Walls in residential homes are almost exclusively finished using gypsum board (either recycled or synthetic) because it is cheap and easy.
We will start with drywall, but also list off a few other options. Gypsum is a natural stone found in abundance in the earth. In construction, gypsum is most commonly used as Gyproc panels, or drywall.
It’s made by mixing water and aggregates (sand, vermiculite or perlite), and then the gypsum is pressed between two continuously rolling sheets of paper and allowed to harden.
Drywall pretty much replaced plaster and lath as the construction industry's "go to" wall finish from around the 1940's.
- Drywall is so common because it is cheap and easy to build with, not to mention that it’s also a durable, fire-resistant and fairly moisture-resistant product that also offers an excellent thermal mass for balancing temperatures in homes.
Guide to Plaster & Drywall & Other Interior Wall Coverings as Indicators of Building Age
On the downside, as drywall is covered in paper and pretty porous, it often promotes mold growth in areas with higher humidity like bathrooms, kitchens and moldy basements, or under windows suffering from condensation problems - which is sub-optimal.
When building in areas that may get wet, be certain to choose the improved drywall boards with humidity protection - usually green - or maybe go straight for a 100% recycled plastic wall panel that will still look exactly the same in 1000's of years!
(Slightly tongue in cheek here but hey - it could work!). Synthetic gypsum board, with up to 96% recycled content (or 'drywall' to use its common street name), is manufactured using waste sulphur dioxide from combustion gases in industrial chimneys.
There are many advantages to choosing synthetic drywall; namely, anytime we use recycled and reclaimed raw materials we preserve natural resources and natural habitat destruction.
In the case of recycled gypsum board, along with redirecting an endless supply of waste away from landfills, it contributes to reducing acid rain, which is caused primarily by sulphur dioxide from power plants.
- The performance and durability of synthetic gypsum panels are the same as those of natural gypsum panels.
- About 20% of gypsum used in the US is recycled, and there is no reason not to increase that.
- Synthetic gypsum typically has lower trace metal content than what is found in residential soil standards because it does not contain extracted gypsum.
- Some brands of synthetic gypsum wallboard products are certified by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute as being low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Recently though, some doubts have been raised about the health status of synthetic gypsum panels.
- We would suggest you pay close attention to gypsum panels shipped from China as they do not have the same safety standards as Gypsum produced in Canada and the US.
- In addition to releasing transportation-related greenhouse gases (GHGs), some panels from China release sulphur, which can corrode copper wires and has negative health implications for home occupants.
- It’s best to buy local when you can, and certainly when there are health implications on the line as well.
- Reclaimed barn boards can make for beautiful interior walls.
Asbestos Cement & Fiber Cement Fireproof Ceiling & Wall Panels
It isn’t necessarily something you’ll want on every wall of every home, but as an accent wall it can be beautiful.
Like many other woods used for finishing, it isn’t always necessary to apply any coating if they won’t be touched a lot.
Boards can be sanded down then wiped well with a wet cloth to remove dust and installed as-is. If you wish to change the look of the board itself, you can apply a natural wood finishing oil to bring out colours.
Using T & G wood for finishing walls is a nice natural and light finish.
Like barn boards, it can be oiled if you like to bring out more color.
- T & G finishing wood is usually pine, and will yellow as it ages, but this is gradual and not too extreme.
- To get a better idea of the cost and look of installing wood on walls instead of drywall, see our article comparing prices of wood vs drywall for ceilings.
- Using reclaimed bricks or stone as wall finishing will add thermal mass to your home and help balance temperatures.
- Bricks and unprocessed natural stone should not have or need any finish on it.
Hiring a mason to build an interior wall of brick is not the cheapest wall you will ever have but they are of course beautiful, durable, low maintenance, and it can help reduce sound transmission through party walls of attached homes.
- It isn’t usually hard to find used bricks, see here our page about where to buy and sell used building materials to get some tips on finding stock.
