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plaster or sheetrock????


Irisheyez's Avatar
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12-25-04, 07:59 PM   #1  
Irisheyez
plaster or sheetrock????

HELP!!....We are beginning to look for our first home and many of these houses were built in the early 1900's so my question is, "is there an easy way to tell if the walls are plaster or sheetrock?...The next house we are going to look at was built in 1948, so what do you think?.....plaster or sheetrock?....does anyone know what year builders started using sheetrock?...thank you in advance.

 
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12-25-04, 08:17 PM   #2  
Aarno
I believe that "Sheetrock" was developed by USG back around the time of WWI, but it never caught on until WWII when the government needed barracks and homes built in a hurry. Up until then, plaster was used almost exclusively. The war changed all that. After the war, Developers found they were able to knock out homes much more quickly and cheaper with drywall than with plaster. Plaster is still used (mostly on high-end homes) but no where near as much as drywall.

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12-25-04, 10:25 PM   #3  
Just a few thoughts - you could just ask the realtor/seller. Another way to tell is to examime the finish texture on the wall. Many times, plaster will have a slight to heavy grainy look and feel. In addition, tapping on a plaster wall feels and sounds "heavier" in most cases. This is not always fool-proof, however. I have seen several homes where sheetrock was installed over the top of lathe and plaster.

If the walls - whether sheetrock or plaster - are in good condition (meaning no cracks, splits, chips, etc.), then either should be OK. The larger questions focus on things like, what do you plan on doing with the house? are you considering remodeling? is the house well insulated?

Both sheetrock and plaster present their own set of challenges, but of the two, plaster probably requires more effort and skill to work with.

Best wishes.

 
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