BDC Magazine


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BDC 317 : Jun 2024


Modern Plasterboard: We’ve Come a Long Way from Lath and Plaster

Whether you’ve plastered a room in your home or you’re a plasterer by trade, you’ll appreciate that this is a task that requires a fair bit of skill and dexterity to create a smooth and appropriate finish. Today though we’re fortunate enough to have the tools and materials that can make achieving such results a little bit easier – particularly compared to the old lath and plaster methods which certainly proved problematic. Lath and Plaster Lath and plaster used to be the main method builders and tradespeople used to finish interior walls and ceilings up until around the 1950s. This would see wood laths (strips or boards of wood) being nailed between the joists or wall studs to create the backing of the wall with a gap between each one. This gap would then be filled by a first layer of plaster with the plasterer applying it with a board to force it to spread between the slots. After this, another layer of plaster would be applied to coat the wall, before a third and final smoothing layer would be put on and allowed to dry before the wall would get painted. The Problems As effective as this might have been for creating interior walls and ceilings, the main problems that people encountered were that this method often ended up taking a long time. What’s more, by having numerous layers of plaster, it also meant that the whole plastering process could end up being quite an expensive task. Modern Plasterboard Thankfully, we now have modern plasterboard which only a few decades ago helped revolutionise plastering and offer additional usages. As well as simply being a faster means of plastering, the range and materials we can buy now can offer aspects like additional soundproofing, insulation and an easier finish. From a trade perspective it can also therefore offer customers greater value for money, while of course meaning more jobs can be done in a shorter timescale. Final Thoughts While modern plastering is better and quicker, it’s still not something to be taken for granted. As alluded to above, it takes a skilled hand to master plastering, so a final consideration here for those looking to build or renovate a room themselves is to make sure you get the right equipment, gear and know-how first. This will help ensure you get the best results in next to no time.

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