- Older semi-detached homes sometimes have brick party walls between homes that are covered in plaster, so you may have a beautiful accent wall just waiting to be unearthed!
- Another natural interior wall option that brings a lot of thermal mass with it is rammed earth panels.
- This one you will pay a premium for, but they are a very sustainable and beautiful interior finish.
Drywall is the most common interior finish surface inside homes due to ease and affordability. But there are options! see below for the best natural healthy alternatives to drywall for finishing interior walls.
Rammed earth is a building technique using earth mixed with binders to create solid wall panels with the strength of concrete.
They are usually built on sites, but there are also some providers of precast rammed earth wall panels.
Finishing-grade plywood with veneers such as maple or birch can be an excellent - and quick to install - alternative to drywall for wall finishing.
Rather than using drywall compound and paper tape for joints, they are usually covered with a thin wood trim.
We recently finished the walls of our S1600 LEED Platinum Prefab house with a zero VOC and formaldehyde-free prefinished plywood call UV Wood from Columbia Forest Products.
The cost is comparable to other wood wall coverings and drywall as well when you factor the full cost.
- Plywood panels are of course more expensive than drywall, but finishing joints with wood trim is much quicker than drywall mudding, and panels come pre-finished so there is no primer or painting required.
- There is growing demand for hemp building materials, with applications for insulating, soundproofing and finishing.
- Hemp boards are not structural but they are a solid wall covering.
- Hemp is a one of the most sustainable alternatives to wood fiber for building materials as well as being non-toxic, so it is great for maintaining healthy indoor air quality.
Cork is a renewable resource, harvested from trees without killing them - and if you're into that MCM vibe, it looks groovy on walls instead of drywall.
- Although it comes from far away (mostly northern Portugal), its carbon footprint from transportation is quite reasonable given that it is light-weight and can be made very thin - so a lot packs into a shipping container.
- Cork panelling is hypoallergenic, warm to the touch, makes controlling dust & dustmites easy, and if you choose the right cork wall panels and install them with the right products, it doesn't off-gas toxins into our homes either - contributing to better and healthier interior air quality - making it one of the most sensible, affordable and agreeable drywall alternatives.
- Cork is also really good as a DIY sustainable flooring material.
- Lath and plaster is rarely seen anymore as a form of interior wall finishing.
Tongue and Groove interior wood walls:
It is extremely labour intensive, and has been entirely replaced by gypsum board drywall for ease and speed in the mainstream construction industry. We are listing it here more for a curiosity and its historical value.
Along with being extremely time consuming to do, it is also a fairly high maintenance wall covering. There is no flex to it, and since houses naturally shift, it is quite common for cracks to form.
On the upside, homes built with lath and plaster have a lower incidence of mold, as there is no paper surface to wick up any humidity - but insect attack can lead to walls disintegrating before your eyes.
Natural finished walls with mud and natural earth pigments is another beautiful, healthy, sustainable…if extremely labor intensive… building method.
Similar to lath and plaster, it requires a substrate to support the material, whether that is wooden slats, plywood, or another other substance that can support and hold mud in place without sagging while it dries and hardens.
- It's also a frequent option for straw bale homes.
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Guide to beaverboard, drywall, plaster & paneling on interior walls:.
- Ages & types of finish materials used for interior walls & ceilings: here we provide a photo guide to identifying types of plaster, lath, Beaver board, Upson Board, and Drywall to help identify these interior building wall and ceiling coverings and as an aid in determining the age of a building.
- This article discusses the identification and history of older interior building surface materials such plaster and lath, Beaverboard, and Drywall - materials that were used to form the (usually) non-structural surface of building interior ceilings and walls.
- Our page top photo shows hand-split wooden lath backing for a plaster interior wall.
