Drywall vs wall paneling: Which is better?

Published: May 3rd, 2021

When it comes to drywall vs wood paneling comparisons, the “better” choice depends on your budget, time, and your personal preference. It’s also important to note that the two aren’t necessarily separate options but can complement each other and add visual appeal to your home. To help you in your research, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of drywall and wood paneling.

Wall paneling advantages and disadvantages

For many, the thought of wood paneling brings up visions of basements in the 1970s with bright and unattractive oak finishings. However, modern wall paneling is aesthetically pleasing and intentionally designed to fit the space you have. It can liven up a plain wall, add texture to a room, and nicely tie the decor together. Wall paneling can give any space a natural, warm feeling and provides that extra touch of detail.

Wall paneling advantages:

  • Adds a unique focal point to the room
  • Adds visual appeal and quality appearance
  • Many custom design options
  • Protects the drywall underneath
  • Professional-looking finish
  • Added insulation
  • Durable and easy-to-maintain

Wall paneling disadvantages:

  • More costly than drywall
  • Takes more time to install than drywall
  • Susceptible to warping if not installed correctly
Drywall paneling
Drywall paneling

Drywall advantages and disadvantages

Drywall is made of dried gypsum mineral and crystallized water that makes this material fire-resistant and sound-absorbent. It’s become the wall covering of choice for most homes and building construction.

Advantages of drywall:

  • Faster installation than wall paneling
  • Can be repaired easily if damaged
  • The surface can be painted or wallpapered any colour

Disadvantages of drywall:

  • Can be easily damaged
  • Susceptible to mold in places with high moisture
  • Joints and tapes are prone to damage if not installed correctly

In the past, stones, bricks, and cement were used for the construction of homes and buildings. Drywall was designed as a solution to the labour-intensive and costly traditional methods.

This highlights that drywall vs wall paneling isn’t an exclusive choice, but can be used together to provide your walls with extra durability, style, and detailing. Beautiful wood paneling installed over your drywall provides thermal and acoustic insulation and an additional protective layer to your walls.