Best Material for Shop Walls (Know the Facts)

To build a grocery shop or house shop, there are many things to think about. Among all the things, one of the major facts is the strong and best material for the shop walls.

There are many materials like OSB, plywood, drywall, etc. for making the shop walls. But, which one is perfect and best for our shop wall?

So, we need to know about the pros and cons of the materials for the perfect shop wall.

By knowing the features of the materials, we will be able to choose the best material for shop walls.

Among materials, plywood is water resistant and OSB is less water resistant. Plywood and drywall are the most popular ones because of their budget-friendliness. Drywall is more fire-resistant than plywood. To avoid fire hazards, sanding and adding rock to the surface will help. Plywood is durable.

Let’s know the features and pros and cons of these wall materials in detail.

Best Materials You Can Get for Shop Walls

Choosing the perfect material for shop walls is important. Depending on our purpose, we should keep the best one for making shop walls. 

As the heaviest products need the strongest materials for the walls, On the other hand, if drilling breaks the material, we should avoid it. Also, we need to think about whether Interior shop wall panels can be stuck on the wall or not. As it can beautify the shops.

We mainly expect the shop walls to be strong, water resistant, fire resistant, long-lasting, nonabsorbable towards color, drillable, and so on.  Last but not the least, budget is always a matter to think about.

So many things to keep in mind, right?

So, among Drywall, plywood, OSB, and Slatwall we need to pick the right one which fulfills our requirements. Also, we will have to know their pros and cons too.

Let’s know their features in short first.

Features Plywood Drywalls OSB
Durability DurableLess durable than plywoodDurable as plywood
Water ResistanceWater resistant but not waterproof Not all drywalls but the Green board drywalls are water resistant Water resistant
Fire ResistanceNot totally resistant but resistant as needed Yes Not totally resistant but resistant as needed
absorbable towards paintYesYes Yes
Average Size Price 10-50$ 10-20$around 20$

Let’s know about the materials for the shop walls in detail.

1. Plywood for the Shop Walls

Plywood is considered a garage wall material as well as a shop wall. Plywood is made by combining softwoods and hardwoods. Woods like mahogany, pine, maple, and redwoods are usually used. Mahogany is known for its advantages

Let’s know plywood’s features in detail so that we can know the pros and cons.


As plywood is made of both hardwood and softwoods, it is considered a very durable material for shop walls. For durability, plywood garage walls are often seen. But they are not as durable as wood. 

Pressure-treated plywood can last for more than 25 years.

As the plywoods are durable, when you screw them for hanging products, it doesn’t break down. so, it’s a plus point. 

Water Resistance 

Usual plywood is not waterproof, but resistant to water. But some of the plywood like WBP is appropriate to use in humid areas.

Also, some methods can be used for making plywood waterproof. These are

  • Painting by water-based paint
  • Using Epoxy finish
  • Polyurethane
  • Drying oil
  • Varnish
  • Liquid latex
  • Using PVA

You can check out this drying oil for plywood.

If you are using Plywood for an external wall then waterproofing plywood is a must.

Fire Resistance 

We can’t ignore the matter of safety. Plywood is not fully fire resistant. But nowadays fire retardant plywood can be found in the wood market. 

So, if your shop is a house shop, use fire-retardant plywood. This type of plywood doesn’t oxidize. That’s why they do not tend to create a fire hazard.

Painting ordinary plywood can make it fire-resistant. Also, you can use a retardant coating.


Plywood absorbs color or paint. So, it’s a negative side.

That’s why when painting plywood, you must

seal if there are any holes or broken parts. That’s why do latex or oil paint with plywood.


An average or medium size plywood costs 10-50 $. Plywood is also more pricey than other materials.

If you want durable materials and have a budget then you can choose plywood.

More Pros and Cons of Plywood

In the above, these were the main things to know about plywood. There are a few more pros and cons of plywood.

Let’s know the pros first

  • Good for hanging products
  • Can be screwed
  • Flexible
  • Light in Wright

Now, let’s know the cons

  • They are hard to cut in the shape
  • Hard to get smooth edges after cutting

As plywoods are hard to cut, you may need woodworking tools for giving the plywood sheet a shape.