- We also provide an ARTICLE INDEX for this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
Different Types of Wall Materials for Exterior Walls
DRYWALL, FIBERBOARD, PLASTER INTERIORSASBESTOS in DRYWALL - separate articleBEAVERBOARD - separate articleUPSON BOARD - MDF used as interior sheathing and in many other applications from puzzles to oil paintingsDRYWALL & GYPSUM BOARD - separate articleDRYWALL IDENTIFICATION STAMPS - separate articleFIBERBOARD SHEATHING - separate article, Beaverboard, Nu-Wood, Insulite, and many others on building exteriors & interiorsWOOD LATH for PLASTER or STUCCO - separate article.
ASBESTOS in DRYWALL - separate article. BEAVERBOARD - separate article. UPSON BOARD - MDF used as interior sheathing and in many other applications from puzzles to oil paintings.
DRYWALL & GYPSUM BOARD - separate article. DRYWALL IDENTIFICATION STAMPS - separate article. FIBERBOARD SHEATHING - separate article, Beaverboard, Nu-Wood, Insulite, and many others on building exteriors & interiors.
WOOD LATH for PLASTER or STUCCO - separate article. Above we show a photograph of hand-split wood lath and plaster wall, from the wall-cavity side.
There are several generations of plaster and lath, plaster board, and drywall which have been used in buildings.
- [Click to enlarge any image]. The age of a building can be determined quite accurately by documentation, but when documents are not readily available, visual clues such as those available during a professional home inspection can still determine when a house was built by examining its components, building materials, even nails, fasteners, and types of saw cuts on lumber.
- We name and illustrate these and discuss their periods of use below as anaid in finding out how old a building is and tracing its history.
- Asbestos-cement panels and later non-asbestos-containing fiber-cement panels were widely used as fireproof coverings for walls, ceilings, even floors in various applications such as in boiler rooms as well as in chemical laboratories and other areas where an inert, durable, fire-resistant surface was needed.
- See CEMENT ASBESTOS SHEET PRODUCTS for the age, history of and details about cement-asbestos fireproof panels used in and on buildings.
Beaver-board and Upson Board are a wood fiber product used as an inexpensive interior wall covering and draft blocker from about 1903 when Beaver Board was invented by J.P.
- Lewis in Beaver Falls, NY, to the 1950s, with its near-twin product Upson Board continuing in use into at least the 1980's.
- Our photographs (below) show this product from it's back or wall cavity side.
- On the exposed side this wood fiberboard product was usually painted and its joints covered with wood lath or other trim.
- In some applications Beaverboard or UpsonBoard was covered with wallpaper.
Wood-Lath Plaster Systems
Still later in the life of many buildings where Beaver Board was installed it was later covered with drywall to provide a more fire-resistant surface.
Beaverboard takes its name from the Beaver N.Y. and the Beaver Board Companies that produced this product until that firm was purchased by Certain Teed Prod cuts in 1928.
Beaver Board and Upson Board were produced by the Beaver Wood Fibre Company Limited, in Thorold, Ontario.
Beaver board's competition was from Upson Processed board (John Upson, Upson Company, Lockport, NY) which was produced beginning in 1910. As late as the 1950's Upson Board was used in prefabricated houses and exterior building sheathing and in recreational vehicles.
Upson purchased the Beaver Board plant from CertainTeed in 1955. Upson began its decline in the 1970's and closed in 1984, opening later that year as Niagara Fiberboard.
Beaverboard and other paper or fiberboard products were used for exterior wall sheathing, as we show in this photograph at left.
- Beaver Board was marked on the back of each sheet with an ink-stamped trademark and brand.
- Details about BeaverBoard used on interior walls and ceilings are found.
- at BEAVERBOARD in our article on building sheathing materials identification.
- Upson Board, a medium-density fiberboard made from recycled wood fibers, embossed its marking into the board itself, and a "Blue Center" (illustrated below thanks to one of our readers) runs through every piece of the board.
See details now found at .
- UPSON BOARD - MDF used as interior sheathing and in many other applications from puzzles to oil paintings.
- This list of common ceiling and wall coverings is in order roughly by age or history of use.
- It is thus not in alphabetical order.
