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How Much Does Dry Lining Cost?

Dry lining is one of the popular methods of improving the aesthetics of a building. This guide will take you through the different components of dry lining cost and address the various aspects you need be aware of when completing a dry lining project.

What is dry lining?

Dry lining, also referred to as dry walling, is the process of plaster boarding the internal walls of a building which also includes ceilings. Plasterboards are used on the internal faces to create a smooth outer finish so a paint can be applied directly on top of it. As the name suggests, the process requires less water and the right mix should be maintained to ensure it’s applied correctly.

In the UK, it is most common manufacturer of dry lining and dry walling products is British Gypsum, which contains a natural non-toxic mineral that’s becoming a favoured alternative to hand-applied wall-plaster. 

Dry lining cost

Things to consider when dry lining a house

There are some basic things that you as a homeowner should consider when dry lining a house:

  • Site Location: This is important as you will need to look for local dry lining contractors that better understands your needs.
  • Cost: Dry lining cost can vary depending on the complexity of the job, type of labour required, different plasterboards and the materials used and the cost of transportation. If you have a specific budget in mind, it’s always good to communicate with your dry lining contractor so you will know what’s possible within the range.
  • Insulation: One of the main properties offered by dry lining is its insulation. The choice of plasterboards would depend on the degree of insulation that you require. For instance, the thermal efficiency of your home can be improved if the plasterboard applied has some vapour layer fitted.
  • Experienced dry lining contractors: Choosing a well experienced dry lining contractor is key to ensure a high quality finish. This is especially important for more tedious and complex dry lining tasks such as curves, high ceilings etc.
  • Moisture: Depending on the level of moisture in your area, it is important that you provide your dry lining a special moisture-resistant coating to ensure it doesn’t dampen too quickly. You will need to choose the right type of material depending on the moisture levels.
  • Need for specialised equipment: Depending on the finish and scope of the project, you may require special equipment to get the job done. 
  • Time: Is your project urgent? Do you have an immediate requirement? If so, you will need to request your contractor for additional labour.

How much does dry lining cost?

A standard basic dry ling panel measuring 2.45m x 1.20m will cost between £7 – £15, that varies based on the required thickness, the brand you choose in addition to any specific properties that you may add on such as resistance to moisture. 

There could be add-on costs for specialised features in a non-standard room with curves and arches which could significantly increase your cost given that it can take more labour hours. Additionally, depending on the type of finish you require can be a determinant to your dry lining cost.

Below is a breakdown of dry lining cost that can be used as a basis to estimate for your dry lining project.

Dry Lining Cost ItemDurationCost of materialsCost of labourAverage total cost
Drywalling a standard ceiling2-4 hours£90 – £150 per ceiling (including taping)£190 – £250£340
Drywalling an average room4-8 hours£200 – £350 per room (including taping)£360 – £600£755
Drywalling a standard size family home2-4 days£1,500 – £2,550 per house (including taping)£1,500 – £2,550£4,050

Commercial dry lining cost

Commercial dry lining projects tend to have a much larger scope of work. For these projects, rather than hourly rates, you’re more likely to pay per square metre price. Oftentimes, large drywall projects of this scale are quite hard to price and depend on various components (e.g. type of plaster board, fire boards, etc). Please contact us if you would like to request a custom dry lining quote and consultation.

However, as noted above, it must be understood that the price of a commercial drylining job is determined by many things; the scope of the job, experience, and the size and complexity of the project. There are many factors that can affect the final pricing, and our contractors at Ralph Plastering would be happy to provide you with a custom quote for dry lining services.

Other dry lining costs to consider

Once the dry lining is installed and the plasterboards have dried, you would want to give your new wall a fresh look. At this point, you would need to spend on a professional painter or decorator who can get the job done for you.

They are likely to have the right skill set to paint the fine edges and also in special cases give your walls a neat finish without any patches.

Potential installation problems

As much as you may be tempted to carry out dry lining by yourself, you could run into potential problems if not done right. It’s important that you pay close attention to this section as it could otherwise strain your budget.

  • Oversanding: This occurs when aggressively sanding the dried mud compound and joints to create a very smooth surface. However, this could lead to exposing the paper that covers the seams. You could get around this by placing a bright light on the floor that can easily highlight any bumps.
  • Joints too tight: Fixing the joints too tight and close can be risky as the panels tend to contract and expand depending on the climate. In a situation it expands, the panel may crack and it is therefore important to leave some room for it (of about 3mm).
  • Overscrewing: The screws need to be in place perfectly to ensure you don’t crack the surface. This generally occurs when you drive the screws in too far. This can also compromise the strength of the drylining to hold on to the screw.
  • Drylining tapes exposed: This is when you have incorrectly coated the wall. Ideally, you should have 3 coats, i.e. tape coat, filler coat, and the final coat. Make sure you have all 3 in place.

These problems are inevitable and can easily increase your dry lining cost in the long term if not done correctly. As a DIYer, this can be overwhelming and it may be a wise decision to seek support from the professionals in the trade.

Click here to take a look at our other article which explains the benefits of dry lining walls.

Hiring a dry walling contractor checklist

As mentioned above, dry lining a wall can be quite an overwhelming process and it is important that you choose a dry lining contractor that has the right expertise to serve your needs. It is equally important that you work with a contractor that you’re comfortable with. Below are some points that you can consider when choosing one:

  • Working Location: It’s always a good idea to look into the working locations of a dry lining contractor that you have shortlisted. It’s important to find one that’s easily reachable and accessible. At Ralph Plastering, our working locations range across South London, Surrey and neighbouring areas.
  • Accreditations: If the dry lining contractors have relevant certifications and accreditations, you can be assured of a quality finish as they are likely to be credible. At Ralph Plastering, our contractors are approved by CHAS, SMAS, British Gypsum and Weber.
  • Follow Local Regulations: There are certain local regulations that you may have to follow when dry lining your wall. It can therefore be convenient if you choose a contractor who understands the local regulations in South London. Given that Ralph Plastering has been operating in South London and has decades of experience doing so, we are confident of ensuring that we meet all the regulations in all our projects.
  • Strong Network of Suppliers: It’s important that you work with a dry lining contractor that uses industry standard materials to ensure that your drywalls are long lasting. At Ralph Plastering, we use British Gypsum in all our projects.

Final thoughts

There are many factors to take into account before deciding upon dry lining your wall. These factors include insulation properties, using the right plasterboards, how it will be maintained, the moisture levels, and much more.

Contact our professional dry lining contractors at Ralph Plastering to ensure you get the highest quality dry walling service at an affordable price. Most importantly, remember to ask questions before signing any legal contracts or giving money up-front! Alternatively, please take a look at our dry lining projects here to see our previous works.

Looking For Plasterers In South London or Surrey?

Ralph Plastering is a highly recommended plastering company in South London and Surrey providing all aspects of plastering, dry lining & rendering services.