Can we install drywall over plaster and lathe?

We’re fixing an older home with plaster walls and want to apply drywall over top. Can we do this? I’ve heard that you can’t screw drywall down in situations like this. What about construction adhesive instead?

I’ve never heard any warnings against installing drywall over plaster, as long as it’s backed by solid wood or lath that’s thick enough to anchor drywall screws. I also happen to know of one large public building where the procedure worked wonderfully. The new wall surface remains stable, smooth and crack-free three years after installation. As for adhesive, I can’t imagine how that would work. You’d need to prop each piece of drywall until the stuff dried, and even then it would probably pop off in time since it relies on the solidity of the old plaster underneath for strength. As long as the drywall screws sink at least an inch into underlying wood, you can count on a long lasting wall surface. One of the new deep-sensing stud finders will help you find the location of wall frame members if the lath alone isn’t thick enough to hold the screws.

Posted on February 19th, 2013

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