How to Install Drywall Over Lath and Plaster Walls – The Easy Guide

How to Install Drywall Over Lath and Plaster Walls
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How to install drywall over lath and plaster walls..

The drywall is the final wall, and it’s good to be well-versed with all the installations that come with drywall before starting.

Not only does drywall require a thorough understanding of plumbing and electrical wiring, but also lath and plaster. In this guide, you will know all about drywall over lath plaster walls.

You will also get to know the pros and cons of drywall over lath plaster walls so that your decision can be well-informed.

Can you put drywall over lath and plaster?

– You can install drywall over lath and plaster if you are experienced in drywall installation.

– Use a level to ensure the walls are level before proceeding with the drywall installation.

– When taping the seams of lath and plaster, use continuous tape for a smooth seam with no holes.

Another option is to use joint compound as a base for the drywall, which has advantages over tape or joint compound for lath and plaster. It’s easy to apply, doesn’t shrink or expand, and provides good adhesion to the wall.

Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any drywall compound. Make sure it’s road tested and approved for the job you’re doing.

Also, be sure to use a mud ball and not a brush when applying joint compound to lath and plaster. A mud ball will help fill any holes or gaps in the plaster and lath more easily.

Once dry, apply a coat of paint to the drywall topically.

Should you remove lath before drywall?

It is not necessary to remove lath before installing drywall. If lath is damaged or removed, it can affect the drywall installation.

When installing drywall, the thickness of lath should be at least 3/8 inch (9 millimeters) to minimize the chances of moisture penetrating the drywall.

Use a level when installing drywall to ensure accurate and even coverage. Also, use a t-square and straight edge to ensure proper measurements and angles when installing drywall.

How to install drywall over wood lath

How to Install Drywall Over Lath and Plaster Walls
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Installing drywall over lath and plaster walls is an easy and affordable way to upgrade your home’s interior.

But before you can start, you will need to prepare the wall by removing any flammable materials. This will ensure the drywall won’t catch fire during installation.

Next, you will need lath, which is a thin wood or plastic mesh used for outlining areas of drywall to be attached. You can purchase lath at your local home improvement store or online.

Once you have your lath and drywall, it’s time to get to work!

– Apply a layer of lath to the wall using a t-square and utility knife, following the outline of the drywall area.

– Attach drywall using screws and nails.

– If desired, apply a finishing coat of paint or stucco.

1. Prep the wall for remodel work

If you are working on a remodeling project and want to install drywall over wood lath, it’s vital that you prepare the surface of the wall before you start installing drywall.

First, you must remove any old lath and plaster from the wall and clean the surface of the wall. Next, you need to cut a hole in the drywall for the lath and plaster to fit through.

To prevent drywall from moving while taping the lath and plaster to it, use painter’s tape or gaff tape.

Finally, be sure to use primer and paint when installing drywall over wood lath. These steps will help ensure that your drywall job is completed successfully.

2. Tear away the plaster with a crowbar

Before you start the drywall installation, remove the old plaster and lath walls. Use a crowbar to pry off the lath and plaster from the wall surface.

If the wall is straight, you can just screw the drywall into the studs. However, if the wall is not straight, you will need to make adjustments to the drywall layout before installing it.

Be sure to stay within stud spacing and use stud screws to ensure that the drywall is secure.

Once you have removed the old plaster and lath walls, you can start installing drywall over wood lath walls.

You may need to adjust your drywall layout if there are any gaps between studs or problems with alignment.

3. Fasten the lath strips properly

Lath and plaster walls are a popular option for homeowners because they are easy to repair and maintain.

In addition to their classic charm, lath and plaster walls are also an affordable way to update the appearance of a room.

However, drywall is not recommended over wood lath. To ensure a proper installation, follow these steps:

  1. Mark the location of the drywall screws along the edge of the wall.
  2. Drive the screws into the wall using a drill and a screwdriver.
  3. Remove the screws once the drywall has been installed. Then apply pressure to the seams of the drywall to ensure a tight fit.

4. Install drywall panels over the fastened lath

If you’re planning to drywall over wood lath, you must ensure that the drywall panel is installed over the lath and plaster walls in a straight and level manner.

To ensure this, clean the surfaces thoroughly. You can use a dull knife or chisel to remove any wood chunks that remain after scrubbing.

Next, use a level to adjust the fasteners so that the drywall panel is perfectly level and flush with the surrounding lath wall.

Attaching the drywall panel using joint compound and screws will finish the job.

Finally, be sure to check the finished drywall panels for any imperfections before moving on to other parts of your project.

5. Install the remaining row of drywall panels

Drywall is a popular building material for walls due to its versatility and cost-effective nature. It is easy to install and can be used to create a variety of finished wall treatments.

When drywall is used to replace lath and plaster, it generally requires additional preparation work before installation can begin.

You must first remove any existing lath and plaster from the wall surface before you can start installing drywall.

This step allows you to make the drywall sheet fit snugly against the wall without gaps or loose spots.

You will also need to trim the drywall sheet so that it fits the space perfectly and includes appropriate headers and trims.

After installing new drywall over old lath and plaster, you must also install a new layer of drywall over the old one for a stronger wall finish.

Cost to replace lath and plaster with drywall

The cost to replace lath and plaster walls with drywall will vary depending on the size of the wall, the brand of drywall, and the type of lath and plaster used.

For example, common types of lath and plaster include gypsum lath or plasterboard, steel stud framing, or wood framing.

When replacing lath and plaster walls with drywall, it’s important to always contact a licensed contractor or specialist to ensure proper installation.

The average cost for drywall installation is $3-5 per sq ft. Keep in mind that drywall cannot be installed over gas lines, electrical wiring, or water pipes.

Instead, it should be protected from moisture and dust using a layer of spray foam before installing drywall.

The length of time necessary for drywall installation varies based on the size of the wall and the type of lath and plaster used.

In most cases, it takes 2-3 days to complete the job.

Also read: How to Measure Drywall: A Rule of Thumb for Accurate Project Estimates

Is lath and plaster better than drywall?

Lath and plaster walls are old-school walling materials used in older homes. Lath walling involves lath, plaster, and joint compound.

The lath is a mesh-like material that is used to cover the framing of the wall. The plaster is a 2- to 3-inch layer of drywall compound that is applied to the lath and forms the outer wall of the wall.

Joint compound is a mudding or mud mixture used as a sealer where the lath and plaster meet at the seams.

Both lath and plaster walls require significant labor to install, so they are not usually cost-effective for new construction anymore.

Drywall is a more modern wall construction material that is easier to work with and requires less preparation time. When lath and plaster are used, they must be properly installed so the wall will be watertight and sound.

Lath and plaster walls require more frequent maintenance than drywall walls, which makes them an inferior choice for most homes today. If you are considering replacing lath and plaster walls with drywall, be sure to hire a professional contractor for the job.

It’s important to consider the pros and cons of each walling material before making any decisions about your home’s interior design.


While drywall installation over lath and plaster is not a common practice, it has its benefits. It’s a cost-effective way to install drywall in homes. Using drywall instead of lath and plaster wall panels saves time and money because no plastering or lath installation is required.

Additionally, there are minimal differences between the sound-absorption ability of the two wall panel materials. If you are planning to replace your old plaster wall with new drywall wall panels, read this blog first. It discusses the installation process in detail.

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