- Mud used as a plaster over split wood lath or woven wood lathAn example of mud plaster is below in this article at MUD PLASTER.
Ceiling & Wall Covering Materials Using Plaster, Drywall / Gypsum Board, or Stucco
Horsehair mixed with plaster or cement for building exterior wall covering.
A photo of horse hair plaster is shown here, courtesy of an InspectApedia.com reader who had this material tested for asbestos - which was found to be absent. See PLASTER INGREDIENTS, MIX, COMPONENTS for details about this early plaster material.
Plaster of paris applied in at least two layers,a rough brown or scratch coat and a smooth white plaster top coat over hand split or sawn wood lath.Two coat and three-coat plaster on lath systems are detailed at PLASTER TYPES & METHODS in BUILDINGS.
See PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION for a photo guide to different plastering systems used in buildings for walls, ceilings, and fireproofing.. Gypsum Board / Gyp-Rock / Rock Lath: Plasterboard with round holes punched at regular intervals substituted for the plaster scratch coat, nailed to wall studs, eliminating the wood lath requirement.
A top coat of plaster was applied to the plaster board.
"Ears" of oozing plaster pushed through the round holes helped hold the plaster top coat in place.
- Essentially synonymous are drywall, gyp rock, gypsum board, plasterboard when used as a backer for a top coat of plaster.For details about gypsum board used as a plaster base see GYPSUM BOARD LATH.
- Above: probably Sackett Board, a USG product first produced by US Gypsum after USG's purchase of the Sackett Plaster Board Company in 1909.
- Sackett Board: Sackett Board, first produced by the Sackett Plaster Board Company, was formed of multiple layers of paper and plaster such as the product shown in our reader photo above.
- The Sackett Board appears to have been top-coated with a layer of plaster.
Sackett Board was probably the first gypsum-board product widely-used as a wall and ceiling covering, typically top coated with a finish-layer of plaster.
- See SACKETT BOARD for details. Stucco wall & ceiling coatings on interior surfaces may be installed as traditional stucco, a cementious product, or as a stucco look-alike using textured paints or coatings including drywall or plaster.See SIDING EIFS & STUCCO - topic home, for a detailed article series about this material and its use on both exteriors and interiors of buildings.
- Drywall, a lighter gypsum formula, with joints taped with paper (later fiberglass or plastic mesh) and coated with joint compound.
- Available in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4" thickness, typically 4' x 8' or4' x 12'.
- Earlier drywall was secured with drywall nails;Modern drywall is secured to wall studs using machine-driven drywall screws or in some applications glue as well as drywall screws.
History & Types of Wood and Wood-Product Wall Paneling in North America
The composition of modern drywall or gypsum board is given at DRYWALL & GYPSUM BOARDAlso see DRYWALL IDENTIFICATION STAMPS.
Our photo (above left) shows perforated gypsum board panels that were used as plaster lath. Solid gypsum board (above right, without holes) was also used as a support for a plaster finish coat.
Often this material was applied in two-foot widths - a feature that the inspector may spot by noticing scalloped ceilings and walls or even cracks that appear regularly on 24" centers. According to some patent disclosures (given below on this page) non-perforated gypsum board panels used as a plaster base included versions with depressions or indentations to better-receive and adhere the plaster top coats.
At PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION we include more-detailed discussion . of GYPSUM BOARD PLASTER LATH SYSTEMS - perforated or solid gypsum boards as plaster base:.
"Rock lath", including the history of use of "rock lath" or perforated gypsum board or "button board" as a plaster base or lath-substitute material.
- Our photo shows expanded mesh metal lath used as plaster lath support for ceilings and walls; this material was also used on building exterior walls to support a stucco finish.
- Metal lath was on occasion used also to support poured concrete ceilings (shown here) - unlikely to provide adequate strength for a thick pour unless additional reinforcement was used.
- Depending on building age we may find a mixture of multiple types of plaster support, wood lath, gypsum board lath, and metal lath.
