How much does plasterboard cost to buy, install and finish? It might not be as expensive as you think

Gloved hand picking up aqua coloured plasterboard
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Considering plasterboard costs for your new build or partition wall? It's a critical part of the pricing process, but costs can vary greatly depending on what type of plasterboard you’re using, how much you're using and what type of finish you are going to use. 

Are you going to do the plasterboarding yourself? Are you going to paint straight onto the plasterboard or plaster? Are you going to call in a professional to help? All these considerations can have a big effect on the price. Here look at the different types of plasterboard and their costs, plasterboard alternatives and how much you can expect to pay a plasterer. 

Plasterboard costs: Six smart answers to common questions

The cost of plasterboard depends on sizes and types, plus you need to think about installation, finishes and whether you need the help of a professional.

How much does plasterboard cost?

“The cost of plasterboard is dependent upon multiple factors such as quality, brand, size, and type” reveals Chris Moorhouse, category director – timber, building, décor, garden – at Wickes. It's not easy to pinpoint how much plasterboard costs, as there’s a wide variety of prices depending on what plasterboard you are purchasing for your project. 

But to help put the range of costs into focus, Moorhouse tells Homebuilding what you can get at the low end of the price scale, “Prices start from as little as £8.30 for the Knauf Baseboard Square Edge at Wickes.” He continues, “This is ideal for building partitions or patching up existing panelling, this compact plasterboard is designed for convenience as it is easy to use, carry, transport and install.”

Thicker plasterboard – 12.5mm is a popular choice for most DIY projects – and larger sizes mean you will be paying more. National hardware stores like B&Q charge around £12 for a standard square edge sheet of 12.5mm x 1200mm x 2400mm plasterboard like this Gyproc Standard Plasterboard from B&Q

A specialist plasterboard like this Gyproc SoundBloc Plasterboard from B&Q provides improved sound proofing. A higher density gypsum core adds around 10 kg to a standard size sheet with the price being over double that of standard plasterboard. 

What are the different types of plasterboard?

“Plasterboard comes in a variety of finishes and each is suitable for different needs”, explains Moorhouse.  “This is best determined by the specific project where the plasterboard will be used. You can choose from tapered edge for drylining, standard plasterboard for skimming, or specialist boards such as fire, moisture and sound resistant.”

Check out our types of plasterboard guide to get an insight into the different options available and what they are commonly used for. 

What sizes do plasterboard sheets come in?

When it comes to plasterboard sizes there are two considerations – the thickness of the board and the width and height of the board.  There are two common options for thickness – 9.5mm and 12.5mm, with 12.5mm being the most popular. 

Which thickness should you use? If you are building a partition wall then 9.5mm plasterboard is the common choice for 400mm spaced studs and 12.5mm for 600mm spaced studs. But you might want better insulation or sound proofing, so a thicker board can be a better choice. The cost between the two thicknesses is typically negibile.

Size wise there are a lot of options but the most commonly used are 1200mm x 2400mm, 900mm x 1800mm and 900mm x 1200mm boards. The 2400mm board is a popular choice as it is equivalent to eight foot - the common ceiling height in UK homes. Smaller boards are also popular as they are easier to carry and mean less cutting for smaller spaces.  

How much is a 8 x 4 sheet of plasterboard?

This is a common question, but plasterboard is no longer measured in feet and inches. The old imperial measurement, commonly known as eight by four plasterboard has been replaced with 2400mm x 1200mm plasterboard, which is slightly smaller. The metric measurement makes it the perfect fit when building a partition wall which will have stud centres of 400mm or 600mm. 

The prices for 2400mm x 1200mm plasterboard will vary depending on brand, type and retailer. But expect to pay around £12 for a standard everyday 12.5mm sheet of plasterboard. Specialist options such as moisture resistant or fire resistant plasterboard will cost around another 60-70% extra.

What is the cost of plasterboard alternatives?

The name plasterboard typically refers to gypsum plasterboard. Gypsum is the material that sits in between two sheets of paper to create the common everyday plasterboard. While there are a few different types of plasterboard, it's a popular choice as it is affordable and relatively easy to work with.

However, it is not the most environmentally friendly option. But there are a host of plasterboard alternatives out there that can compete on affordability, whilst others are typically more expensive but offer something different. 

For example, sheets of plywood typically cost more than gypsum plasterboard, but don't need to be plastered, give a contemporary wood finish and can come from sustainable sources. 

Wood wool boards are similarly priced as standard gypsum plasterboard, but again are typically made from sustainable sources. They are 100% recyclable being made from long strands of wood and a cement binder and offer good insulation.

So, if you are looking to go green on a project – and not necessarily spend any more – make sure to check out the alternative options. You know it makes sense. 

How much do plasterers charge per m2?

There is a lot of variation in prices depending on different factors. These include where you live – London being typically more expensive than other parts of the country. What type of job is it - are you just putting up plasterboard? Is it wet plastering? Are the walls being skimmed? Is the ceiling being plastered as well as walls? Is it a specialist plaster finish? How large is the area? What are the costs for materials? All these considerations make a difference.

As a general guideline expect to pay around £200- £250 a day for labour charges plus materials. A small room will be around £1000 all in for full wet plastering, while skimming plasterboard will be around half the price.  

Steve Jenkins

Steve is Homebuilding & Renovating's DIY content editor, and has been a writer and editor for two decades. He is an avid DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating homes. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has strong all-round building skills, having previously worked in the industry for 10 years.