DRYLINING? – Tips and Advice from Snaffle

DRYLINING? – Tips and Advice from Snaffle

Drylining is generally faster and easier to install than wet plaster as well as being a more flexible option to change or adjust later. Here's some handy information to help move the project along!

wooden Drylining project

Metal Stud & Track Drylining project

What is Drylining?

Drylining is a form of cladding for internal walls and ceilings, to prepare them for painting or covering with wallpaper. Plasterboard is attached to metal or wood uprights, called studwork.

Why dryline vs wet plastering?

Drylining is generally faster and easier to install than wet plaster. It is also a more flexible option, allowing you to make changes or adjust it later. Unlike plaster, it does not use water, hence the term “dry” lining. It can easily be painted or papered over and needs no drying time. Drylining offers the chance to add soundproofing and insulation materials. These are inserted into the cavities to provide thermal insulation or sound damping. Drylining offers greater flexibility and rooms can be changed around easily.

Some older properties may require traditional plaster to maintain the aesthetic style of the construction. Brick and wet plaster walls may have greater load bearing capability and are often more suited to external walls.

Why is Drylining used?

The plasterboard used in drylining can hide pipes and cables, create insulation space, and even provide soundproofing. Due to its versatility, drylining can be used in a variety of range of situations, including to cover over brickwork and uneven surfaces. It can also create curved walls too, which allows for creativity or to manage small or unusually shaped spaces. Stud & track walls can be used to split large rooms into smaller living spaces. The plasterboard makes them smooth, sturdy and safe for partition walls.

Where is Drylining used?

Drylining can be used for all internal walls and can also be used in bathrooms and kitchens, although a moisture resistant plasterboard and specialist insulation may be required to cope with the condensation and moisture in these areas.

Depending on the type of wall or surface the plasterboard is being fixed to, two standard thicknesses, 9.5 or 12.5mm, can be used. Drylining is also possible around door frames, with specialist door kits available to fit most standard frames.

What materials are used in Drylining?

As well as the plasterboard, other materials are needed such as adhesives, nails and screws.

Dabs of quick drying adhesive can be used to attach the plasterboard, this is known as “dot and dab”, however this has been criticised for leaving air pockets behind the plasterboard which can impair the performance of the wall. Nails can also be used, however drywall screws provide stronger support for the plasterboard. Dry wall screws are preferred as they are designed with a “bugle” shaped head which sinks into the plasterboard without protruding, and offer a fine thread ideal for fast and strong grip.

Basic Toolkit

The essential kit for undertaking a drylining project would be:

  • Plaster mixing pan and whisk screw gun
  • Drywall saw/cutter taping knife
  • Tape measure
  • Filler
  • Drywall sander - ideally with auto switch vacuum
  • Fibreglass joint tape
  • Correct screws-std for timber or self drill for metal
  • Stud jointing compound

Should I use Metal or Timber Stud wall?

We’ve put together a “Pros and Cons” list below to help you choose as each job may need to be considered differently. We’ve left price out as they seem very volatile at present and although timber has traditionally cost less than metal, it has recently climbed dramatically.

Timber stud


  • Easily cut
  • Conserves heat
  • Better energy efficiency and insulation
  • Better sound supression
  • More stable fixing for hanging cabinets etc
  • Would be preferred by competent carpenter


  • Bulkier to store
  • Heavier to transport and move around
  • Not fireproof
  • More waste material
  • Can warp and twist
  • Prone to rot and termites

Metal Stud


  • Easier and quicker to construct
  • Labour saving
  • Wont warp or twist-more structurally stable
  • Lighter to carry and transport
  • Less bulky storage
  • Fireproof
  • Not prone to rot or termites


  • Loses heat faster-less energy efficient
  • Possibly higher material cost
  • Need special fixings when fixing cabinets to wall
  • Less sound suppressive
  • Special screw required
Drylining at Snaffle Building Supplies

If you have any questions, or are looking for advice on your drylining project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our award-winning team. They’ll help you pick the ideal product for your project, whether you’re revitalising an existing property or are tacking a larger new build. You can get in touch by calling  0203 475 9701 or using our online live chat.You'll find a comprehensive range of drylining supplies online.

26th Nov 2021

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