Advantages of plaster over sheetrock?

Next month I'm having the side stairs in my 1891 house restrung. It will involve removing the plaster from underneath, but only up to the cove molding that runs along the wall. Afterwards I have the choice of restoring the plaster, or sticking up sheetrock. My plaster men are quite capable of doing the plaster. But it will cost me more. I like to keep things as original as possible, so I'm leaning to plaster. But it would be encouraging to me if I knew that there was some advantage of using plaster over sheetrock.
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Well, the advantages can be found easily enough by Googling plaster+advantages. But those reasons aside, do it because your house deserves it. Drywall is about cheaper, faster construction. Your house is over 100 years old. Why would you even consider drywall?
Mike
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Don Wiss wrote:

If you want to keep it original and the price doesn't scare you off, definitely go with the plaster. The plaster is a harder surface and if done correctly you'll get dead flat surfaces. Are they planning on using blueboard and a skim coat of plaster or three coat plaster?
R
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It won't. The place is a money pit as is. But thanks to insane appreciation of house values here in Park Slope, were I to sell it I'd get back all the money I put into it many times over.

Wouldn't I also get quieter stairs? One thing we're going to do is to stuff insulation inside the steps to deaden the sound.

Lathe and three coat plaster. These guys are pros.
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Don Wiss wrote:

Nice area. Friends of a friend were kind to an elderly person who lived next door in Park Slope. He left them the townhouse when he died!

Any time you add mass, you'll decrease sound transmission. Stuffing insulation between the stringers will also help. I hope the stairs are well built and stiff. Plaster is not as forgiving as drywall when flexed.
The stairs themselves make noise, not just the feet on the treads. While you have the underside of the stairs open, make sure that all of the glue blocks are in place and tight. If there are any wedges make sure they tight and well glued. You'll get this opportunity once.

Glad to hear it.
R
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I don't think that will help much. For the type of noise I think you're talking about, you want to seal air-gaps, isolate surfaces, add weight, and avoid large smooth planar surfaces. Plaster is heavier than just sheetrock, but if noise reduction was your primary goal, sheetrock over homasote, followed by a fabric wall-covering, would work better.
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Useful advice.
My plaster men are here working on something else. The lead man wasn't too pleased when I told him I wanted real plaster. There is an 11 1/2 foot ceiling and it's hard to reach the underneath of the stairs. He says there would be a lot of plaster to mix. He says it is more likely to crack with the vibrations on the stairs. He says it would be much more expensive. Though until the existing plaster is cut away we really don't know just what we are up against.
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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I have both plaster and drywall in my house, and if money is no object, I recommend it. It's way more durable than drywall.
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Plaster on lath, rather than gypsum board base would be more forgiving of irregular framing and easier to transition to existing ceiling and walls. (This is based on personal experience.) TB
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Plaster makes for a way quieter house.
Bob
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in 1988, we found new 5/8" X fire rated drywall with 4" fiberglas insulation on all indoor walls and ceilings even room to room to be much quieter than original thinner plaster over wood lath from 1910. and we live next to a pair of freight train tracks. i don't know how thick you can put on your plaster to compare that. good luck with your choice. one advantage might be plaster can create 3 dimensional murals we found on the walls at a different buffalo ny house.
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buffalobill wrote:

Plaster is denser, puts up with abuse a bit better and doesn't show seams or nails as easily. If you are paying for install, it probably costs very similar
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