Author Topic: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls  (Read 1361 times)

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Offline jefm

  • Posts: 23
Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« on: May 17, 2018, 10:11 PM »
Gang,
I'm looking at a house I kind of like but the interior would all need to come out. Some kind of whacky 70's panel, pointless drop ceilings, etc.
After ripping out that stuff, I'd be content to just paint plywood and slap it up. Function over form. Screw to studs, countersink, showcase them why not. I'll just tell people Tom Sachs sold me his summer home. Trust me it'd look better than what's there now.

If I'm finally getting my own place, there's something to said for walling I can screw wires, shelving, appliances etc to without a second thought. When I lived in an apartment, I framed up double walls so I could do just that.
The idea of immaculately painted drywall that one dares not modify, touch or bump into seems constricting to me.

Besides the "You'll be single forever" aspect, what problems can there be with this?
Code: There's a problem with fire retardant. The garage is not attached to the house.
Who would I speak with to get an authoritative say on the code aspect? This is in Illinois, USA for whatever that's worth.

Thanks for any advice.

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5568
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 11:02 PM »
You’ll find who to contact for your area in the link below.

You need drywall or fire retardant plywood in Illinois.

https://www2.illinois.gov/cdb/business/codes/Documents/Code%20Directory.pdf

Tom

Offline Koamolly

  • Posts: 8
Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 02:45 PM »
You might consider rough ply and battens.


Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2396
Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 03:08 PM »
If this is your first home, it won't be your last.  So take into consideration not only code, but resale appeal as you make your decision.

Cook county in Illinois requires conduit, for example, so putting in plywood with surface mounted conduit for switches and receptacles in a room will detract from resale versus in-wall.  So if you are tearing out paneling, consider what you need in the room to place in-wall rather than assuming you'll just put it on the wall.

Offline jefm

  • Posts: 23
Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 08:20 PM »
Thanks for all the input gang.

I've followed down the building code document. This will need more study.
When it got to the permits section I got to wondering how much of this I can do myself, that's probably a talk all it's own.

I'm still for having switches/boxes/etc in the walls. Actually, having it down to studs is the time to add or fix some services, imo, along with adding CAT7 or etc. I just want workable surface for the walls. Perhaps an image search on "wire Knolling" would illustrate my plight.
There's the next buyer's thoughts and feelings... I'm not dismissing that. I get the drift, but my opinions on it don't belong here.
Whatever their thoughts and feelings are, it probably isn't wacky 70's paneling and pointless drop ceilings.

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 331
Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2018, 09:10 PM »
I used waferboard, skim coated with joint compound, in my shop for the walls.  The ceiling had to be 5/8 fire rated drywall because there is a bedroom above it.  I've also hung a bunch of drywall in the house.  Wood walls have advantages as you cite but I would not do it in the house.  With battens it might even look OK but besides the fire issue, it will be expensive.  I used waferboard (7/16 sold for roofs) in the shop because it was comparable in price to wallboard and I wanted to be able to put stuff anywhere.  Plywood would be significantly more.  I will also take significantly longer to cut holes for outlets and switches.  Wallboard is not fun to work with but it isn't difficult either.  If I was you, I would buy or make a lift and get the supplier to delivery the wallboard inside your house.  They have boom trucks that do this, they take a window out.  That saves a lot of work.  Taping seams is a skill you'll quickly acquire.  There is a special woven fiberglass tape I got, it is called Acuglass or something like that.  Works better than paper or mesh tape on the joints. 

Offline fritter63

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Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2018, 06:11 PM »
Drywall can be patched/repairs in small areas. Plywood can't.

Drywall can be "mudded" if the joints aren't perfect and your corners aren't square (hint: They AREN'T). Plywood can't.

Drywall is MUCH cheaper then plywood.

There's a reason why drywall is the most common choice. ;)

Offline 3PedalMINI

  • Posts: 435
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Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2018, 08:21 PM »
Drywall is also cheap to have installed. Shockingly cheap actually.

I would wager to bet you could have the whole house professionally installed and paint ready for less then it would cost you to plywood the house.

Don’t overthink it, with the right anchors and some common sense you can hang anything (within reason) into drywall.
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Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 793
Re: Plywood vs Drywall for interior home walls
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 03:10 AM »
Another upside of drywall is that it's a better fire barrier than plywood, downside is that it's structurally weak.

You can have the best of both worlds with a layer of OSB (relatively cheap, gives the ability to screw stuff onto it any place you want) that you cover with a layer of drywall (for fire protection and the other benefits mentioned - you can likely get away with a thinner, thus cheaper, drywall variant as the structural needs are already covered by the OSB).

Just check your local regulations for what is allowed in your area.