- Wall or ceiling or stucco crack patterns may follow the borders of metal lath segments, especially if the lath was not securely nailed.
See PLASTER LATH, METAL for details about the types, uses, & installation of expanded metal lath.
- See PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION for details about plaster used in or on buildings.
- Masonite hardboard panels are often found as a utility cladding in buildings on walls and ceilings.
- This article explains the utility usage of hardboard interior products, and we exclude wood or wood-like wall or ceiling paneling products.
- Those are discussed . at HISTORY of the USE of WOOD & OTHER WALL PANELING in North America.
Interlocking Plastic Wall Tiles
History, more photos, & dates of the invention, production, & use of Masonite™ and similar hardboard products are .
at HARDBOARD MASONITE™ & OTHER BRANDS. Laminated Masonite® and other hardboard products have been widely used as water-resistant panels to cover walls and sometimes ceilings in bathrooms, kitchens, and other work areas.
A hard thin plastic laminate was applied to the hardboard surface to simulate marble, tile, or other materials.
Laminated hardboard was widely used in other applications as well, including baby furniture, lab surfaces, RVs, cabins, ornamental wall wall coverings simulating tile, in various pre-fabricated structures, and even in some automobile door panels and airplane panels.
Cleverly the U.S. army used a shipping crate for latrine parts that combined tempered Masonite or the like panels that formed a lining to convert the shipping crate to a latrine enclosure.
(Sheffield 1955). Above: laminated hardboard as a bath tub surround in an older U.S. Scratches or nicks in the surface of the hardboard allow water to penetrate, causing the dark brown ringed stains at this tub surround.
Other water penetration in older hardboard wall coverings can cause the formation of a roughened or rippled surface.
- When water damage is severe the hardboard softens, swells, and may leak into the wall cavity.
- See also IDENTIFY Masonite™ and other hardboard Sheet and Siding Building Materials.
- Because of its lighter weight and alternative production means hardboard-based wall and ceiling coverings found a place where previously cementious products such as asbestos cement or later fiber cement board was used on walls and ceilings as a fireproof wallboard.
- Also see CEMENT ASBESTOS SHEET PRODUCTS. Below: another coated Masonite® type hardboard used around a bath tub.
Tenunon, Charles G., "Building unit."
- Patent 2,130,911, issued September 20, 1938.[Using cementious material or fiber cement or asbestos cement board - a precursor to the products discussed above] Excerpts:It has been proposed heretofore to form building units to simulate brick of regular outline with horizontally and vertically extending mortar spaces or mortar simulating lines but such constructions are not capable of use in simulating material of irregular outline such as the uneven edges of stone, rubble or broken slate.
- It has also been proposed to form shingles and siding with irregular edges but these edges are free and tend to curl up or to be displaced by the wind.
- Flooring such as linoleum is sometimes formed to simulate broken flagstones or the like but such materials are expensive and are not adapted for use on open porches or in courtyards and similar locations where it is exposed to the weather.
- Nilson, Stanley E., "Shower cabinet." Patent 2,423,722, issued July 8, 1947.
Expanded Mesh Metal Lath for Plaster Walls
This patent was originally assigned to the Fiat Metal Mfg. describing an earlier sheet-metal shower enclosure.
Sheffield, Frederick T., "Shipping crate for latrine fixtures convertible into complementary latrine structure." Patent 2,712,164, issued July 5, 1955.
Gick, James E., "Ornamental tile and method of fabrication." Patent 2,982,042, issued May 2, 1961.
[Using ceramic tile bonded to Masonite type hardboard] Excerpts:In the conventional construction of a tile panel having a relief design with a mosaic background, for example, the relief design is incorporated in one or more ceramic plaques much larger than the individual mosaic bodies, and the plaque or plaques are cemented to a base member along with the mosaic background bodies.Such a construction is relatively expensive for a number of reasons.
As heretofore stated, the relief design D is customarily embodied ina-'=ceramic plaque which is also bonded to the base member, being made of linocellulose hard board which is commercially available under the trade name Masonite.
