Should I replace lath and plaster with drywall?

Asked By: Alecu Kuli | Last Updated: 17th June, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests woodworking
4.8/5 (75 Views . 41 Votes)
Because replacing a lath and plaster wall with drywall will involve a lot of time, money, dust, and debris, the most practical option is to replace it only when necessary. Fortunately, minor issues with lath and plaster walls are repairable, and even doable by DIY work.

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Hereof, is lath and plaster better than drywall?

Lath and Plaster vs. Lath and plaster walls are usually thicker than most drywall sheets. Fire-rated, or Type-X, drywall is 5/8-inch thick. Plaster is often thicker than this. When lath is figured into the thickness, then lath and plaster walls are considered to be thicker than drywall.

Additionally, how much does it cost to replace plaster with drywall? Cost to Remove Lath & Plaster

Remove Lath & Plaster Cost Zip Code
Low High
Remove Lath & Plaster – Waste & Haul-away Costs $50.00 - $50.00 $75.00 - $85.00
Remove Lath & Plaster – Total $375.00 - $410.00 $625.00 - $735.00
Remove Lath & Plaster – Total Average Cost per square ft. $3.92 $6.80

Also to know, is it worth replacing plaster with drywall?

Plaster has many advantages over modern drywall. It provides better insulation, fireproofing and soundproofing than drywall. Also, unlike drywall, it will not harbor mold because mold cannot grow in it. Because it is hand applied by skilled artisans, it is a higher quality, more expensive material.

When did they stop using lath and plaster walls?

Lath and plaster largely fell out of favour in the U.K. after the introduction of plasterboard in the 1930s. In Canada and the United States it remained in use until drywall began to replace the process in the 1950s.

33 Related Question Answers Found

Is there asbestos in lath and plaster walls?

Plaster only has to be comprised of 1% asbestos to be considered an asbestos containing material (ACM) and therefore a health hazard. Older brands of cement may have asbestos fibers in the plaster mix. Most houses don't have asbestos plaster in them.

Should I remove lath?

Short answer, if you intend to stay there a long time, it is worth it to remove all the plaster and lathe, down to the framing, in the entire houe. You do not know what (shoddy) framing and modifications are there, and it will make the insulation, wiring, and plumbing sooo much easier.

Should you remove lath and plaster?

Removing plaster from walls is not a difficult job but is time consuming and messy. Behind the plaster walls are narrow strips of wood called lath. If you intend on snaking electrical wiring, pipes or insulation between the wall cavities, however, remove the lath for easier access to the cavities.

Are lath and plaster walls load bearing?

Load-bearing walls are usually made of bricks or blocks. A stud or partition wall, be it plasterboard or lath and plaster, is rarely load-bearing.

Do all plaster walls have lath?


Most houses built before 1940 have lath and plaster walls that need regular inspections and repairs. If you live in a house built before 1940 and the walls haven't been updated, they are most likely plaster.

Does lath and plaster mold?

Some of these materials are more susceptible to mold growth when a moisture intrusion source is present. An example is the former use of lath and plaster walls compared to the current, less expensive use of drywall. Drywall contains a paper backing and lath and plaster does not.

Can you put drywall over lath?

If you're remodeling an older home and you run into a plaster-and-lath wall, you can remove the plaster and install drywall over the laths. After securing the laths, you'll install the panels in the same way you would install them on a new stud wall.

Why does lath and plaster crack?

Cracks are caused by moving or shifting, so one needs to make sure the existing plaster and corresponding substrate (in this case the lath) are solid. For example, one may need to replace the lath or substrate. A simple crack may also turn into a large area where the plaster needs to be re-attached to the substrate.

What is behind plaster walls?

Lath and plaster
If your home was built before 1950, you most likely have traditional lath-and-plaster walls. Wooden lath strips are nailed across the framing and then plaster is applied to them. The plaster that oozes between the lath strips is called the key, which locks the plaster and lath strips together.

What are the disadvantages of using plaster?


Disadvantage: Installation
Plaster doesn't produce any dust except for a small amount released when water is first added to the powder. It also doesn't require sanding and, if multiple coats are used, they usually are applied before the bottom layer is completely dried.

Can I Sheetrock over plaster walls?

If the plaster walls in your home are unattractive or too costly to repair, you can cover them with drywall and start fresh. Drywall needs a sturdy substrate, so fasten loose plaster back to the wood lath strips behind it with plaster screws. Locate the wall studs behind the plaster with a stud finder.

Are plaster walls safe?

Some plaster and lath walls are durable and fully usable after decades and many older U.S. homes still have plaster and lath construction. Having a home inspector check for insulation levels within the walls and making regular repairs, can help ensure you maintain a healthy and safe environment for you and your family.

Which is cheaper plaster or drywall?

Drywall is a more common building choice than plaster walls are. Drywall installation is not as labor-intensive as plastering. This means that putting up drywall is not as expensive as plaster walls. Plaster walls have a much more durable finish than drywall when it sets up and is a higher quality finish.

What is the R value of plaster walls?

Total R-Value of Composite Wall
Material R-Value (ft2 o Fh / BTU)
1/2 inch Gypsum Board (Drywall or plasterboard) 0.45
Wood Siding, 1/2 inch 0.81
Plywood, 3/4 inch 0.94
Insulating sheathing, 3/4 inch 2.06

What is a Level 4 drywall finish?


Level 4. For flat paint, a light final paint texture, or with lightweight wall covering. In Level 3, you have an additional coat of compound over the embedded tape at the drywall joints and angles. Here in Level 4, you have two additional coats. The fastener heads, accessories, and beads are covered with three coats.

How much does lath and plaster removal cost?

Remove lath and plaster Costs. For your project in zip code 98104 with these options, the cost to remove lath and plaster starts at $3.12-$6.79 per square foot. Your actual price will depend on job size, conditions, finish options you choose.

When should you replace drywall?

How to Tell if your Drywall Needs to be Replaced
  1. Holes. Small holes and medium sized holes can be patched up, although the patchwork will almost always remain slightly visible.
  2. Water damage. Not all water damage will require replacing drywall panels.
  3. Cracks. Cracks are a good indication of a misplaced seam.
  4. Splinters.
  5. Bumps and bulges.