Monday, May 08, 2006

Drywall sucks

I put up a little bit of drywall over the weekend, and it's a messy thing. Just like anything, by the time I got reasonably good at it, the project was over. It is a weird thing, though- you are surrounded by thousands of pounds of talcum powder in a modern house. Our other house had plaster walls, which are so much more refined (but even more messy and require a lot more skill to implement). So what does drywall have going for it?
  • Cheap - it's made of powdered rock, which we have plenty of, and it's not being used for anything else.
  • Flat - or at least, the paper covering is. So really the flat, finishable surface is simply paper.
  • Dense / non-resonant - it provides some measure of sound deadening - contrast to walls surfaced with a thin wood - the whole room acts like a drum.
  • Relatively workable - it can be cut with a utility knife. Once it's up, though, it's toast. If you want it down, it pretty much has to be destroyed.
What sucks about it?
  • Messy. Any cuts to it result in dust everywhere
  • Fragile. It cannot tolerate flexing at all, and has to be protected at all edges by corner bead. Even light bumps from furniture can result in breakage.
  • Heavy.
About the only substitute I could think of would be some kind of board manufactured out of recycled paper. Basically, the exterior would remain a sheet of paper, just like drywall, but the inside would be made of little pressed paper fibers. That would seem to fulfill the cheap, dense and workable aspects, while cutting down on the messy and fragile aspect. Don't know about the heavy part, though. Probably even worse than standard drywall in moisture situations, too.

1 comment:

Keath and Ceridwen said...

Dude, you're pondering the pros and cons of drywall at 5:15 am?! It's not even light out yet. I have the excuse of being in another country, though my computer thinks it's 4:15, it's really a wholly civilized 9:15.