Drywall, or sheetrock, is one of the most common interior wall materials in use today. While less common and more labor-intensive, plaster walls can be found in older homes and even in modern homes if the homeowners want an authentic, historical feel. What is Drywall (aka Sheetrock)? Both drywall and plaster are made from a soft mineral called gypsum. To make drywall, gypsum is mixed with water to form a plaster-like substance. Most of the water is squeezed out, and the gypsum is then pressed between two layers of paper to create drywall. Sheetrock is less expensive than plaster and installs easily. Sheets of drywall are attached to the home's framework with either screws or nails. Characteristics of Plaster Plaster has been used to create walls for thousands of years. Three coats of plaster are applied to a wood, metal or plasterboard underlay, gradually building up the thickness of the wall. Plaster usually comes as a powder that needs to be mixed with water before application. Plaster dries harder than drywall, and produces a thicker finished wall. The extra thickness gives plaster an advantage as a sound and air barrier. Plaster also offers greater flexibility, making it an ideal choice for irregular surfaces. Drywall and Plaster Disadvantages Drywall and plaster both have shortcomings. Plaster application is time-consuming and labor intensive. Plaster also tends to crack with age. House settling and rough handling can crack drywall. Accidents can easily knock holes in drywall. Drywall is also susceptible to water damage and, if moisture is consistently present, to mold growth. Drywall and Plaster Combinations You can get the look of plaster with less work by combining drywall and plaster. A special type of drywall called a blue board is finished with a texture that veneer plaster adheres to easily. Only one or two coats of plaster are required with drywall and plaster combinations. Drywall Repair Drywall damages easily, but is also easy to repair and replace. Drywall repair to holes or cracks is much easier than plaster repair, which may require professional help. Need More Help? If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help. The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee! Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!