King, Bernie E., "Unitized bathroom structure."
- Patent 3,110,907, issued November 19, 1963. This patent was assigned to the Rohr Corporation.
- Excerpt:As may best be seen in FIGS.
- 3, 4-and 8, the bottom of tub 20 is reinforced with a tempered Masonite'board'57 so that any weight concentrations applied to the bottom surface 56 of the tub are evenly distributed over its surface area.
- In the tub floor construction as shown, a reinforced plastic layer is applied above and below the Masonite board 57, the upper layer "56 of which is formed concurrently with the fabrication of the aforementioned gel coat 43 and reinforced layer 47 of plastic shell 28.
The Masonite board '57 is then applied to this initial plastic layer 56 and the additional layer, or outer plastic bottom layer 58 of the tub, is thereafter applied to the board 57 to thus completely encapsulate the board within the reinforced plastic.
- Wokas, Albert L., "Prefabricated bathrooms and prefabricated restrooms."
- Patent 3,162,863, issued December 29, 1964.
- Excerpts: This invention relates to the prefabrication of rooms, especially restrooms which may or may not contain baths.
- It is especially concerned with the prefabrication of two restrooms which are built together as a single unit package ready for installation in a building.
Cheapest Interior Wall Material/ Cheap Interior Wall Paneling for Residential Construction
These package units are made up of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and completely equipped interiors, including all the plumbing fixtures, water lines, and waste lines in place, tested and ready for use when the package units are delivered to the sites.
Dobija, Michael J. Patent 4,109,426, issued August 29, 1978. This patent was assigned to the Masonite Corporation. Excerpt:A tub surround includes first and second identical corner sections and first, second and third identical panel portions.
The tub surround is assembled by positioning a first panel between the two corner sections thereby defining one wall. The remaining panel sections are joined with each of the corner portions to define second and third walls.Each corner section includes first and second legs extending at right angles from each other.
The ends of the legs extending from the corner sections lie on a plane parallel to and separated from the plane of each side thereby defining a joint behind which the edges of the panels may be positioned.
The corner sections further include shelves extending between the legs of the corner sections.
- On 2021-05-27 by (mod) - is it "safe" to say this bath wall "tile" contains asbestos?
- If by "safe to call this wall covering asbestos" you mean" is it very likely that I'm right and it's an asbestos material: my answer is no, we have no basis to know what that material is from your photo alone,.
- If by "safe" you mean "am I erring on the safe side by treating an unknown wall-covering fake tiles as asbestos" - sure, it's always "safer" to treat an unknown material as possibly hazardous.
- If you look at the material more-closely you may see that it is actually a wood-based fiberboard or hardboard product laminated with a plastic or vinyl skin to resemble tile - as that was a very common wall covering.
At our description of Masonite-type hardboard products found.
- at HARDBOARD MASONITE™ & OTHER BRANDS. we include the1960s magazine advertisement for interior bathroom Masonite™ temprtile wallboard shown above.
- Temprtile was a hardboard-backed wall coverd with a laminated plastic "skin" covering simlating ceramic tile, installed by gluing sheets of the surfaced hardboard to the original walls.
- At our description [above on this page] . Laminated Masonite® and other hardboard products have been widely used as water-resistant panels to cover walls and sometimes ceilings in bathrooms, kitchens, and other work areas.
- A hard thin plastic laminate was applied to the hardboard surface to simulate marble, tile, or other materials.
Gypsum Board Lath Sheets Used for Plaster Walls & Ceilings = Rock Lath, Plaster Lath, Rock Lathe & Button Board
Is synthetic gypsum drywall board safe?
Meanwhile, take a closer look at the edge or at any points of wear or damage to see if you can identify brown woody fibrous backerboard - and attach a sharp photo of what you find here as a page bottom "Comment".
Watch out: some floor and wall covering adhesives also contained asbestos - avoid making a dusty mess. Those details are at ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MASTIC DANGEROUS?
