A Brief Overview
Shipping container conversion has caught on hard and fast. We all know these containers are large rectangular steel boxes used to transport goods. So, when they are converted into homes or offices, they require more walls to divide the container into liveable spaces.
The steel walls of the container are ideal for protecting transported goods, but when they are used as homes or offices, these walls cannot protect you from weather elements. They require insulation with different types of materials.
Our blog discusses the various material options available to create shipping container walls.
7 Interior Wall Options for Shipping Containers
The hollow, empty space of a shipping container is where all the planning happens. Engineers or architects space every section of the container and set up walls to give life to the plan and turn the idea into reality. Generally, there are seven types of interior walls that are used for shipping containers.
Drywall is the most commonly used interior wall finish because it has a typical brick and mortar finish, like a traditional home. Once done, the seams dry up and become completely invisible, and the wall is ready to be painted. If you plan to use the shipping container as a permanent building, the drywall is the best choice because it:
- Improves insulation and retains the interior temperature.
- It is far less expensive and cost-efficient than other options. Gives a smooth, clean finish to the walls.
- Renders a ready-to-paint surface within a short duration.
The only disadvantage of the drywall is that they are not ideal for container conversions that will be regularly relocated. The constant transportation may cause vibrations that will crack the walls, deeming the structure unfit and useless.
2. Fibreglass Reinforced Panels (FRP)
Want a water-resistant and easily washable wall? Go for fibreglass reinforced panels or FRPs. Made of strong polyester resin reinforced with fibreglass, they come in smooth or textured wall surfaces. These walls are:
- Easy to clean
- Super flexible
- Highly durable
Shipping container manufacturers say FRPs are ideal for places like toilets and utility areas where water is constantly used.
Plywood is super strong. In fact, it is much stronger than drywalls, resistant to dents and damage and has a rough finish with a more pronounced texture. Unlike drywall, the seams between panels are not covered. They are very much visible, as are the knots and ripples on the surface of each panel.
If you are using the shipping container as a commercial space like a swanky bar, restaurant, or eatery, plywood panelling is an ideal choice. Or you may simply use them in your tool shed, garage, or workshop where the rough-textured interior blends well.
4. Sandalwood panels
Sandalwood panels are ideal for both business and residential spaces because, like drywall, they offer a seamless, smooth finish. The grain on these panels is not visible, and the seams are also covered by thin strips that appear extremely smooth once painted or polished. One big advantage of installing sandalwood is that it can be moved around anywhere without getting damaged.
5. Steel and Aluminium
There is no hard and fast rule that restricts steel to be used only for exterior container walls. Many recommend the pairing of steel/aluminium interior with spray foam or mineral wool insulation underneath. Steel and aluminium panels are ideal if you plan to use the container as a food truck, garage, or other food-related spaces. Here’s why:
- Aluminium or steel panels help create a flame-retardant environment ideal for a commercial kitchen or food-related business.
- These walls make it easy to clear customs while moving the container structure overseas.
- The super-strong steel sheets protect all the heavy equipment within the structure.
- Aluminium and steel sheets are easy to clean and maintain, which is a must for a food environment.
The downside, however, is that this is an expensive choice and requires good engineering expertise to get it right.
6. PVC Walls
Like FRPs, PVC panels are another ideal choice if you want to build a waterproof wall. Everything about PVC is beneficial. It is lightweight, strong, durable, and ideal for moisture-laden areas in your container space.
7. Perforated Steel
Want to shut out all the sound and keep your interiors noise-proof? Your best choice to fulfil this requirement is perforated steel- another fancy term for high-quality steel panelling. Walls using perforated steel are properly insulated with foam and then covered with perforated sheets to create a quiet, noiseless environment.
Perforated steel is ideal for shipping container homes and offices. Although they are an expensive choice, they can easily be shipped and transported without undergoing any damage.
Other Shipping Container Wall Interiors
Shipping container conversion experts sometimes recommend exposing the styrofoam or spray foam insulation inside the container. However- a word of caution. These interiors are not ideal for living or working environments. They can only be used as storage enclosures that require enhanced climatic controls.
Making Your Shipping Container Your Own Paradise
Like all permanent structures, your container structure will also be subjected to inspection by the local authorities, particularly if your structure is a part of a permanent structure. Authorities with jurisdiction may want to check the wiring, plumbing, and framing before granting approval for panelling.
Therefore, before investing in the interior walls for your container structures, you must keep two aspects in mind:
- Your budget.
- Your requirements.
You can also contact us at Super Tech Industries, UAE, for any consultation regarding shipping containers and conversions. Call us to discover how we can make your container conversion dreams a reality.