Dry Lining Vs. Wet Plastering – Which Should You Choose?


Two of the most common materials used to finish the internal walls within a property are dry lining and plaster. Although plaster has been the more traditional method for finishing walls throughout history, dry lining was introduced as an alternative in the 1900s.

Since then, it has grown in popularity, with lots of modern homes using dry lining rather than plaster. There are a number of reasons for this which we’ll look at later, but the various options out there can make it harder for people to choose the right finish for their home or property.

That is why we have put together this guide. Below, we’re going to take a look at dry lining versus wet plastering to help you make a more informed decision about which is going to be right for you.

Dry lining

Dry lining is the process of attaching plasterboard to a wall. This gives it a smooth finish that is ready to decorate straight away. There are several advantages and disadvantages of using this method for finishing your walls which we’re going to look at in more detail below:

Advantages of using dry lining

  • One of the key benefits of dry lining is that it is easy to install, which means it’s quicker to fit. This also makes it great for renovations
  • This can save time and money on labour costs
  • It also means you’re ready to get decorating much quicker
  • Dry lining adds a layer of insulation to your home or property, which reduces heat loss and is more energy-efficient
  • This is a safer method as the materials used to build the plasterboards are non-toxic
  • Plasterboard is readily available and there are lots of talented service providers to choose from
  • It is less likely to develop cracks than wet plaster

Disadvantages of using dry lining

  • The finished dry lining walls are less solid and sturdy than wet plaster
  • Some say dry lining walls are less attractive when painted
  • Plasterboards can be easily damaged
  • Dry lining is not great at sound insulation
  • Unfortunately, dry lining uses synthetic insulating material, which means it cannot be recycled economically

Wet plastering

Plastering is the process of using wet plaster to create a protective and decorative coating on a wall. This has the traditional method for finishing walls and ceilings for centuries and once again comes with a range of advantages and disadvantages. These are:

Advantages of using wet plastering

  • Wet plastering is fire resistant and, therefore, it is easier to comply with fire safety standards
  • It is also more soundproof than dry lining
  • It is durable and long-lasting
  • It is also less likely to get damaged, which can save you money on repairs in the long run
  • It offers an excellent smooth appearance

Disadvantages of using wet plastering

  • Wet plaster takes a much longer time to dry
  • This means it is also susceptible to hairline cracking issues which can delay decorating and mean repairs are needed
  • It can be more expensive as it requires more specialised labourers and it takes more hours to complete
  • Great plasterers can be hard to find

So, should I choose dry lining or wet plaster?

Now that we’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages of both dry lining and wet plaster, you need to determine how these can help you on your project. Essentially, what method you choose will depend on several aspects:

  • Your budget
  • Your time-scale
  • The finish and look you want for your walls
  • What materials are available
  • Whether you’ve got access to talented local plasterers/service providers

If you’re hoping to stick to a tighter budget and you want the work completed quickly, dry lining could be the ideal solution for you. This can also be helpful if you’re renovating just some areas of your property or if you’re hoping to insulate the building to make it more cost and energy-efficient.

On the other hand, if you’ve got more money and time, you might choose to go for wet plaster instead. It really just depends on your needs.

But one thing is for sure, there is a reason that dry lining is growing in popularity, and with so many advantages, you can’t go wrong.