10 Types of Drywall Alternatives for Your Walls

When most people think of the walls in their home, and in most homes, they quickly picture walls that are constructed of drywall material. It’s not only cheap and easy to install, but it is the most common type of material used for walls in homes. Despite the ease of installation and the low-cost of the material, a lot of people are not keen on having drywall in their home due to many typical issues that go along with the wall material. To start, drywall is very messy and dusty to work with. It doesn’t take much before you have a thick cover of drywall all throughout the room you’re installing the drywall in. Drywall is also notorious for showing its many flaws. It’s difficult to get drywall looking perfectly smooth and flawless. And just when you think you’ve achieved a fairly close perfection, one little accident near a wall can dent, ding, scratch, gouge, or even create a hole in the material. Drywall is not very dense, which accounts for the hollow sounds you can hear when you thump a drywalled wall. For those who are mold-conscientious, drywall is known to be highly susceptible to mold. It’s actually the perfect breeding ground, which means you should always be aware of any water damage or leaks that could create a mold issue behind drywall.

If you aren’t a big fan of drywall and are building a new home, or maybe doing some remodeling on your existing home, you may want to look into some alternatives to drywall. They may be a bit more costly than drywall, but the outcome of many of these materials is a very noticeable difference, and one that can really add beauty and value to your home. Here are ten types of drywall alternatives for your walls. Take a look and get inspired for your own home.

1. Lath and Plaster

Lath and plaster used to be a more time consuming wall surface to install, however, over time, the system has evolved and is now a quicker and easier form of wall to install, and makes a nice alternative to drywall. The system requires running wooden slats horizontally across the area, called lath, and it creates a backbone for the wall structure. The contractor then uses gypsum plaster, which is worked all over the lath, pushing it through all the cracks and crevices. The plaster is a bonding agent, called a key. Then another layer is applied all over to create the actual wall surface. It typically will require fine-tuning, meaning more plaster may need to applied here and there in order to get the exact look that’s wanted. This is a tedious task and it is not really a DIY project, but one that should be left for a skilled contractor familiar with this type of system.

2. Cement Board

Cement boards are stronger and more sturdy than drywall. They are also a bit pricier, but the perks of this material can be very appealing, especially for those who live in high moisture areas because these are water, moisture and mold resistant. The panels can come in different sizes, colors and designs, giving you all kinds of design options. Panel one wall in a room, an entire stairwell, or a whole room, it’s all up to your style and taste, and no matter what that is, this is a great alternative to drywall.

3. Plastic Panels

Plastic panels that are reinforced with fiberglass can be installed over many different types of surfaces. If you are at a point of building where only studs are installed, there’s no need to install anything first, just set the panels directly over them. These are great for high moisture climates in that they are highly resistant to water and moisture, which also means they are mold resistant, too. If kids or pets are in your home, then you know the stains that can appear on your drywall, and difficult to clean. Plastic panels are stain resistant, easy to clean and and easy to maintain. With all the benefits of these walls, most people would find these a great addition to laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.

4. Concrete Walls

Concrete is one of the design ideas often seen in industrial style homes. You may think of a concrete wall as a cold,  masculine look, and it can be, of course, but that depends on your design choice of the concrete used for the walls. It can also be a very warming and inviting look for any room in the house, especially due to the difference in colors, designs and sizes of concrete blocks that are used. Concrete walls paired with concrete floors, pieces of industrial-style furniture, among other design elements and you can create a beautiful look for any room in your home.

5. Wood Planks

One of the most popular looks for a rustic-style home is the use of wood used in the home. Wood is a favorite element to use in many different ways in homes, from floor-to-ceilings, however, wood planks running along a wall can really warm up a room. Typically wood planks installed along a wall, are fastened using a tongue-and-groove installation process. Once again, you get to use your style preferences to create the perfect look for your wall. Choose from many different types of wood and wood finishes. And the wood planks can be installed directly to wood or metal framing, which gives many homeowners this drywall alternative.

6. Brick

There is something about brick that most everyone loves. Brick homes, brick fireplaces, brick walkways and drives, and yes, brick walls. This is another alternative to drywall that can have a great impact on your home’s look and value. When most people think of a brick wall, they may envision a brick wall in the kitchen, or around a brick fireplace. But you can use this alternative to drywall anywhere in your home. Bricks are another element that gives you so  many options to choose from, from shapes, colors, sizes, and more. You can design the perfect brick wall to make a room pop, something that plain drywall isn’t capable of doing.

7. Veneer Plaster

If you choose veneer plaster for your walls, you can use drywall as the wall’s base in order to give in a strong hold. It’s pretty easy to install, since you just apply the veneer plaster over it. The application dries at a quick rate, then you can move on to painting it to your style. If you go this route, you get ta stronger, more durable wall than drywall, and unlike drywall, if it gets nicked or dinged, they are much easier to repair.

8. Pegboard

Pegboard isn’t just found in the shed with tools dangling from it anymore. Pegboard is also being used as an alternative to drywall, and it’s a great option if you want a totally unique look for any room in your home. Talk about a conversation piece for your home, not to mention how easy it would be decorate the wall using the peg holes. Hand shelves, pictures, and much more, to create a totally unique look for your room.

9. Sheet Wood

Sheet wood can be found in a variety of materials, like a medium-density fiberboard, oriented strand board, and plywood. It’s not only some of the cheapest products that can be used as an alternative to drywall, but it’s easy to install. Simply screw them in place and paint them your choice of color, or leave them as they are in their unfinished state.

10. Cork Wall

Corkboard has always been a popular product for many reasons. Most people associate corkboard organizing. This type of organizing is typically found in an office setting or maybe a school, where messages can pinned to them and kept track of. Well, now you can get rid of boring drywall and use corkboard instead. There are great choices of styles, hues, thicknesses and more. Corkboard can be used in any room to create a beautiful textured wall that looks stylish, as well as it helps to warm up a room and make a wall really stand out.


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