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Is Shiplap Cheaper Than Drywall

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While remodeling or building your house, you’ll come across a variety of building materials that can be used to build your walls over the frames. Among the most popular options that you can go for is either Shiplap or drywall. But is Shiplap cheaper than drywall?

Of course, there are various pros and cons for choosing either one of them, and naturally, price is one.

In the majority of cases, shiplap is actually more expensive than drywall. This comes down to a lot of reasons, including materials used, labor intensiveness, and other hidden costs. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that drywall is more cost-effective because, with shiplap, you get far more value, durability, and reliability for a slightly higher price.

If you want to find out more about the costs of both Shiplap and drywall as well as whether you should pick the former or the latter, keep on reading!

Is Shiplap Cheaper Than Drywall

First, let’s head straight into pricing and what each of these options is going to set you back.

For starters, shiplap will usually cost you an average of $2.5 to $7.5 per square foot for each board if the material of the shiplap is real wood. Drywall usually costs anywhere between $1.5 to $1.85 per square foot.

In addition to the upfront cost of the material, there’s also the overall pricing of installing shiplap in a room. In most cases, using real boards of shiplap would end up costing you anywhere between $2,500 to $8,000.

This depends on the size of the room, the type of shiplap board used, labor costs. Ideally, the standard room will cost you an average of about $4,000 if you use shiplap. On the other hand, the same room might cost you as little as $1,000 for drywall instead.

This is because the average price of drywall usually costs homeowners anywhere between $500 to $1,500. Based on that, it’s obvious that shiplap is far more expensive than standard drywall.

Why Is Shiplap More Expensive Than Drywall

The real reason why shiplap costs more than drywall is simply due to the difference in materials used.

Shiplap, and other types of Tongue and Groove panels, usually use real wood. On the other hand, drywall is made of a blend of gypsum, resin, mica, and paper.

Moreover, lumbar requires protection from the elements, so shiplap installation will also require additional costs for sealants, stains, and paint. This applies whether it’s an interior or exterior wall.

Although Shiplap is the costlier option when considering the upfront costs, that doesn’t necessarily make drywall the most cost-effective option, especially when considering the long-term costs.

Installing drywall takes quite a long time and includes multiple processes like mudding, taping, sanding as well as priming and painting.

All these steps require a professional to get the job done, which also adds up to the final costs of installing drywall. They’re also less durable and require frequent maintenance.

Can You install a Shiplap Over Existing Drywall

While you don’t necessarily need an existing layer of drywall to install shiplap, you might be wondering whether you have to tear down the already existing drywall in the process. 

Lucky for you, you can install a shiplap over drywall directly and with relative ease. The great news here is that the shiplap plus drywall combo can be quite a great one!

On one hand, you’ll enjoy the structural rigidity and the ability to hang objects anywhere on the wall thanks to the solid wood of shiplap.

On the other hand, you’ll also enjoy additional protection against the elements as well as additional soundproofing, which is one of the notable drawbacks of installing shiplap alone.

Installing them together can also be a smart solution if your state law or building codes prohibit building the house walls from shiplap only.

3 Tips to Reduce the Overall Price of Shiplap Walls

1. Consider Using a Budget-Friendly Material

Instead of hardwood panels, you can simply shift to budget-friendly softwood options like spruce and cedar.

2. Do It Yourself

Since it’s extremely easy, you can cut down on the prices of labor by simply installing the panels yourself. There are plenty of guides and youtube videos to guide you through the whole process.

3. Measure the Amount You Need Before Making a Purchase

This might seem like a no-brainer. Yet, many people buy a lot more than they need and end up storing them in the basement. By seeking professional advice about how much shiplap you will need, can save quite a hefty sum!

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Shiplap vs. Drywall

Now that you know more about shiplap and drywall pricing, here are some other aspects of pros and cons of each one of them to help you decide the ideal option for you.

Shiplap is More Durable

If durability and structural integrity for the long run is an essential requirement, you might want to consider going for shiplap because it is much less prone to cracks and dents when compared to drywall.

Drywall Offers Better Soundproofing

One of the most notable flaws of shiplap is that it’s not a naturally ideal material if you prefer acoustic serenity inside the house. Drywall, however, does a much better job at it.

Shiplap Allows for an Easier Installation with Little to No Mess

With fewer tools and materials included in the process, you’ll have a much lighter cleanup after shiplap than with drywall.

Drywall is Easy to Repair

While it’s less likely to require repairs, Shiplap repairs are quite tedious and may call for replacements to a large chunk of the wall. For drywall, you simply prepare more of the material and apply it directly to the crack or dent.


To wrap things up, shiplap is a pricier option than drywall because it’s more durable and uses real boards for installation.

A lot of homeowners consider home renovation projects as a chance to increase their household prices.

Adding shiplap adds to the functional integrity and enhances the texture of the house walls. However, many people consider it a “fashion trend” rather than a serious renovation project.

Based on that, if you’re mainly considering shiplap as a method to increase your house value, you probably should consider some other renovation projects that would cost you a lot less and increase your property value significantly, such as kitchen improvements, power washing, and door replacements.