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The Ultimate Drywall vs. Plaster Quiz
by Staff
Plaster and drywall have advantages and disadvantages when used for wall construction. Professionals disagree on which material is better suited to building a good wall. Are you aware of the pros and cons surrounding the properties of plaster and drywall? Taking this quiz will help you to determine whether you are an informed builder.

What do you call the pieces of a special foundation installed across studs in order to hold plaster?

  • laths
  • slats
  • studs

What is a prime function of interior walls surfaces in addition to simply forming a partition between rooms?

  • sound barrier
  • weight transfer
  • load transfer

Plaster has been in use since:

  • the year 1750
  • medieval times
  • ancient Egypt

What is the name given to the art created with pigments applied to wet plaster commonly found decorating ancient Roman homes?

  • hieroglyphics
  • fresco
  • pointillism

What was plaster originally made with?

  • gypsum, Portland cement and chopped straw
  • clay, ground shells and wool
  • lime, sand and animal hair

What is an advantage to using newer gypsum based plaster versus traditional plaster?

  • faster drying time
  • better resistance to fire
  • superior resistance to cracking

Which construction method is becoming more popular, despite its greater expense?

  • composite paneling
  • veneer plaster
  • unfinished brick

How many coats of plaster are typically employed in order to finish a traditional plaster wall?

  • five
  • four
  • three

What is a major drawback of a plaster wall besides its higher cost?

  • They crack easily.
  • They require heavier framing.
  • They are easily damaged.

What process is used to manufacture a typical sheet of drywall?

  • The gypsum is sliced into massive sheets at the quarry before paper is glued on at the finishing plant.
  • The gypsum is mixed with additives and water to form a paste that is poured on Manila paper.
  • The gypsum is sprayed on the paper backing in four layers to reach desired thickness.

When attaching drywall to studs or beams, is it ok to face either side out?

  • Drywall is designed so that it makes no difference which side faces out.
  • No, the paper on the back of the panel is color-coded pale blue and the front is white.
  • No, the paper on the front side of the drywall panel is smoother.

Professionals typically refer to drywall joint compound as:

  • mud
  • filler
  • slop

How can you achieve square corners on your drywall installation?

  • There are special inside and outside corner putty knives for this purpose.
  • You will need to install a special metal corner bead on each corner.
  • When the mud is almost dry you press a special Teflon corner form against it to achieve square the corner.

How do you fill the cracks between sheets of drywall with mud in order to finish your installation?

  • Apply a bottom layer to hold the drywall tape, another layer over the tape and finally a finish layer.
  • Apply a single thick layer with a 12-inch wide trowel and feather the edges to minimize sanding.
  • Apply a layer of mud and allow it to dry before applying a final coat to avoid cracking due to shrinkage.

What is a common problem with wallboard installations that you would not face with plaster?

  • cracking
  • weeping
  • nail or screw pops