The Different Types of Interior Walls in a Shipping Container

Updated on August 21, 2019
Alexander Okelo profile image

Alexander is a professional engineer who specializes in the construction of affordable houses and structures using recycled materials.


A shipping container can be customized into different structures, from a shipping container home to a pool, a restaurant, emergency hospital among others. In all these structures, you will need walls to divide up the different spaces in the container home.

The interior walls come with their ups and downs plus a different make as you shall read below. Read on to find out more about the various types of interior walls in a shipping container home or structure.

Different types of interior walls in a shipping container
Different types of interior walls in a shipping container

Something to Remember About Shipping Container Interior Walls

-A shipping container can be customized into different structures like homes, pools, restaurants, emergency hospitals, etc.

-In all these structures, you will need walls to divide up the different spaces in the container home.

-Each type of interior wall has its strength and weakness.

Types of Interior Walls in a Container Home

When you purchase a shipping container and look inside, it's a hollow space where you can see the parameters of the container. This is where the planning comes in.

You set up the different dimensions and spacing of every section in the container. From there the engineers will build up walls and turn your idea into reality. So what types of interior walls will we use?

Here are the types of walls that can be used in a shipping container.

  • Drywall
  • Plywood
  • FRP (Fibreglass Reinforced Panels)
  • Sandalwood
  • Steel or Aluminum Sheets
  • Perforated Steel

shipping container interior wall
shipping container interior wall

An In-depth Look at Each of the Different Types of Interior Walls

  • Drywall

This is the most common type of interior wall used during customization, mostly because once the paneling of the wall is complete, it has a traditional look and finish. The seams are completely covered which makes it look just like a brick and mortar home.

You will also see this a lot in shipping container homes. Reason being that a home is a more permanent structure, the wall will hold up really well, unlike something portable as a toilet.

The constant moving can cause vibrations on the interior walls, this, in turn, causes cracks to the structure deeming it unfit and less durable.

  • Plywood

This interior has a rough finishing. Probably suitable for a workshop where there are tools around or a studio with a rough vibe. The wood and paneling here are a bit too pronounced for something with a calm feel to it.

This means like the office space, restaurant, sauna, or a container home, the interior walls will have noticeable seams and the texture will be rugged even after polishing and painting. That is why it recommended for rough environments.

  • FRP (Fibreglass Reinforced Panels)

In case you are still hung up on the plywood, you can try the FRP paneling. It will counter the rough texture by adding a white plastic. The noticeable seams are covered with trim strips to hide them at least.

The biggest advantage of this type of interior wall is the fact that it is water resistant, hence, easily washable. A good place to use the FRP is in mobile toilets where water is constantly used during cleaning.

The wall allows you to even hose down during cleaning without any adverse effects to the wall. With all this said, this would definitely not be on our top list of materials to be used as walls on your container home.

  • Sandalwood

Another smooth wall similar to the drywall is the sandalwood. This interior wall is also a great option for an office space or living compartments. Unlike the plywood, the grain is not visible nor rough hence a better finish for a cozy environment.

The seams are also covered by trim strips which once polished and painted over appear very smooth. One advantage over the drywall is that these types of interior walls can be moved around easily without any foreseen damages. This makes them also suitable for site and file offices that relocate easily.

  • Steel or Aluminium Sheets

Used on the exterior of the shipping container, these sheets can also be used in the inner walls, much like the food trucks and other food-related structures or even garages. This type of wall is slightly insulated by foam and has a sleek coating. The seams are actually very visible with this wall.

The sheets are also easy to clean up hence the appropriateness of a kitchen or food environment. Another advantage of the steel or aluminum sheet is that they are extremely portable as most have been used under customs.

The downside about this interior wall is that it is rather expensive compared to the other types of interior walls. The pure metal or metal alloy needs much engineering to get it right.

  • Perforated Steel

This is just another term for high quality and more effective steel paneling. The wall will be nicely insulated by foam and covered with the perforated steel for a quieter and more subtle feel.

It is also quite expensive to purchase but easy to move around with. The seams are also quite visible, but that may not be a big deal.

container home interior wall
container home interior wall

What to Remember About Shipping Container Interior Walls

Your shipping container could be your own little paradise where you partake in your business, or where you wind down after a hard day's work. You may need to consider the type of interior wall you need depending on the use or how much you are willing to invest in your container home.

Otherwise, all the different types of interior wall panels in a sea container have something to give whether it's for your home or just office space.

Some Cheap Container House Plan That you can Build

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Alexander Okelo


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      • Alexander Okelo profile imageAUTHOR

        Alexander Okelo 

        9 months ago from Nairobi, Kenya

        Hi, Julz. Thanks for stopping by.

      • profile image


        9 months ago

        Great info.


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