The blueprints to my 1953 house say that the walls are "rock lath
plaster". Whether this is the same thing as plasterboard I don't know,
but it seems that a 4x8 sheet of this stuff would be nicer than drywall
(albeit a lot heavier).
If I have to do any patching or redoing walls I'd prefer to have the
heaver plasterboard than flimsy drywall.
So is plasterboard still manufactured?
"Rock lath plaster" probably means that "rock lath" was used as
oppposed to wood lath in older homes, with a coat or two of plaster on
top of that. Rock lath is basically drywall with a special treatment
done to the paper surface that makes plaster stick to it. It is
commonly called blueboard these days, comes in 1/2" and 5/8"
thicknesses, and you put a thin coat of veneer plaster on top of it, as
opposed to the old days when your house was built, it may have been
3/8" rock lath with another 3/8" of plaster on top of it.
It is certainly possible to do what you want, however, you will
probably find that it is a bit more work than you think. Blueboard and
veneer plaster may not be readily available in your area (as opposed to
just going to Home Depot and buying drywall and drywall mud off the
shelf), you may need to special order it. And doing the veneer plaster
is different that standard drywall finishing techniques. You'll need
to practice that. Look up the USG or National Gypsum websites, those
are two companies that make veneer plaster materials.
It will be more work, but in my opinion, the result is worth it.
As a substitute for blueboard, I've heard of using the back side of drywall.
The idea is that the skim coat sticks well to the coarse gray paper.
I would clear that idea with a plaster contractor first, though.
Also rock lath, besides being only 3/8" thick, it also only came in sheets
16" x 48" and was nailed up brick style with one base coat of rough brown
plaster, and finished with one coat of white hard plaster over it all.
Plaster is heavier and stronger. You can easily dent drywall.
Paint will look different over the areas of drywall with joint
compound. Paint will be uniform over plaster.
Wallpapering over plaster is much easier if you ever had to remove it;
with drywall the paper backing would probably come off.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.