Top 10 Alternatives to Drywall

When you think about renovating your interior walls and refurnishing your indoors or even building a new model from scratch, drywall is the go-to idea that would probably come to your mind. But, hold on because drywall is not the only solution for you. It is just one of many traditional wall coverings for your interior walls.

Drywall is mainly used when you make up your mind to tear down your existing walls and build new walls to add a sense of newness to your indoors and feel the vibe of a refurbished home. Drywall is the typical solution for finding construction materials that will not make renovation look like a task you want to run away from.

First, let us look into the composition of the traditional drywall and the pros and cons of replacing an existing wall with new ones. Drywall is the most common kind of construction material in building and designing interiors.

What is Drywall?

The traditional drywall is a wall panel composed of plywood, gypsum, wood pulp, and other construction materials. Drywall is primarily referred to as a gypsum board or plasterboard. The texture of typical drywall looks similar to that of sand. Additives like starch, water, and paper pulp are utilized to manufacture gypsum. A couple of layers are taken, and the paste is inserted into the gap. It is then heated and sliced into separate sheets.

What are the advantages of using Drywalls?

Drywall is one of the most readily available construction materials in the market. The utility of the material is beyond bounds. The easy accessibility of such materials makes them the most commonly used solution for building homes.

The price factor is a significant advantage of drywall that cannot be ruled out. However, it is a very affordable, reasonable, and inexpensive alternative for comparative utility.

Naturally, drywalls possess almost all the qualities of gypsum since it is primarily gypsum pressed between two paper boards. In addition, gypsum is not combustible, which means it is a fire-resistant material. Hence, drywall offers the advantage of being a fire-resistant construction material.

One cannot question the durability of a wall covering like drywall. It is a strong material that makes it easy to work with while building large wall panels. Moreover, it has the potential to let the client have an elegant and rustic feel about the four walls of their interiors.

Another exclusive factor is that drywall is moisture resistant. Furthermore, it provides scope for a thermal mass which you can take advantage of maintaining a steady temperature for your indoors. Such great utility that can offer a minimalist design is something interior designers can’t neglect.

The easy process of installing drywall makes the wall covering quite appealing to interior designers, workers, and others who will take the initiative of building your new interior wall.

You can think of drywall as a solution that goes well in noise reduction. This is because it produces a hollow sound if you knock it with your hands.

So, these are probably all such advantages of using conventional drywall for building your entire wall. Now, let’s walk through the cons of the construction material that will make you think twice before using drywall for your next remodeling project or an entirely new build.

What makes you think about using Drywall alternatives?

The application of Drywalls for your interior wall panels is not a quick process. It is pretty time-consuming. It is not even a one-time experience. This makes it more of a hassle compared to many other modern and simplified construction materials for the entire surface of your wall panels.

One significant point that becomes the reason for disgust towards using Drywalls is the gigantic amount of dust the process generates. Dust and dirt are nothing new when you are in for renovating your interiors. You will naturally prefer to choose materials that will create the least dirt indoors. Thus, drywall is not your perfect wall-building material in this respect. However, it opens the door for some other alternatives to drywall.

Drywall is prone to destruction and damage. Moreover, maintaining it is a task. It demands a relatively high level of maintenance which becomes a hassle. Thus, you should try some other alternative to drywall. The cherry on top, the damage done by drywalls is very visible. It can destroy a subtle and sober interior feel and turn it into something you obviously would not like.

Drywall is not what you should try, especially if you have kids. Even a slight level of damage done by kids is sure to ruin the entire look of your house. Trying some other alternative to drywall becomes important because of this factor.

Drywall is prone to bloat when it comes in contact with moisture. It can even warp gradually over long periods. Moreover, drywall is mold resistant.

Installing drywall might be easy, but it results in a lot of chaos and mess, especially keeping in mind the dust you would have to tolerate. Taping, sanding, and mudding are just three of the tons of tasks responsible for a messy drywall installation.

Having a look at some of the best Drywall alternatives

Let’s walk you through some of the best drywall alternatives in talks these days. You can then decide for yourself which one might make the perfect fit for you!

#1- Wood planks

Wood planks are commonly used alternatives to Drywall that have been in use for years. They ace the traditional wall coverings by demanding almost no maintenance after installation. Moreover, the look they add to your wall panels is very classic. Wood panels give a subtle interior look without adding much burden to your pocket.


  • Easy installation
  • Quite affordable
  • Excellent varieties of wood planks


  • Wood planks might seem outdated and traditional at times. So, they may fail to provide a contemporary look.
  • Wooden slats might not suit every interior style because of the distinctive look they have to offer.

#2- Plastic panels

Plastic panels are types of tongue and groove panels. A plastic panel is another excellent drywall alternative that is mold-resistant and moisture-resistant. These are especially the perfect solutions if you have kids at home and you fear that your wall panels will be ruined.


