior Walls

Vinyl Is Not Exclusive to Interior Walls

You will typically find vinyl siding on the outside of a building. It’s good at keeping the exterior of your home in one piece but it can also do the same for your interior. Vinyl is a great material to work with and works well with many aesthetics. From vinyl flooring to ceiling installations, this material has proven to be one of the easiest walls you can install yourself. Not unlike flooring panels, vinyl wall panels come with tongues and grooves that make installation a breeze. If you are looking for something that is not too labor-intensive, yet durable and reliable at the same time, vinyl siding is one of your best options.

AM

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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