There are many steps that go into building a house, some are exciting, like choosing fittings and finishes and others are mundane but extremely important. Plastering is one of those things that many homeowners see as a mundane necessity but in fact, it is an extremely important part of building a house.
A bad plaster job can turn a potentially beautiful home into a disaster zone. The art of plastering is a skill that takes time and experience to master and when building a home, it is worth spending a bit extra to get the job done properly.
Here at Peninsula Group we offer high quality extensive plastering services in Liverpool & Wirral with our fully qualified team. Contact out friendly team today for a no obligation quote.
What is plaster?
During the construction phase of a building, the plaster is the material that is used to coat, protect and decorate the internal walls and ceilings.
To make plaster you will typically mix gypsum, cement, or lime with sand and water to form a thick creamy paste that will adhere to bricks or concrete. The sand that is used for plastering needs to fine and clean. The coarser the sand, the rougher the finish of the plaster will be.
Besides being used to coat your walls, plaster can also be applied to create architectural details throughout your home. These details can include cornices, corbels, panel moulding and even more intricate work like decorative ceiling roses.
A coat of plaster can also be manipulated to form stucco to create a textured surface on the walls rather than a smooth finish. Colour pigments can be added to a layer of plaster to change the colour.
The exterior of a home will typically be coated with render rather than plaster. Render is similar to plaster but is has waterproofing and fire rating properties. In the same way that plaster is used indoors to create architectural details, render can serve the same purpose outside to add detail, especially around windows and doors.
Common Types of Plaster
There are several different types of plaster and each has its own unique qualities, see below list:
- The most common type of plaster used for interior walls is gypsum, which is also referred to as plaster of Paris and has fire-resistant properties. Gypsum plaster starts to set in about 10 minutes, but it takes 72 hours before the wet plaster is properly set.
- Cement plaster is made by combining cement, sand and water. It can be applied to both the inside and the outside of a property and is more water-resistant than gypsum plaster. The downside of cement plaster is that while it is possible to achieve a relatively smooth plaster finish, you may have to add an extra layer of gypsum plaster to get it completely smoothed out.
- Lime plaster is a mixture of lime (calcium hydroxide) and sand and it sets as a result of exposure to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that turns the lime into limestone (calcium carbonate). Lime plaster breathes better and is more flexible than gypsum or cement plaster. Lime plaster is traditionally used on older properties, like timber-framed houses, and animal hair can be added to the lime to make a more fibrous plaster that is stronger and less likely to shrink or crack when it dries.
- Clay plaster may be old fashioned, but it is considered by many to be a more sustainable alternative to gypsum, cement or lime. It comes in a range of natural colours, does not have to be painted and breathes better than modern plaster.
Besides your four basic types of plaster mentioned above, plaster can also be categorised according to its application:
- Bonding plaster, as the name suggests, is commonly used as an undercoat on new walls but for particularly absorbent surfaces, browning plaster should be used as an undercoat.
- Hardwall plaster can be used in place of browning plaster; it dries quickly but is not as durable.
- Dri-coat plaster is moisture resistant and is ideal for walls with a dampproof course.
- Heat resistant plaster should be applied to chimney breasts and the adjacent walls.
- Board finish plaster is applied to plasterboard, multi-finish plaster creates a smooth top layer and one coat plaster is used for repair work.