Glass Vs. Drywall for Office Walls


The initial cost of drywall-constructed walls is significantly less than commercial glass walls. Glass may be a better choice in spite of the higher upfront cost if the design needs of the office space are better served, making the space more valuable. Also, perhaps of greater importance, you can use glass in modular flex-space wall systems. Over time, modular, flex-space wall systems may provide more utility at less cost and with less environmental impact.

Drywall in Offices

  • Drywall is the standard interior wall construction method for residential dwellings. It's inexpensive and easy to repair. You permanently apply drywall to framing members with purpose-specific fasteners: either nails or screws. Once constructed, drywall over wood wall framing is not intended to be moved. Moving a drywall-constructed wall means destroying it and rebuilding a new wall. It's a messy, time-consuming operation, and the old wall will likely wind up in the landfill as it is not practical to recycle.

Commercial Office Walls

  • Commercial office buildings are often built with trusses, creating an open-shell interior for tenants or owners to design as they please; there are no interior load-bearing walls. This is a fundamental difference from residential construction. While residential construction sometimes uses trusses, drywall-constructed interior walls are often load bearing members. Glass walls are not load bearing construction members. Drywall constructed walls also provide a semi-hollow space to use like a conduit for wiring and plumbing. Glass walls don't provide a conduit space for wiring; office spaces generally have space between a false ceiling and the structural floor/ceiling above it. This space is used for wiring, plumbing and ductwork with shielded electrical receptacles often being placed in the floor and lights being motion activated.


  • The nature of "shell spaces" allows for flex-space. Flex-space conceptualizes office space in modules with walls, offices, cubicles, utility rooms and meeting rooms designed to be reorganized with relative ease. The purpose of flex-space is to accommodate a growing or changing company or for a building owner to accommodate multiple growing and changing tenants. Drywall constructed walls are poorly suited to flex-space. Each rearrangement would require the demolition and rebuilding of new walls. You can amortize the higher upfront cost of modular wall systems, such as glass walls in extruded aluminum racks, over the cost of each rearrangement. The rearrangement is less expensive and time consuming than drywall.

Design Needs and Hybrid Walls

  • Office space can benefit from see-through walls. Co-workers can know when an office is occupied. Transparency can have both benefits and drawbacks, however. A conference room, for example, may benefit from audio privacy where visual privacy is less important. An office worker, however, may find an entire glass wall distracting due to other office activity. Hybrids are sometimes a good solution. A portion of the wall is opaque drywall and a portion --- sometimes a small portion --- is glass in an aluminum frame. This provides co-worker interaction and some privacy while mitigating distractions.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • About Glass Room Partitions

    Open floor-plan homes, loft space and vast office areas look impressive, but don't always offer the best use of space. Permanent walls...

  • Types of Office Partitions

    Office partitions are used in many businesses around the world. These structures offer privacy to workers and a quick way to change...

  • What is the Glass Wall Effect?

    It's no secret that in business hierarchies, some people are more fortunate than others; some get promoted while others stay at the...

  • Glass Vs. Plexiglass

    In general, glass is cheaper to purchase than plexiglass, is more scratch resistant and more easily recycled. Plexiglass, on the other hand,...

  • How to Insulate Interior Walls That Are Already Drywalled

    Insulating a wall that's open because of new construction or remodeling is simple. Insulating a finished wall is a lot more complicated,...

  • How to Hang Drywall on Metal Studs

    Drywall (also referred to as gypsum board or sheetrock) is an interior wall sheathing material used in most types of construction in...

  • How to Design Glass Partitions

    Installing glass partitions can add a contemporary flair to your home or office while also creating zones of privacy. Glass partitions not...

  • How to Install Office Partitions

    Partitions are commonly used to create divisions between working areas in an office to help reduce distractions. This can increase the productivity...

  • Glass Wall vs. Drywall

    Drywall is one of the most commonly chosen building materials for walls in homes and buildings. Composed of pressed gypsum powder between...

  • Drywall Vs. Plywood for Walls

    Drywall and plywood are the two primary materials for constructing walls in homes. Both are inexpensive because they are made of composite...

  • Types of Cubicle Walls

    Modular systems designed to create individual work spaces are commonly known as cubicles and offer varying degrees of visual and acoustic privacy....

  • Characteristics of the Open Plan Office

    Open plan offices, most noted for their open spaces, have been around since the industrial revolution. The introduction of partitions and furniture...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!