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Plastering - Old School vs New School

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

When it comes to plastering your walls, there is a good chance that you will think it is one process and all there has ever been.

Plastering has changed in how it is finished and looks and feels. Gone are the days when the lath and plaster approach was the only choice; now, we also have board and skim too. 

Old school 

The old-school approach to plastering is called lath and plaster. This was the go-to for interior walls and ceilings from the 1700s to the mid-1900s. During a lath and plaster, the laths, which are strips of timber, are nailed to a stud frame.

This studwork was then fixed to both the floor and the ceiling, with the horizontal pieces of timber nailed between the studs in order to keep the structure rigid. Once this was in place, the laths could be fixed to the stud frame before being covered with plaster to finish off the wall's surface.

New school

Things have changed, and whilst the traditional approach of applying plaster to a wall is still around, there have been some additional options for you to consider. The main one is board and skim. As the name suggests, board and skim is when you add plasterboard to a home's walls, which are the base for you to ski your plaster over. 

A thin coat of plaster is added to the wall, giving a smooth surface that can then be decorated as you want it to be. 

Which is best?

Whilst the traditional approach to plastering is still used and has proven to be an excellent choice for many properties, the truth is that it has moved over to allow modern techniques to be used instead. 

Compared to lath and plaster, which can be expensive, board and skim is much faster to put in place, which means a lot less disruption for you in your home. Not only this, but it can also be cheaper too, saving you money at a time when your budget may already be tight.

That said, if you are happy to pay out and you want to ensure that your plaster looks as decorative as possible, then lath and plaster may be a much better option for you. By its very nature, it allows for lots of decorative shapes to be put into the plaster, which gives it a particular look. 

Another benefit to choosing the traditional approach is that it is better for soundproofing your home; this is due to the additional layer created by the lath layer, rather than it being a thinner piece of plasterboard. 

No matter what type of plastering you want for your home, you will enjoy an expert to carry out this work. Plaster that is not applied in the right way can cause an impact on your home, not only in the short-term but in the longer term too.

Both in look and also in the maintenance of the property too. 

Plastering - Old School vs New School
Plastering - Old School vs New School

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