Are you renovating your home or building from scratch? Are you adding an addition or building a garage? Are you structuring a commercial building? What should you use for the walls and/or ceilings? Should you go with drywall or plaster?
When deciding to use drywall or plaster on a project, there are various aspects to consider. Having knowledge on the subject is important and comes in very handy in understanding the difference between the two methods. Each of them require different skills, so be informed before making a decision. Factors such as budget, timeframe, property type, and preferred outcome will affect your decision when making up your mind between drywall and plaster.
Drywall Hanging, Tape, and Mud
Drywall systems have become more popular over recent years since it tends to be quicker to install. Therefore, it is widely used in the construction of new building developments. Drywall involves fixing large pieces of plasterboard to wooden studs to create a smooth and seamless look. After the drywall sheets are hung or installed, drywall tape & mud is applied at the seams and over the screws.
After this last step, the mud/joint compound will need to be dry in order for the seams to be sanded (expect lots of white dust!!). Then, the drywaller’s job is finished and the client will be ready to paint over the whole thing.
Blueboard & Plaster / Plastering
Plastering has been used for a really, really long time. It is often a favorite choice in older homes since it has demonstrated to provide a stronger and long-lasting surface. Many homeowners desire the finished look that plaster brings, but it can be a more expensive choice due to its more labor-extensive process.
Keep in mind that anything to do with plaster gets places very dirty because of all the white plaster powder particles flying in the air. Therefore, there is a considerable amount of time to prep the work area. A small patch repair job may seem simple and take a short amount of time for the work itself, however, there is a lot of protection and cleaning up involved, not to mention walking back-and-forth to the truck and the work area until the plasterer is ready to start.
Once starting the project, the hard-working guys barely have time to pause because once the plaster mix starts drying, the surface becomes hard like a rock. So, the work must be fast-paced to get that nice smooth finish so desired by homeowners. There is just so much that can be done in one day when one physically works so hard and without stopping. To fit in more plaster mixes in a day, means so many hours to get it done, depending on the size of the team needed or available for that project.
Plasterers apply plaster mix onto gypsum boards, also called blueboards or sheetrock, depending on the purpose needed... (Click on Read More to continue)
If using greenboard or drywall boards instead of the types mentioned above, the sheets will need to be painted with a special bonding agent before having the plaster applied. A gypsum board is plaster-ready while drywall is not. The bonding agent to apply is expensive, so be sure to use the appropriate type of boards (in case you are hanging the sheets by yourself and then hiring a plasterer). In case of a needed or desired thickness of ¼ inch boards, blueboard will not be available, which means drywall will need to be used and thus, the bonding agent will need to be used anyway, before applying the plaster.
Plastering is a highly skilled trade with its own tools and techniques which can take years to learn. Plastering is an artistry that is often underrated. Please try to avoid doing the plastering work yourself if you do not have the skills for this trade. A poor job can cost more to fix than hiring a pro in the first place. Even though it can take time to master this artistry, the benefits of these skills are limitless. Customers will have peace-of-mind in knowing that their new walls and ceilings will have a long-lasting, specialized finish. In addition, the professionally done work will eliminate concerns about cracks appearing in the future.
If cracks do show up, the contractor who performed the work usually goes back to touch up and make it look nice again. After new boards are installed, the chances of cracks diminish greatly, so there should be no worries. Keep in mind, that for newly-built residential homes, cracks may appear as the house is settling into the ground and high winds are blowing at it, thus causing the house to move, which in turn, can cause cracks at the seams. If they continue to appear multiple times after professional repairs or replacements, the structure of the house itself may be an issue.
Plastering is a costly skilled trade but the end-results are second-to-none. You should be very pleased and impressed when you see the finished product. Refresh the look of your rooms with new plaster and new painting. Your eyes may not believe the difference! So, why not take a “before” and an “after” picture to keep them in your “Memories” photo album like we have in our Gallery section?
Regardless of which option you choose, both drywall finish and plaster finish will leave your walls and ceiling ready for painting, whether you choose to have us do the painting for you or not.
By Fernanda C.