01:40PM | 10/14/02
Member Since: 10/13/02
2 lifetime posts
I am renovating a 1920's two-family home. Most rooms have the original horse hair plaster, and some have 1/4" drywall over the plaster, but only 8' up of the 12' ceilings.

My question is do I remove everything plaster & drywall and intall 1/2" drywall, or should I work with what is there, and only apply 1/4" drywall?

I've heard arguments for both applications, but would like some additional input. Thanks!!!


01:04AM | 10/16/02
Member Since: 07/28/02
1358 lifetime posts
I would go with the 1/4" drywall as the end result will look the same and it will be less work on your part.


02:10AM | 10/16/02
Member Since: 10/14/02
11 lifetime posts
I've drywalled over old plaster walls and ceilings in a 3 story 1600 sq. ft. twin. Screwed and glued 3/8 drywall(1/4 inch wasn't available locally)had a prof. taper do the the finishing because there was so much to finish at one time,still looks great and that was 11 yrs. ago.The downside of not ripping down the plaster and installing drywall is that you can't insulate behind the walls,run elec. and ducts for central air.

[This message has been edited by Stmftr (edited October 16, 2002).]

doug seibert

04:55PM | 10/16/02
Member Since: 08/10/02
843 lifetime posts
How about FIXING the old plaster and forget about covering up everything...........the drywall over plaster reduces the reveal on the door and window trim and baseboards.....and you retain the beautiful old house plaster look...........doug


01:19AM | 10/17/02
Member Since: 10/14/02
11 lifetime posts
I removed the baseboard and reinstalled after the drywall was installed as far as the reveal for the windows and doors a piece of 3/8 sanitary trim fills the gap between the dry wall and trim,per an old carpenter (you have to pop off the trim before you dry wall) and it's still less work than a demo with lathe and plaster. This house was also from the early 1900's. Of course this is just my opinion about drywall over plaster. Either one--- it's your party.

[This message has been edited by Stmftr (edited October 17, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Stmftr (edited October 17, 2002).]


05:21PM | 10/29/02
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
I agree that using 1/4 inch drywall should suffice and be more efficient. It is not as if there is not already a wall surface there. 1/4 inch is all you need to COVER an existing wall. Indeed, that is the only reasonable application for 1/4 inch: to cover an existing wall. Because it ADDS to the wall thickness, as opposed to creating its own depth, it is not as if you are installing 1/4 inch on the studs, alone. You still end up with better insulation and support than you had before, even though 1/4 inch by itself would be inadequate.

If the plaster above the drywall is in good shape, you could also install a piece of trim along the line to cover the transition and create a sort of pediment above it. Paint the ceiling color down to the trim line, not just on the ceiling, which will have the effect of opening the room up a bit. Or you can paint that portion an accent color. You can also hang pictures with a long, thin wire from the trim like Art Galleries do, thereby avoiding the need to punch nail holes into the walls. If you use crown molding, you can also install hidden lights behind the crown molding to provide an all-roomn "aura" of indirect "up-light" onto the ceiling.

As for Doug's comments, plaster is only worth saving if it is in good condition. The finest homes in the world have drywall on them. If the previous owners have already slapped drywall up, then I doubt saving the plaster is an option.

Drywall gets a bad rep because of the cheap 1/2 inch drywall and cheap, uninsulated walls underneath. Good 5/8 inch drywall that is properly taped looks as good as plaster and (in my opinion) has better sound insulation qualities (less of an echo in the room). Covering plaster with 1/4 inch drywall will achieve the same (if not greater) thickness as 5/8 inch drywall on the studs, which is quite good.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited October 29, 2002).]



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