So, now we know about plywood. Let’s move on to Dry Walls.

2. Dry Walls for the Shopwalls 

Drywall materials are plywood, gypsum, cement board, and wood pulp. Let’s know the main features or drywalls for the shop wall.


The drywall is medium-durable. It is not as durable as plywood. 

Also, drywalls are thinner. So, if you need a very strong material then drywall will not provide full coverage.

Also, water damage and hard usages lessen the lifespan of drywalls.

Water Resistance 

drywalls are not usually water resistant. But a special type of drywall known as green board drywall is water resistant.

As drywall is not a water-resistant material, a humid environment can be damaging.

Fire Resistance 

The best thing about drywall is its fire resistance.

As drywall has gypsum on it, that’s why drywall works as fire-resistant for your shop wall. Type X drywall is fireproof material.

For this purpose, the drywall is the winner among other materials.


Drywall soaks color when you paint. It’s a negative side of the drywall. 

To paint on drywall, you need to prepare the surface first. Before painting on the drywall, priming is important.

Average Size Price

A sheet of average size drywall costs 10-20$.

Because of their low price, people choose drywalls more than other materials. Also, the availability of drywall is more.

More Pros and Cons of Drywall

You know, fire resistance and reasonable price are the main plus points of the drywall. And the main problem is its durability as it is not water resistant. 

So, it’s time to know more pros and cons of drywalls.

Drywall’s more Pros are

  • A variety of sizes and types are available
  • One can hang products on drywall
  • The surface of drywall is easy to fix if broken

Now, let’s know the cons

  • Drywalls are hard to install
  • If the installation goes wrong, the joints of the drywall will be visible.

Now, let’s know about OSB for shop walls. Let’s get in.

3. OSB for Shopwalls

OSB Stands for oriented Strand Board. This board is made of Aspen poplar, yellow pine wood, or from mixed hardwood.

Let’s get into its main feature.


In the matter of shopwall’s OSB is very durable. 

As it is very durable, screwing, holding, or hanging is easier in OSB. 

Water resistance

The oriented strand board is water resistant. Its resistance to water is more than plywood. And it’s a positive thing for choosing OSB. For humid environments, OSB is the perfect material for shop walls.


Like plywood and drywall, OSB also absorbs paint. For this matter, the coating is important before painting on an OSB. For coating, danish oil can be helpful.

Fire Resistance 

OSB is fire-resistant like plywood. It is not fireproof but resistant as needed.


The OSB is low in price. Plywood is durable but expensive. So, for durability and price, many people choose OSB over Plywood.

More Pros and Cons of OSB

After knowing the main facts it’s time to know the pros and cons of the OSB.

More pros of OSB are

  • Consistent surface
  • Most affordable materials
  • Eco friendly
  • Many types are available 

Now, let’s know the cons

  • Swell up when water exposes
  • have a bad finishing look
  • Heavy

These 3 types of materials are usually the best for shop walls. These materials are good for hanging and adding racks too.


Plywood or Drywall: Which One for a Garage Wall?

Plywood and drywall both are good options for the garage walls. But, among both the drywall is more popular. Because it is cheap in price, it is also fire resistant and easy to install. On the other hand, Plywood is strong and more water resistant but high in price.

What is the Most Durable Wall Material? 

Among all materials, concrete is the most durable. Also, this is the most common one people use on walls. Also, this one is strong and resistant to fire and water.

What should I put on my Walls in the Workshop?

In the workshop, we may need to hang on to our necessary things. Putting racks on the wall can be helpful. Also, small pieces of Slatwall, plywood, metal gridwork and steel panels can be helpful in hanging things.


Among all the materials for shop walls, drywall, plywood, and OSB are the most common and effective. Now you can choose the best material for the shop walls from these 3 materials.

If budget is an issue and you want strong material then OSB is perfect for you. But, if water resistance is your priority then go for plywoods. On the other hand, Drywalls are fire resistant.

Depending on your requirements and environment, choose the best one.

Kevin Smith

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