Is Using Drywall In A Tiny House A Bad Idea?

using drywall in a tiny house


I get the question more often that you’d think: Can you use drywall in a tiny home? Does drywall hold up in a tiny house when you move it?

Surprisingly, drywall is a good option for tiny homes because it’s affordable, easy to install, and easy to patch or fix cracks if you need to.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

When I built my tiny home, I used wood paneling on the inside. It was 6-inch tongue and groove slats that I sealed with tung oil. It turned out beautifully, but what I came to realize was that, as the color cured over the years, the honey tone meant that I couldn’t replace individual slats without it looking obvious.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

The really nice thing about drywall is that it’s pretty easy to repair should you need to get access to something behind it. There was a time that I had to pull a wire through the wall of my tiny home and, even though I only needed to take one piece of my wall out, when I replaced it, the wood tone looked totally different.

Can You Use Drywall In A Tiny House On Wheels?

Can You Use Drywall In A Tiny House On Wheels

Yes, drywall is a very good option for a tiny house — even one on wheels. Despite my initial concerns, I’ve talked with many people who have built their tiny home on wheels with drywall and even after moving their tiny house, it worked perfectly well.

Will Drywall Crack When You Move A Tiny House?

One friend of mine moved her tiny house halfway across the United States and after the 1,000+ mile journey, one corner had a small crack in it. It took her all of five minutes with some spackle to patch it and then another five to touch up the paint.

Should You Use Drywall Or Paneling In A Tiny House?

Should You Use Drywall Or Paneling In A Tiny House

Both are great options, but what I’d suggest is letting the style of your tiny home guide your decision. More rustic tiny homes will look better with paneling, while more traditional or modern homes seem to do well with drywall from an aesthetic perspective.

Bathroom Wall That Is Not Drywall In A Tiny House

The bathroom is one place you might not want to have drywall in a tiny house, but it is still a possibility. Because a tiny house bathroom is so small, when you shower, you’re pumping a lot of moisture into the air, and drywall can be compromised from too much moisture and improper ventilation. You can reduce the risk of damage by using drywall that’s specifically designed for wet areas as it’s moisture and mold resistant.

Regardless of your decision, you’re going to want a good bath fan to exhaust the moist air out and your house should have an HVAC system that can dehumidify.

If you decide not to use drywall, there are some good PVC paneling options, but it’s not necessary as long as you have a good plan for your HVAC.

tiny house bathrooms

Tiny House With Drywall Ideas

Tiny House With Drywall Ideas

Here are a few photos of tiny homes on wheels that use drywall.

tiny house drywall finish
using drywall in a tiny house
drywall finish in tiny home
tiny home drywall interior finish
tiny home with drywall inside
tiny house interior drywall

tiny house interiors

How Much Does It Cost To Drywall A Tiny House?

How Much Does It Cost To Drywall A Tiny House

If you decide to install the drywall yourself, a good rule of thumb for estimating is $2 per square foot of drywall. If you’re hiring someone to drywall for you, plan on $4–6 per square foot.

Contractors will typically charge more for smaller jobs and in a tiny house, there are a lot of small nooks to deal with. Don’t be surprised if they say they have a minimum charge or charge a higher rate.

Drywall Tools You’ll Need

Drywall Tools You Will Need

If you decide to drywall your own tiny house, you’ll need a few things. Most of them are pretty affordable and readily available.

Common Drywall Tools & Materials

Drywall Tape: Once you mount your drywall, you’ll use this tape to span the seams.

Drywall Screws: These are cheap, specially designed screws, typically 1 to 1.5 inches long.

Drywall Mud: This is the joint compound that you use to smooth screw holes and over seams/tape.

Drywall Knives: Also known as joint knives, they’re available in 6″, 10″, and 12″ sizes to apply & smooth out drywall mud.

Sanding Blocks: Conveniently sized sanding sponges come in different grits for sanding between coats of mud.

Drywall Stilts: Overkill for a tiny home, but people sometimes use stilts instead of ladders for reaching high places.

Drywall Lift: This helps mount full panels to the ceiling — most likely you won’t use a lift, but it could come in handy.

tiny house tools

What Alternatives Are There To Drywall In A Tiny House?

What Alternatives Are There To Drywall In A Tiny House

Your interior siding will most likely be dictated by the style of your house, as different interior paneling can change the style of a tiny house very quickly. Here are a few alternatives for you to consider:

Tiny House Drywall Alternatives

  • Shiplap
  • Corrugated Metal
  • Plywood
  • Cement Board
  • Plaster
  • Cork
  • Barn Wood
  • Reclaimed Pallet Wood
  • Textured Wall Panels
  • Pegboard
  • Faux Brick
Tiny House Drywall Alternative Materials

Your Turn!

  • Are you considering drywall, why or why not?
  1. Ryan, Good to read your positive views about using drywall. I was a little apprehensive about using it in my latest THOW but decided to chance it, on grounds of clean, white finish, ease of repair and cost. Ceiling collapse was my main concern so I used it only on the lower kitchen area and used solid oak trim to support 2 exposed edges and also to look smart. Main vaulted ceilings I finished in pre-coated T&G Pine. Also used mould resistant drywall in bathroom and used good quality kitchen & bath wipe clean silk white paint throughout. Haven’t moved the THOW yet so your drywall article was much appreciated.

  2. what is weight of drywall vs same thickness shiplap wood?
    ( great info here! THX)

Leave a Reply