On 2021-05-27 by Ty. Is it safe to say that this material contains asbestos? Might be hard to tell from only one image.
On 2021-05-27 - by (mod) - . @Ty, Sure it's safe to cover that old faux-tile wall material, but take care first to satisfy yourself that there were no leaks into the wall cavities as there could be a hidden mold problem; the time to find and clean up any leak damage is exactly now rather than later when the bathroom has been finished.
On 2021-05-27 by Ty . First time home buyer and bought a house that was built in the 1930's and remodeled around 1960. We have seen there is asbestos flooring in parts of the house but my question is about a recent finding during a bathroom demo.
The blue tile is in a sheet of vinyl with no specific dimensions. It has a circular or flower like adhesive on the back of the sheet.
Is it safe to say this is asbestos? Is it safe to cover? This Q&A on possible asbestos in faux or "fake" bathroom or kitche wall tiles was posted originally .
at ASBESTOS FLOORING IDENTIFICATION. Some 1950s and 1960s "faux" bathroom and kitchen walls were covered using interlocking plastic tiles produced by companies using this new "space-age" material.
Shown here is "Pittsburgh Interlock Plastic Wall Tile" first patented in 1943 (Pauli) and popular in North America from the 1940s through 1960s, probably most-often as a retrofit wall covering in existing bathrooms when homeowners got tired of repairing or re-painting water-damaged walls.
Pros of Drywalls
Plastic interlocking kitchen and bath tiles were, perhaps, a more-durable alternative to HARDBOARD BATHROOM & KITCHEN PANELS in areas where water splashing was likely.
In the U.S., Pittsburgh enjoyed a long and historic role in the development of bath and kitchen wall tiles in the U.S., making it no accident that the Pittsburgh Interlocking Plastic Wall Tile product originated there.
While the first ceramic tiles in the U.S. were probably produced by the US Pottery in Bennington, Vermont, it was the Pittsburg Encaustic Tile Company who had the first commercial success with ceramic wall tiles beginning in 1876. These key patent disclosures help us assign possible dates to homes where plastic interlocking wall tiles are or were used.
For old house restorers who like plastic wall tiles you may find some of these products still for sale as "antique" building products on web-stores like e-Bay.
Pauli, Jr Charles D. WALL TILE [PDF] U.S. Patent 2,323,417, issued July 6, 1943. Brown, Richard G. INTERLOCKING WALL TILE [PDF] U.S. Patent 2,490,577, issued December 6, 1949, filed by and assigned to the Pittasburgh Plastic Tile Company Excerpt:The tiles preferably are made of a plastic suc has polystyrene although they may be made of other materials.
Masonite™ and Other Hardboard Interior Wall & Ceiling Products: Identification
The tiles are affixed to a wall by applying a gob of mastic cement to the rear face of the tile and pressing the tile against a wall.
Lopina, Joseph J. INTERLOCKING PLASTIC TILE [PDF] U.S. Patent 2,627,744, issued February 10, 1953. Excerpt: It is an object of this invention to provide tile which dispenses with the need for the mastic defining beadsv between the adjoining tiles thereby eliminating the expensive wiping operation and enabling the use of cheaper mastics as substantially all of the mastic used in the mounting of my novel tile is concealed by the tile themselves.
Luster, Carl J., and Richard G. INTERLOCKING WALL TILE [PDF] U.S. Patent 2,693,102, issued November 2, 1954. filed by and assigned to the Pittasburgh Plastic Tile Company Excerpt:The present invention relates to interlocking wall tile and more particularly to improvements in the construction and shape of the tile and the interlocking formations thereof.
Types of Materials Used in Wall Construction
Interlocking tile as heretofore commercialized is illus trated by United States Letters Patent 2,323,417, issued July 6, 1943, to Charles D.
Pauli, Jr., and 2,490,577, issued December 6, 1949, to Richard G. Above and also in another photo shown earlier in this article series, we include a photograph of hand-split wood lath and plaster wall, from the wall-cavity side of a U.S.
