Are plaster walls stronger than drywall

Plasterboard - glue or screw

You want to cover an unsightly wall with plasterboard and you are not sure whether you should glue it to the wall or screw it. At first glance, gluing plasterboard looks particularly easy, but usually when you start work, the first questions often arise. Here we show you how plasterboard is glued on. At the same time, we show popular sources of error that need to be avoided and contrast screwing plasterboard with gluing.

Plasterboard can be screwed as well as glued. Hardly any other material enables a smooth wall to be created as quickly and cheaply as plasterboard. That is one of the reasons why plasterboard is so popular today.

You should ask yourself these questions:

  • Damp room?
  • Helper?
  • One-man plates or large plates?
  • Condition of the wall?
  • free-standing wall or wall cladding?
  • Is insulation necessary?


Condition of the wall

In order to be able to decide whether to glue or screw the plasterboard, you should take a closer look at the condition and location of the wall.

Next humidity a porous wall is also the end of the process for gluing plasterboard. If the wall is crooked or uneven, the panel will not adhere to the full surface and will eventually fall off. The same result can be expected with a porous wall. Here the adhesive cannot completely bond to the wall and so does not stick over the entire surface either. This means that the adhesive cannot hold the weight of the plasterboard in the long term and will eventually give way.

Tip: Depending on the subsurface, you can also secure the newly created plasterboard walls with screws. It is not always necessary to first attach a rail under the plate so that you can set screws. However, you should use special screws with a drive-in dowel.

Cracks that are well over a millimeter thick and / or cover the entire wall also indicate damage to the structure of the wall. These cracks must at least be closed beforehand. You can use the same mass to do this that you use to glue the plasterboard. No matter whether it is a tie-on or tile adhesive, all you need to do is roughly fill the cracks and let them dry.

If the plasterboard is glued to the wall, there is no way to put additional insulation underneath. Therefore, all uninsulated external walls are unsuitable for gluing plasterboard. Only if pre-wall insulation is carried out at the same time, for example with a thermal composite system, does it make sense to glue plasterboard to a previously uninsulated outer wall from the inside. If the wall is no longer to be worked on from the outside, plasterboard panels must be attached to a substructure made of battens or aluminum rails. Then both sufficient insulation and a vapor barrier can be installed under the panels. Even with a partition wall, you cannot do without the insulation, even if this may not seem necessary at the moment.

Speak against gluing:

  • Moisture in the wall
  • sloping or uneven wall
  • porous surface of the wall
  • Wall insulation required

In small rooms in particular, it is advisable to glue the panels directly, as a substructure requires additional living space. Of course, the question does not arise if you want to cover a partition or partition wall that is being newly built with the plasterboard. But even then you still have another decision to make. You can build the substructure either from aluminum profiles or battens. Depending on which material you prefer to work with, it is more a matter of taste, as both materials have their advantages and disadvantages.

Tip: Large panels are rather impractical for gluing, so the so-called are suitable One-man plates better.

Glue plasterboard

Rigips can actually be glued and reworked on a brick or plaster wall in just 4 steps. While this is the easiest way to lay plasterboard, it cannot be used everywhere.

First here are the instructions for gluing the plasterboard. Gluing is not absolutely cheaper than attaching it with screws to a substructure, because a lot of adhesive is required.

1. Prepare the wall

First check that the wall is absolutely straight and level. You should also wash sandy surfaces again before you can glue plasterboard there. If there are cracks, they must first be closed.

Tip: You first have to straighten a particularly uneven wall if you want to glue the panels. In many cases, however, this is not worthwhile and it is then easier to screw the panels onto a compensating substructure.

Make sure that any plaster that may still be present is really stable. In most old houses in need of renovation, it is better to remove the old plaster beforehand. Highly absorbent and porous bricks should also be bonded with a Reason for detention to get prepared.

Tip: If the wall is too uneven or not stable, it is better to dowel a substructure onto the wall, as you cannot completely compensate for an inclined wall when gluing.

2. Cut the panels

Cut the boards to size before mixing the mortar. Even if the plates may need to be reworked with a cutter, you should prepare all the plates. You should bevel the edge where cut edges meet. You may need aluminum or plastic edge protection around doors and windows. The ledges should also be prepared.

As you cut the panels, note the front and back. The rounded edges belong on the front. With some panels, both sides are rounded, then you should pay attention to the color of the surface, as the back is usually beige in cardboard color, but the front is primed white.

Mark the required area exactly with the pencil on the plate. Place a fence iron or a straight board on the cutting edge and pull the cutter or a box cutter along it. Then place the board at the cut edge under the plasterboard and break it through here. Now you can cut through the cardboard on the back with the cutter.

Tip: Since the edge on the front is no longer rounded where you cut, you should bevel the edge with a pull bar or a cutter knife. If the sharp right-angled edge remains, it will later push through and destroy your smooth surface. You can only connect the panels cleanly and, above all, invisibly, if the panel is rounded.