  • Easy installation of plastic panels
  • It can be installed on every flat surface easily
  • It does not consume a lot of time
  • Can be placed over wall studs directly
  • Compatible with climates that have a lot of moisture
  • Demand very little maintenance


  • It is not as affordable and cost-effective as other alternatives

#3- Veneer plaster

If you are ready to give a lot of time to renovate your wall panels using veneer plaster, it might be a good fit for you. The major problem with veneer plaster is the mess it creates during renovation. Building or repairing walls with veneer plaster can consume an entire day or even more. Thus, it takes a lot of time before you can see a finished wall.


  • Veneer plaster is easy to use and handle
  • Veneer plaster doesn’t demand much use of tools and equipment


  • Veneer plaster involves a highly laborious and time-consuming process

#4- Textured wall panels

Textured wall panels are a must-try if you want an uber fancy and modern look for your home that attracts the eyes. Unlike the old and typical styles, textured wall panels come in 3D. You are sure to find textured panels in luxury hotels, boutiques, and restaurants because of the contemporary style they have the potential to offer.


  • Easy to install
  • A textured panel can give depth to flat surfaces
  • Add a touch of modernity to your interior and exterior walls


  • Quite expensive and not as pocket-friendly as other alternatives to drywall

#5- Cement board

A cement board is a weighty construction material that is available in the form of horizontal board panels and sheets. It is a composition of cement and fiber content. It is a moisture-resistant material. A cement board is relatively quite simple for installation and maintenance. The installation process does not create as much mess as some other alternatives. However, it is laborious work as it has a lot of weight. It can also be used in the case of tiles.


  • Perfect fit for use in high-moisture areas
  • Easy to install


  • Not very pocket-friendly and affordable

#6- Corrugated metal

Corrugated metal is available in the form of sheets. It is a commonly used drywall alternative, especially for roofs. The installation is simple and goes well with a smaller accent wall. However, one will require metal shears to cut it in the shape and size needed. It can be cut with a sharp table saw or circular saw. Corrugated metal is often seen in industrial use as well. You can see it in ceiling panels too.


  • Affordable and inexpensive alternative
  • Easy to install


  • Cutting the material is difficult

#7- Exposed concrete block

An exposed concrete block is a great way to leave the structural surface and bring out the raw touch to a wall. It suits almost every interior style and offers impressive diversity. You can also experiment with different textured wall panels by painting over the cinder blocks. Areas with high ceilings can go well with exposed concrete.


  • A lot of varieties
  • It gives a modern unfinished look
  • Durable
  • Fire resistant


  • The material may turn out to be porous upon drying it
  • The use of a sealer is necessary

#8- Vinyl siding

Although vinyl siding is not perfect for using it in main living areas, it’s an excellent option for high-moisture spaces. It is commonly used for garage walls. It is highly durable and long-lasting and offers an enormous diversity of colors. One drawback is that it is combustible and filled with different chemicals.


  • Easy to clean surfaces
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable and pocket-friendly
  • It offers a variety of colors
  • Perfect for high-moisture climates
  • It especially suits areas that are exposed outside


  • Combustible material
  • Chemical-laden material
  • Not a good option for the living area

#9- Brick wall

Bricks are not just limited to structural elements while building a wall but more than that. They can now be used as an interior style that adds value to your room. Brick and masonry walls are the trend of the day. Bricks will be in trend for years down the line because of the subtle yet classic look that becomes the center of attention. Bricks can look amazing if they are painted or just left exposed.


  • Durable and sustainable
  • Fire resistant
  • It helps maintain a steady temperature indoors
  • Helps in noise reduction
  • Demands less maintenance


  • Not very budget-friendly
  • It needs the use of a sealer

#10- Lath and plaster

Lath and plaster may not be the perfect option for many, but what makes it difficult to be ignored is their historical value. One cannot forego the value of a material that has been in the industry for years. Apart from this, there is no significant advantage of using lath and plaster.


  • One of the oldest materials that have been in use for a long time


  • A messy and complicated process
  • Time-consuming process
  • Labor-intensive
  • Demands excessive maintenance
  • The fragile material may develop cracks frequently

Wrap up:

Drywall has now paved the way for tons of emerging construction materials better than the former. While a pegboard wall, fiberglass reinforced panels, basement wall finishing systems, and wahoo walls offer utility, plywood, solid wood, and sheet wood add character.

A basement wall finishing system is designed to be compatible, especially with basements. Fiberglass mat gypsum panels offer a very similar look compared to drywall. One cannot overlook the class that natural stone walls, concrete blocks, exposed brick walls, and engineered wood planks provide.

Rammed earth panels and a polished concrete floor are other materials that can contribute to the visual interest. So, it’s imperative to find the one meant for you before making the final decision.