Concrete vs. Drywall: Which to Choose?

Concrete vs. Drywall: Which to Choose?

Handyman's World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

If you are building a new home, there are a variety of building materials that you will need. Two very popular and common building materials include concrete and drywall.

That said, as far as similarities go, these things really are about as different as can be. Let’s figure out what both of these materials are, what makes them similar and different, and what they are both best used for.

Concrete and Drywall: The Basics

Before we start talking about similarities and differences, let’s first figure out what both concrete and drywall are.

What Is Concrete?

First, we have concrete, which is a compound material consisting of Portland cement, water, and aggregate, which could be sand, fine rocks, or gravel.

When water mixes with the Portland cement, it causes a chemical reaction that then causes it to harden and cure. There are a few different types of concrete out there, including Quikrete, which is a very fast-setting type of concrete.

Concrete is an extremely strong, durable, and weather-resistant building material that is used for a wide variety of purposes.

It can be used for making walls and foundations, patios and driveways, walkways, setting fence posts, and more. This is a really solid building material that can handle a lot of weight.

Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of concrete

What Is Drywall?

Drywall may also be referred to as plasterboard, chip rock, wallboard, sheetrock, or gypsum board. Drywall is made by taking two paper boards and sandwiching them around gypsum, which is a powdery gray sulfate mineral.

The interior core, the gypsum, comes in the form of plaster, which then dries and hardens when it is sandwiched between those thick sheets of paper.

Drywall can be made to look extremely attractive, is very easy to paint, and more. It is therefore ideal for covering interior walls and ceilings with something that looks nice, yet is also somewhat durable.

That said, drywall is not nearly as durable as many other building materials out there. However, it is often used because it is very lightweight, easy to cut, and easy to paint. That said, in no way is drywall load-bearing or structurally sound at all.

Similarities of Concrete and Drywall

When it comes down to it, these two things are completely different, and really don’t share any similarities whatsoever. Therefore, let’s move on and talk about the differences between these two.

Differences Between Concrete and Drywall

Let’s take a closer look at the vast array of differences between concrete and drywall.

1. Composition

Drywall is made out of gypsum and paper, as well as fiberglass and other fibers on occasion. Concrete, on the other hand, is made out of Portland cement, water, and a variety of aggregates. These two materials are just fundamentally different things.

2. Ease of Use and How They’re Prepared on Site

With drywall, you just buy the panels that you need, cut them to size, and fasten them to the underlying layer.

On the other hand, with concrete, you have to mix it yourself and then pour it into a mold or frame that you have built yourself. It is also possible to get ready mixed concrete that comes premixed in a truck.

That said, drywall is much easier to work with.

3. Strength, Durability, and Weight Bearing Capabilities

Concrete is extremely strong and can handle up to 4000 PSI. Moreover, it’s also rock-solid, very dense, structurally sound, and can bear a lot of weight. Drywall is absolutely none of those things. You could punch a piece of drywall with your fist and it would break in half.

4. Moisture and Weather Resistance

Concrete is often used for exterior purposes as it is extremely weather and moisture-resistant. Drywall cannot be used for exterior purposes, as it’s really not very moisture resistant at all.

5. Pest and Mold Resistance

Although drywall is decently resistant to pests and mold, it is not nearly as mold and pest resistant as concrete.

6. Fire Resistance

Some types of drywall can be fairly fire-resistant, but nothing like concrete. Getting concrete to combust is almost impossible.

7. Appearance and Ease of Painting

The advantage that drywall has is that it does of course look a bit nicer and is also much easier to paint, which is why it is used for interior purposes, such as covering walls and ceilings.

Can You Put Concrete Over Drywall?

Technically speaking, it is possible to put concrete over drywall, although this is something that is really never done. It just doesn’t work well.

However, many people will put drywall panels over concrete, as long as there is a moisture barrier between the two.

Concrete vs. Drywall: Which of the Two Should You Use?

If you are putting up walls, you want something that looks nice and is cost-effective, and you want to be able to paint it easily, then drywall is the way to go.

However, if you need the wall to be load-bearing, then it is concrete that you need. Concrete is also what you would use to build tall buildings, to create foundations for houses, patios, driveways, setting fence posts, and anything in between.


As you can see, concrete and drywall are two extremely different things and they really don’t share any similarities or the same purposes whatsoever.

How Does Concrete Compare with Other Materials?

Below, you can find articles that compare concrete with:

How Does Drywall Compare with Other Materials?

You might also be interested in seeing how drywall compares with: