Can You Use T1-11 Instead Of Drywall? (Explained)

T1-11 was a very popular siding from 1960 to 1980. Homeowners back then loved the natural finish of this wood-based siding. It could either be painted or stained to create an impressive exterior finish.

T1-11 siding is made out of plywood or OSB. And due to this particular feature, one may consider using it instead of drywall. But is it recommended? This will be the main discussion of today’s article.


Can You Use T1-11 Instead of Drywall?

T1-11 should not be used instead of drywall. There are a couple of reasons why. T1-11 is a siding. Therefore, it should be used on the exterior of a house. Drywall, on the other hand, is designed mainly for constructing interior walls and ceilings.

If you have been in the construction business for a while, you can testify to the importance of using products for the purposes they are intended for. It’s not logical for you to use a siding as an interior wall or vice versa.

Why Shouldn’t You Use T1-11 Instead of Drywall?

There are many arguments online that T1-11 can be used instead of drywall. Even though some of these arguments are valid and reasonable, the bottom line is that this is not an acceptable practice.

If you consult professional contractors, they will not advise you to use T1-11 instead of drywall, and here are the reasons why;

• T1-11 Looks a Little Bit Rough for Interior Walls

Earlier, I mentioned that many homeowners loved the finish of T1-11. But that only applied when it was used as a siding. If you look closely at T1-11, it has a rough finish. Therefore, this may not be suitable for an interior wall.

For decades, homeowners have preferred smooth interior walls. That is why drywall is the most popular interior wall material. If you choose T1-11 instead of drywall, there is a good chance that it won’t look so good as an interior wall.

• It’s Against Most Building Codes

Another reason you shouldn’t use T1-11 instead of drywall is that it’s against the building codes in most areas. If you refer to your local building guidelines, drywall should come first, followed by sheathing and siding.

Putting siding on the inside goes against most local codes. If this were an acceptable practice, there wouldn’t be any building codes against it.

• It Can Lead to Moisture Problems

T1-11 isn’t like the vinyl sidings we have in our homes these days. It’s made out of wood. Therefore, if you use it on your interior walls, there is a high probability that it will suck up moisture either from the inside or outside.

We all know what happens to wood when it is frequently exposed to moisture. This is another important reason why you should not use T1-11 instead of drywall.

The best part about drywall is that if you are worried about moisture, you can use the green version, which is moisture-resistant.

• There are Some Concerns about the Safety of T1-11

A few years ago, there were some reports from a certain lady who claimed that the T1-11 in their cabin made them sick with allergies, sinus infections, and even bronchitis.

Upon further inquiry, it was determined that T1-11 and some sealers used to finish it can make you sick. Even though no toxic ingredients are listed on the T1-11 datasheet, you need to be cautious about using it instead of the drywall on your home’s interior.

Unlike when it’s used as a siding on the outside where there is an adequate supply of fresh air, if you use T1-11 instead of drywall indoors, you will be more exposed to off-gassing.

• T1-11 is Not Fire Resistant

The last reason you shouldn’t use T1-11 instead of drywall is that the former material is not fire-resistant. T1-11 is made out of wood, which cannot only catch fire but also fuel it.

Using T1-11 on your interiors is a pretty huge risk should a fire break out. The good news about using drywall is that most common types are fire resistant and are much safer than T1-11.

From the above reasons, it’s pretty clear that T1-11 is not a suitable alternative for drywall. Therefore, you should refrain from using it as your drywall at all costs.

Interior construction of housing project with drywall installed and patched without painting applied interior with drywall installation and construction work in progress

Why is Drywall a Better Option for Interior Walls than T1-11?

Drywall panels are the best thing for you to use to build interior walls. They are available in varying thicknesses, heights, and densities. Therefore, you can create the perfect wall that suits your home and needs.

Drywall is relatively affordable and widely available. This begs the question, why would you be interested in swapping it out with T1-11 in the first place?

With drywall, you get an added layer of protection against outside temperatures and noise. Drywall is very effective at eliminating drafts.

These panels make your home safer from fire damage. They are not as rigid as T1-11s, therefore, are much easier to repair.

Most importantly, with drywall, you have an endless list of finishes to choose from. You can paint and install tiles or wallpaper over drywall.

You can decorate your interior walls however you see fit if you have drywall. The same can’t be said for T1-11. Let’s also not forget that there are different types of drywalls.

There are those you can use in high-moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. If you install T1-11 in such areas, it will start to rot quickly.

When it comes to interior walls, T1-11 siding is no match for drywall.

Are There Exceptions on When You Can Use T1-11 Instead of Drywall?

There is one exception when you can use T1-11 instead of drywall: when you are building a garage wall, tool shed, workshop, or any building, you won’t spend most of your time in it. Regarding the garage, we refer to those not connected to your home.

For structures where you don’t care much about the performance of the walls and aesthetics, you can use T1-11 sidings instead of drywall. You should, however, make sure that you use some insulation to keep your items safe from water damage.

Also, this exception only applies if you have some T1-11 in storage. Not that you should go ahead and buy T1-11 siding to build a shed. There are much better materials you can use, such as cement boards.


Can You Screw Drywall Over T1-11?

If you already have a wall built using T1-11, can you fasten the drywall on top of it? Yes, you can. Drywall can be installed directly to OSB sidings such as T1-11.

However, you will have to ensure the T1-11 is in perfect condition. Also, when you screw drywall to T1-11, it will increase the thickness of the wall. Therefore, you may have trouble with the doors, windows, and electrical outlets.

Alternatively, you can always remove the T1-11 and replace it with drywall. But that will be time-consuming and tiresome. This is why it’s better to just screw the drywall over T1-11.

Are There Benefits of Using T1-11 Instead of Drywall?

Even though it’s not acceptable, there are a couple of benefits that come from using T1-11 instead of drywall. They include;

• It’s a one-step installation: Due to the properties of T1-11, it can act as both a siding and an interior wall. Therefore, you won’t have to go through the long process of building an envelope with sheathing and installing drywall and siding.

• It’s cost-effective if you have some T1-11 in storage: If you have some T1-11 siding stored up somewhere, using it instead of drywall can save you a lot of money.

• T1-11 is stronger than drywall: The other benefit of using T1-11 is that it’s stronger than drywall. Therefore, you can hang heavy objects on it, and it can withstand impact.

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