Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Walls and Ceilings
Reload this Page >

Plasterboard behind built in- 1930's home? Help with ID.

Plasterboard behind built in- 1930's home? Help with ID.

Old 04-20-15, 10:28 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 84
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Plasterboard behind built in- 1930's home? Help with ID.

Hey all.

I have a typical 1930's Marina Style home in San Francisco. A lot of these homes featured a fire place with built in bookcases/cabinets flanking the fireplace.

The bookcases are offset about 2" from the rear wall. I wanted to create a recess on the bottom portion to fit A/V equipment so I removed the bookcase backer on on side. I expected to see the studs and exterior, tar papered wall, but found a thin layer of what looks to be plasterboard. It's not supported by lathe, just a thin layer. I drilled a tiny hole to see if I came in contact with anything behind it and it went straight through. It looks to be about 1/4" thick. This is the only wall that appears to be constructed this way. The surrounding walls are 3/4 ply on the bottom about 1/5' up, then lathe and plaster.

I'd like to attach a 1/8th" ply board to it to complete the recess. I plan on using construction adhesive, but need to anchor it somehow to get a good purchase between the wall/adhesive/board. I'm worried I might crack the plaster. So couple questions:
  • What type of anchor would you recommend considering the plaster seems delicate?
  • Is this plasterboard? Was it used this early? Does it have to do with heat insulation or protection near the fireplace?
  • Is it safe to anchor something to?

TL;DR- I have a 1930's home with a two bookcases that flank a fireplace. The cases are offset from the wall about 2". I removed the back of one case to create a recess and found a thing layer of plaster (no lathe). Is it safe to anchor 1/8" plywood to and what's the best way?

Thanks in advance.
Old 04-20-15, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: usa
Posts: 389
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
If you are just going to attach with some const. adhesive you could wedge it in place until the adhesive sets. Something that small and light weight doesn't need to be mechanically fastened.

The plasterboard was used that early . Did you develop white gypsum dust when drilling your hole? There were a variety of products used then, as now. Some were gypsum based, some were wood based. I recently came across a wall covering that is comprised of 3/16" thick strips of redwood glued edge to edge and laminated on both sides with kraft paper.

You could also cut your panel , make sure you have a fit you are happy with and use contact cement to install.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: