10 Drywall Alternatives for Walls, Ceilings, Basements and Garages

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    Drywall is one of the most common materials for walls, ceilings, basements, and garages – but many homeowners do not know there are many drywall alternatives! Drywall is a popular choice with builders because it is cheap, quick, and easy to install but offers few design options and can easily be damaged.

    With these cutting-edge drywall alternatives, you may free yourself from conventional drywall that will transform your environment. Discover a universe of options for a genuinely distinctive and helpful interior, from eco-friendly choices to imaginative designs.

    In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about the most popular drywall alternatives so you can remodel your interior, exterior walls, or ceiling tile in your house or basement with new material!

    Wood Panels

    Wood plank panels are popular drywall alternatives for a western-themed room or basement. Instead of drywall, a series of wood planks can replace drywall plaster.

    One unique advantage of a wood plank wall is it can be independently replaced. Each wall panel can be removed and replaced with a similar-sized piece of wood, which is an easier repair than fixing drywall sheets.


    Cement is also one of the popular drywall alternatives for a garage wall or basement wall. Cement walls will last almost forever – but you must ensure they are placed correctly the first time because removing them is virtually impossible.

    One thing to watch out for on an exterior cement basement wall is leaks that could flood your basement without the help of a sump pump or cause mold to grow inside an interior wall.


    Another drywall alternatives are bamboo. It is a unique choice for walls that can bring a tropical feel to a basement or garage. We like bamboo for man caves and man garages – plus for all those island lovers out there that need a taste of sunshine!

    Unlike other wall panels that run horizontally – each bamboo piece stands vertically to form a wall. If you have bamboo walls, ensure no gaps between each piece and that a vapor barrier is installed behind each wall paneling to prevent leaks and mold since it is hard to fit each piece perfectly together.

    Plastic Panels

    Plastic panels are a good choice for kids’ walls. Drywall is easy for kids to damage or put a hole in – but plastic is almost impossible. Plus, a cavity, crack, or markings on the wall can easily be cleaned off with Windex or replaced! A drywall panel is rigid to clean and expensive to replace, while plastic can be switched out in about 15 minutes.

    Wall Paper

    If you enjoy interior decorating and want to change the theme quickly, you can add wallpaper. There are countless themes and styles for all rooms of the house to change regular drywall into an exciting accent wall.

    Basements and Wall Paper

    If you plan to install wallpaper in your basement, be careful and watch for leaks. Even a tiny leak can ruin wallpaper with water spots.


    Concrete is a popular drywall competitor for basements. Instead of using traditional drywall over the concrete, the walls are finished and sealed to prevent leaks.

    The concrete can be painted, stained, or finished in several ways – just install insulation before laying the concrete. It is not a popular choice for the inside of your home but an excellent way to save a few dollars on basement design.


    Bricks are a good choice for basements, garages, and sheds – but not the inside of your home. Brick tends to be very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. One advantage of a brick interior or exterior wall is that it is almost 100% leakproof unless there is a crack.

    The brick is unlikely to rot or have problems with mold growing behind the drywall. You only need to watch out for cracks and leaks caused by a shifting foundation.

    Stone and Rocks

    Stone and rock walls are not common – but they are a great way to add style to your home. One of their most significant benefits is that these walls are super sturdy but expensive and may crack if not correctly installed.

    Drywall Alternatives for Walls and Ceilings


    Are you a rock and roller? Then posters of your favorite bands are the way to go! Posters can be attached to almost any type of wall and are 100% customizable so that no room will look alike – plus, you get to pick your favorites.

    Posters might not look right for the dining room or living room, but they are a good choice for a teenager’s room or the basement.

    Fiberglass Panels

    Fiberglass panels are a wall material that can be installed quickly and easily. Each plastic panel attaches to the others to form a solid wall. The panels can mimic several materials and styles and are a good choice if you are looking for a quick design change. A fiberglass panel can also be used as a replacement for a drywall ceiling!

    Other popular drywall alternatives are:

    • Sheetrock
    • Gypsum Board Panels
    • Plaster
    • Wahoo walls
    • Textured Wall Panels
    • Plywood
    • Corkboard
    • Metal panels
    • Vinyl siding

    Why Not Drywall?

    Drywall is the most popular wall surface for interior walls. Builders like it because it is quick to install, and owners like it because it is easy to paint or add wallpaper, but it has many downsides.

    Drywall is prone to molding when exposed to water and had difficulty hanging heavy weights without wall studs. If you feel like getting creative and committing to a decorative style, we listed 15 alternatives for your home or apartment!

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