I have a wall in a basement utility area that is currently unfinished and I would like to cover it up. Right now the wall is just drywall on one side, open on the other, stuffed with fiberglass insulation.

I would like to have removable wall panels, however, rather than drywall because there is a lot of electrical wire and stuff in that wall that might be changed later and I do not want to have to rip out drywall and be replastering every time I change some electrical in that wall.

Are there wall panel systems of some kind that are made for this purpose?

  • You might consider curtains or a hanging tapestry. May 22 '20 at 14:52

Since this is a utility area and, presumably, it doesn't have to look all that pretty, you could screw up plywood or OSB as a wall covering to protect the wiring and insulation. Paint it white or "builder's beige" to make it look a bit nicer, then, when you need to make changes, you can easily unscrew it. After the work's complete, put it right back up using the same screws and screw holes. They make screws in white, tan, green, etc. so you can get screws to match the wall color, so you probably won't even need to repaint to hide the screws!

I have to wonder, though, how often you're planning on "changing" wiring "and stuff" that you're worried about this. If you have some specific future expansion in mind, but aren't ready (financially or otherwise) to do it now, install conduit leading from where the wire "inlet" is (is there a breaker box here?) to where the power will be needed (or as far as you can) now, then cover with drywall.

When you're ready to take on this specific future work, it's easy to pull a string through the conduit (or run a fish through it, or install the string now while everything's open) and pull all your wiring through the conduit. You have the added expense of installing conduit, but that's going to be significantly less than the cost of drywall repair and repainting later.

If you go the "empty conduit" route, make sure you put in the maximum size conduit you can run through your stud cavities, and make sure you've got enough for any expansion work you can think of. Then double your capacity. Seriously, if you're planning this far ahead and are that concerned about future drywall work, additional conduit in the wall is cheap insurance. Much cheaper and less frustrating than being just short of enough conduit space and having to tear up the drywall anyway. Can you imagine getting all but that last cable into the conduit and having to tear everything up for One. More. Cable.

  • 1
    I would also go with a thin plywood it’s just for looks and a little paint it would look better, just a few screws would hold a 3/8” sheet they make thinner but it is easy to break below 3/8 in a full sheet+
    – Ed Beal
    May 22 '20 at 15:32
  • Any combustible wall material will increase the fire hazard. May 23 '20 at 16:42

Google "removable wall panel system" for lots of options

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