Mastering the Art of Drylining: Techniques, Tips, and Best Practices

Drylining, a modern construction technique, involves applying plasterboard to internal surfaces such as walls and ceilings without the need for traditional wet plaster. This method has revolutionized interior finishing, offering numerous benefits over conventional plastering, including speed, efficiency, and ease of use.

What is Drylining?

Drylining is the process of attaching plasterboard to the interior structure of a building. This can be done using various methods such as dot and dab, metal stud partitions, or timber battens. The plasterboard provides a smooth, even surface ready for decoration, significantly reducing the drying time compared to traditional wet plastering.

Methods of Drylining

  1. Dot and Dab: This popular method involves dabbing adhesive directly onto the wall in dots and then pressing the  plasterboard into place. It’s quick, cost-effective, and ideal for solid walls.
  2. Metal Stud Partitions: Used primarily in commercial buildings, this method involves fixing plasterboard to a metal framework. It’s suitable for creating non-load-bearing partitions and allows for easy incorporation of insulation and services within the cavity.
  3. Timber Battens: In this method, plasterboard is attached to wooden battens fixed to the wall. It’s commonly used in residential properties, especially for uneven or irregular surfaces.

Advantages of Drylining

  1. Speed: Drylining significantly reduces construction time. Plasterboard installation is faster than traditional plastering, which requires multiple layers and extensive drying times.
  2. Ease of Installation: The process is relatively straightforward and can be completed with minimal training. This makes drylining it accessible to DIY enthusiasts as well as professional builders.
  3. Versatility: Drylining can be used on a variety of surfaces, including masonry, timber, and metal. It also allows for easy installation of additional features such as insulation, wiring, and plumbing.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Drylining provides a smooth, even surface that’s ready for painting or wallpapering. This results in a high-quality finish with minimal effort.
  5. Insulation: Plasterboard can be combined with insulation materials to improve thermal and acoustic performance. This helps to enhance the energy efficiency and soundproofing of a building.

Disadvantages of Drylining

  1. Durability: While plasterboard is durable, it’s not as strong as traditional plaster. It can be susceptible to impact damage, although reinforced or thicker boards can mitigate this issue.
  2. Moisture Sensitivity: Standard plasterboard is not suitable for areas with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms or kitchens. However, moisture-resistant boards are available for these applications.
  3. Joint Cracking: Poor installation can lead to cracks appearing at the joints between boards. This can be minimized by using jointing tape and compound, and ensuring proper fixing techniques are employed.

Applications of Drylining

Drylining is used in a wide range of applications, from residential homes to commercial buildings and industrial facilities. It’s ideal for new builds, renovations, and retrofits, offering a flexible and efficient solution for interior finishing. Specific applications include:

  • Creating partitions and room dividers: Drylining is perfect for creating internal walls and partitions, allowing for flexible space planning and reconfiguration.
  • Soundproofing: By incorporating acoustic plasterboard and insulation, drylining can significantly reduce noise transmission between rooms.
  • Thermal Insulation: Drylining with insulated plasterboard improves the thermal performance of a building, reducing energy consumption and enhancing comfort.


Drylining has become a cornerstone of modern construction due to its speed, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. While it does have some limitations, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, making it an attractive option for a wide range of projects. Whether you’re a professional builder or a DIY enthusiast, understanding the principles and techniques of drylining can help you achieve high-quality interior finishes efficiently and effectively.