Interior Wall Types – Drywall Alternatives
home built around 1800. There are several generations of plaster and lath, plaster board, and drywall which have been used in buildings.
Details about the types of wood lath used to support plaster or stucco on building walls, ceilings, or exteriors are . at WOOD LATH for PLASTER or STUCCO.
Inspecting old interior walls with care can yield interesting and perhaps useful historical information about the structure. Below I'm demonstrating that this plaster-lath wall also sported four layers of wallpaper atop the originally-plastered wall surface.
Hemp wall panels
Early colonial paneling is described by Isham. A concise history of wall coverings in residential buildings, more photos, & dates in process, CONTACT us, contributions invited.
Shown at left, colonial style wall paneling in the historic Suffolk Resolves House (1774) in Milton MA. Definition: Wainscoting or "wainscot" is a wood wall finish applied to the lower portion of a building interior, typically about three to four feet up from floor level, and usually capped with a chair rail and usually applied with board edge joints butted vertically as in our photo.
Traditional wainscot is constructed by nailing individual boards to the wall surface. Modern "wainscot" panels are sold in 4' x 8' sheets and cut to fit, producing a beadboard surface that looks like traditional wainscot.
Cork panels as a drywall alternative
Wainscot is an old term, possibly from the 1300's, that in its contemporary usage derives from the British Wainscot, "a fine grade of oak imported for woodwork" - Merriam Webster.
In North America wainscot has been in use since the colonial era. Our photo (left) illustrates beadboard type wainscot wall paneling in a Victorian home built in Poughkeepsie, NY in 1900.
Wooden wall paneling made of individual boards, often tongue-and-groove common or knotty pine, was most often nailed vertically from floor to ceiling and finished with wall trim at both of those levels.
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In North America solid 3/4" thick v-grooved vertical tongue-and-groove pine paneling on building interior walls was particularly popular from about 1945 through the 1960's. Above: 3/4" thick pine boards installed as pine paneling by the author in a Poughkeepsie NY home.
Is Drywall Made Out Of Wood?
On 2019-09-29 by Georgette - what do we call this kind of paneling and how can it be updated? Can someone please tell me the name of this dated wall finishing technique and possibly suggestions on how to update it without taking away from its character?
Thanks very much. On 2019-09-29 by (mod) - modernize sliced horizontal log custom wood paneling? Georgette, I see custom wood wall paneling using horizontal boards made from rough-cut lumber sawn to retain the original profile of the tree from which the boards were sawn; I have not found a special name for this custom design.
While there are other sliced wood wall hangings and paneling designs yours may be unique and in my opinion well worth preserving.
However informal names include:.
Wood-Slice wall paneling, Wood Tree Slice Wall Paneling, Sliced Log Wall Paneling, Horizontal Log Slice Wall Paneling. For in-fill between the horizontal log slices we see in your wooden wall paneling, it appears that solid wood, probably a laminate or plywood was used as a backer panel over which the horizontal log slices were glued or nailed. Without knowing what you have in mind by the word "update" I can't make a suggestion for reserving the walls as shown other than to leave them alone. Certainly painting the surfaces or interlacing with drywall would be in my view a travesty. You could consider changing the floor covering and furnishings to items more consonant with the room's original design. In a most-extreme effort you could disassemble and lightly sand the log slices and all of the wood paneling to obtain a lighter color without giving up the wood paneling design and its special rough-cut tree shape feature. Please tell us the country and city where this building is located and the age of the building and its type. Also take a look . Readers who have more to say about this paneling are invited to POST a QUESTION or COMMENT below on this page. By the 1970's in the U.S. and Canada, the use of solid tongue-and groove wall paneling was more often replaced by thinner 4' x 8' sheets of wood veneer paneling sections. Shown above is a typical thin plywood veneer type wall paneling installed in the 1970's. A concise history of veneer-type wall paneling in residential buildings, more photos, & dates in process, CONTACT us, contributions invited.