OSB Vs. Drywall Garage: Choosing the Right Garage Wall Covering

Whether you are looking to build, remodel or merely carry out some minor repairs on your garage, you are going to need a type of sheathing for underlayment. But which is the best material? Apart from plywood, Oriented Strand Board (OSB) reigns supreme.

On the other hand, drywall has over the years been used when constructing formidable garage walls. This is because they are not only resistant to corrosion, but they are durable as well. Generally, since drywall has been used as a quality material for quite some time now, it’s no surprise that it is widely used as the go to material for garage wall construction.

OSB Vs. Drywall in Garage

osb vs drywall

Oriented Strand Board(OSB) dominantly used as an underlayment material. Drywall on the other hand comes in handy when you need a sturdy material for a workshop.

But how do the two materials differ? Well, while OSB is a pretty new material, drywall has been in play for decades. Even so, there are myriads of other factors that clearly distinguish between the two materials. Read along to find out.

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When it comes to appearance, the two materials greatly differ. For starters, OSB is typically made of smaller wooden strands that have been processed and pressed together, thus forming a rough texture. At the same time, OSB is not a desirable material to be used for finished walls. This is mainly because OSB does not hold paint. This makes it quite difficult to beautify a garage wall made of OSB.

When it comes to drywall, it is made of the traditional brick and mortar. To finish it off, drywall has a thin coating mostly made of pure cement and water mixture. This makes drywall to have a smooth texture on the surface.

One of the things that makes drywall stand tall from OSB is the fact that it can be painted. Since drywall can take in paint with ease, it not only makes it easy to increase your garage wall’s aesthetic value. Therefore, you can easily paint your garage wall in your desired color.


OSB VS drywall in garage

Another big difference between OSB and Drywall can be seen in how the two materials are installed.

OSB is quite easy to install. This is for the sole reason that it is highly flexible and can be fitted in any garage surface. However, the flexibility of OSB comes with one major disadvantage. It offers a line of weakness which is not a desirable trait if you intend on using your garage as a workshop.

As for the drywall, it takes a lot of effort and time to install. You will need to assemble all the materials first, prepare the perfect combo and plaster the materials on the wall. Thereafter, you will need to give the material ample time to cure before using your garage.


Generally, drywall is more expensive to use than OSB. Just like a plywood, drywall has to be made in the exact standards, making it thicker. Coupled with the fact that you will need to hire a pro to install drywall to your garage, the overall cost is escalated when considering the materials used in a drywall.

As for the OSB, a typical 4×8 feet of construction grade sheet will only cost you an average of $6. At the same time, it will only cost you $70 for a carpenter to perfectly fit this sheet in your garage.


Drywall and OSB greatly vary when it comes to durability. There is no objection that drywall is more durable than OSB.  But why is OSB lees durable? Basically, OSB tends to absorb water faster than how drywall does. Therefore, if your garage is situated in an area of high humidity, it will not let in water more easily.

Although OSB absorbs water quickly than drywall, it also loses water quickly. However, while this might be a good thing, OSB tends to warp once it loses water. And once it warps, OSB does not return to its original size anymore.

Drywall absorbs water slowly, but it also loses water slowly. The good thing is that although it loses water slowly, the retained water continuously cures drywall. This makes it become more durable with time.

Finally, drywall is sturdier than OSB. And since your garage space might be full of physical activity, chances of damages occurring to your wall are utterly high. Since OSB is less sturdier, it tends to be damaged with ease. This makes it less durable in the long run.

Environmental Concerns

Between the two materials, drywall is obviously considered to be the greener choice. Essentially, OSB is made of wood chips that are sourced from tree trunks. Although some trees used to make these chips can grow faster, the idea of falling down a tree to make OSB is environmentally uncouth.

Drywall however is not made from any trees. Basically, all the materials used to make drywall are sourced from the environment. But since they are in plenty or by products in some cases,  drywall is always considered to be environmentally safe.


These materials are used for totally different purposes. OSB is always used for two main purposes. First, it can be used for roofing your garage space. Another main use if this material is for sheathing purposes.

But how do the usage of these materials relate with consistency? It all boils down to the durability of both materials in handling different situations.

Drywall for instance can be used to construct your garage space in areas that are susceptible to environmental disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. This is not the case with OSB. Since it is less sturdy and durable, OSB cannot be used to construct garage spaces in areas that are frequently hit by earthquakes and hurricanes.

When it comes to security, you can construct your garage space using drywall alone. This is because it is much sturdier and difficult to break through. OSB on the other hand absorbs a lot of water with ease making it weak. Due to this, OSB cannot be a formidable material for keeping your garage secure.


While drywall and OSB are formidable garage materials, they vary greatly. These differences are mainly tied to the nature of the materials themselves, their usage and durability. When choosing between the two materials, always consider how you would want to use your garage.

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