3. Mix the glue

When mixing the glue you have to show some tact. If the adhesive gets too wet, the plasterboard absorbs the moisture and the cardboard coating can curl and loosen. If the adhesive is too dry, it will not join the panel and wall properly. The consistency should be creamy, but not drip.

First put the cold water in the clean masonry bucket and then the plaster powder of the binding binder. Gradually let the gypsum powder trickle in slowly. If you notice that you have too little water, you should wait a moment and then stir the mixture again with the paddle. It is always unfavorable for tie-on binders if water is poured in afterwards. It is better if you can add a little binding binder.

Tip: The tile adhesive is mixed in the same way, but is not as sensitive as the attachment binder. Tile adhesive is more suitable than a plaster-based product, especially on exterior walls, because of its mortar-containing content. You should also use tile adhesive when gluing the green damp-proof panels.

4. Glue the plasterboard

You can glue drywall sheets either with tie-on ties or with mortar. You should make the selection depending on the number of square meters. In the case of large areas, it is often easier and more economical if you mix mortar for the panels yourself. Attachment ties is a ready-made plaster mixture specially developed for gluing plasterboard.

Compare prices, especially if you need a lot of tie-offs. A sack of 20 kilos costs roughly 8.00 euros in the hardware store. When you buy a pallet, it is sometimes cheaper. But a pallet can easily contain 56 bags. Other retailers, for example, offer 48 bags for 400 euros. You should therefore also take a close look at larger quantities to see whether the bulk purchase is not even expensive. In our example, the sack then costs 8.33 euros, which is even more expensive.

For large complete panels, you should slap the adhesive in several lumps or large blobs on the wall. For a one-man record it should be about six thick blobs. The plate should be pressed for a moment. It is better to have a second person to help you glue large panels. You can work with the smaller one-man panels on your own.

Tip: The slapping of the adhesive mass on the wall is meant quite literally, because the more momentum you exert, the fewer air holes are left behind the adhesive on the wall. In this way, the mass adheres first and then the plate much better.

Smaller bits on the edge or in the corners should be provided with at least three small blobs of glue on the back and then press firmly on. Always check immediately after pressing the panels with a spirit level whether the panels are absolutely straight. Only now can you adjust the panels by tapping them lightly. Always hit the plate with the palm of your hand to make slight corrections.

Important: Use the spirit level to check whether the plate has just been pressed down.

When attaching the panels, you should take care not to create cross joints.

Screw in plasterboard

The advantage of a substructure for the plasterboard is primarily the good insulation and the possibility of attaching a vapor barrier to the masonry. In this case, an additional facade renovation is usually not necessary. However, the room shrinks by about five centimeters on all sides, which is of course not desirable in very small rooms.

Screw on the substructure

Depending on which plate size you are using, your basic framework must be designed in such a way that the plates can be screwed on all sides. Large panels should also be screwed in the middle. The slats or aluminum rails are screwed directly onto the wall with dowels and screws. If you want to insert a vapor barrier, you should pay attention to the sealing of the dowel holes.

Insert insulation

Your insulation layer should correspond to the thickness of the battens. If the insulation is too thin, part of the insulation effect evaporates. Too much insulation is of course completely impossible with Rigips, otherwise you will not be able to screw the panels.

The insulation must be cut exactly. That is, it should be only a few millimeters wider and higher than the existing segment. If you have cut out a piece that is too small, you can either use it in another field or lay it precisely with another strip. Of course, this is not ideal and should not be the rule. The insulation should be able to be pressed into the field with two or three targeted handshakes, then you have the right size.

Attach plates

Make sure that the plate ends in the middle of the respective batten if there is to be a neighboring plate. In places where the board should cover a window cutout or a door frame, you can attach an edge profile for plasterboard for protection. However, if a door frame later covers the edge, you can save yourself these costs.

Tip: Most of the screws today have a Phillips head. For this work, be sure to buy a high-quality bit that fits the screw head exactly. You save a lot of time and effort when screwing, and you have less costs due to ruined screw heads that spin.

You should countersink the screw deep enough. The screw should be countersunk about one to two millimeters deep. This way you can smooth over it later and the screw still offers the panel a sufficiently strong hold. When laying plasterboard on the ceiling or a slope, your best friend is the so-called 3rd hand, with which you fix the board in the right place. With this inexpensive little tool, you often don't even need a helper.

Tip: If possible, reduce the speed of the cordless screwdriver so that the screw receives exactly the right contact pressure. At full power it can happen that the screw literally shoots through the plasterboard. Then of course the record would not have a hold later.

A strong board that connects the construction battens to one another is important where lamps are to be attached to the ceiling or slope. The electrical cable is also routed along this board. Make a note of the position of the power cables and any auxiliary boards that may have been introduced. Then you always have the option later of adding a lamp or relocating the existing lamps, for example if the use of the room changes from a bedroom or children's room to a study.


Regardless of whether you have glued or screwed the plasterboard, the drywall must now be grouted and sanded to get a really smooth surface for further use. You can find the instructions here: Fill and sand plasterboard.