Wall & Ceiling Plastering
Different types of finish
Plaster is used when combined with a skim coat to make internal walls smooth. This gives the walls a beautiful decorative appearance, making them ready for application of paint or wallpaper. Older properties often use plaster to provide a high degree of fire resistance. Plaster mixture bases will typically be cement, cement/lime or acrylic. The type of plaster we will use very much depends on the type of property and the internal location within your property. Acrylic and cement based plasters are very hard wearing and most appropriate in high traffic areas, hallways for example. Another beautiful quality of acrylic plaster is its resistance to water, making an excellent and durable choice for external walls too. Lime plaster is made from hydrated lime, it can be used both on exterior or interior walls; the huge benefit of lime plaster is its resistance to mould, so highly recommended on damp or north-facing walls. No matter which type of plaster is used, the desired finish can be rough or smooth. It is cheaper to apply a rough finish though it will often be less attractive. We would discuss your requirements with you prior to commencing any work.
Dry lining is generally plasterboard or a similar material, it is most often used as a substitute for plaster. Masonry, blocks and brickwork are often not an acceptable cosmetic finish. Most often a cutomer wants walls that are 100% true, not least of all for aesthetic reasons. Dry lining doesn't require anywhere near the amount of labour that traditional plastering needs and requires less technical expertise to apply than plaster. Plasterboards are produced by many manufacturers and available in a variety of common lengths, widths and thicknesses. It is extremely important to choose the right type of plasterboard for the location. When we dry line a bathroom for example, we will always use a moisture resistant plasterboard. Moisture resistant plasterboard, 'Green Board' or 'Aquaboard' as it is sometimes called has a wax coating that resists water ingress under general household circumstances. It won't however stand up to being drenched in water.
Render is most usually a coating applied to the outside of an exterior wall. Render differs from plaster mainly in the consistency of the mortar being used. As a rule, there is a much higher cement component in render. The higher cement content makes the render durable and essentially weatherproof. Unrendered blocks and bricks will deteriorate if left untreated, they can become soft, crack or crumble if exposed to the elements. Most importantly, walls which are exposed to the harshest conditions should be dressed with a considerably richer mix of render. Render consists of cement, sand and water, sometimes lime is added to the mix. Sharp coarse sands are best for render, but this type of sand can make the mortar more difficult to work with. The sand used for plaster should be well graded and less coarse than the sand used for render.
The terms 'skimming' and 'plastering' are often used interchangeably and incorrectly, though there are strong similarities. Plaster finishes are usually thicker, having a rougher texture and appearance, while skim is without exception thinner and smoother. Skimming is a thin coat of plaster applied to a surface that already has a very reasonable finish. Skimming is perhaps rather like polishing, it makes the difference between a good finish and an amazing finish. The thickness of a skim coating layer will vary from job to job but it will usually be very thin. Skimming requires extreme atttention to detail as it will be the surface seen by the customer. Plaster skimming over the top of plasterboards is a popular method of providing a smooth, seamless surface ready to receive decorative treatment. Skim plastering gives many of the advantages of a traditional solid plaster finish combined with quick turnaround on site. Surface preparation simply involves joint reinforcement between the plasterboards and, if tapered edge board is used, flushing-out the tapers. The skim finish applied to a wall or ceiling surface would usually be 2mm to 3mm thickness on average.
Coving, Cornices, Niches & Corbels
These can all be considered decorative trim, not usually providing any function other than looking quite stunning when used with empathy in the right setting. By helping to crown a room with a more elegant feel you will also greatly be improving both the style and value of the property.
All of our trimings are available in traditional and contemporary styles. Coving, Cornices, Niches & Corbels are referred to as pre-fabricated mouldings and are supplied to us by the manufacturer ready to install. The mouldings will be cast plaster or fibreglass and are beautifully surface finished ready to paint.
DRG Plastering are very safety conscious and we will only use materials that comply with current fire regulations.
Artex is now a generic term often used to describe textured ceilings and less so walls, though the name Artex originally comes from the manufacturer of the compound (Artex Limited) used to create the textures. Artex is still widely used today, though it was originally promoted and sold as a simple 'cheat' that would enable builders and diy enthusiasts to make a poor ceiling look good without very much skill.
Things have moved on somewhat since those days. Though much less popular than it was, the creative use and application of Artex has developed into an artform of its very own. Please note that up until the mid 1980's Artex contained Asbestos. Removal of historic Artex requires very careful consideration and we would advise you not to try it at home. When we remove old Artex we take great care to ensure the safety of our staff and all other site occupants.
Extensions, Conversions and Stud Walls
DRG Plastering has its own bricklayer and we are well versed in building extensions and conversions. If you are looking for more living space you can often find it without paying a fortune, just by extending your own home outward or developing the loft area. Similarly, a simple stud wall here and there can make a huge difference to maximising your living and working environment. Stud walls are generally the cheapest and quickest way to erect a wall. One of the most attractive aspects of a stud wall is the ease with which it can be erected and later removed without necessitating major structural changes to the fabric of a building.
All Exterior Finishes including Pebbledash
Nothing divides opinion like pebbledash! You either love it or hate it. Pebbledash or Roughcast as it is sometimes called has its roots in the 1920's when builders were getting greedy and looking to maximise their margins on the huge surge in demand for housing. Builders would usually buy low quality bricks then hide them under a thick layer of render, coated with pebbles, stone chippings or even sea shells.
There is still a great number of these properties around. We do not often get asked to apply pebbledash on new builds but as the years move on we are seeing more frequent requests for remedial works. We are always happy to advise and assist with pebbledash restoration.