Everything you need to know about finding a Plasterer
What Plasterers Do
Plasterers apply plaster to the walls and ceilings of the home to enhance the space. Some projects they carry out include:
Dry wall plastering: Dry wall, commonly known as plasterboard, is used for walls and ceilings in the home. Plasterers can advise on the right type of dry wall to suit your space, as well as supply the necessary materials and apply the plaster. For more information see dry wall plastering.
Ornamental plastering: This is a great way to add beauty and character to your home for a very reasonable cost. Plasterers can advise on a suitable design and finish and apply it to the wall or ceiling using plaster moulds. See ornamental plastering for more information.
Solid wall plastering: This technique involves the plasterer applying plaster to a solid wall, such as a brick or solid plaster wall. In doing so, they will level, clean and prepare the surface, then mix and apply the plaster before adding the final finishing coats. For more info see solid wall plastering.
Partitioning: If you want to create more space or add privacy, partitioning is the ideal solution, as it can be used to temporarily or permanently divide a room. The partition may be made from plasterboard or Gyprock® on a timber or steel frame. See plastering - partitioning for more information.
Plaster repairs: When cracks or flakes appear in your plaster, you will need it repaired. Plasterers use many techniques for repairing plaster depending on the type and extent of the damage. See plaster repairs for more details.
Plastering & Gyprock®
Plasterboard installation is an important part of the building process and is best performed by an experienced tradeperson. Gyprock® plasterboard can be used in most areas of the home, as different formulations have been developed to suit different areas.
Plaster is made up of lime or gypsum mixed with sand and water. It hardens into a smooth solid and it is used to cover walls and ceilings. However, plaster can also be used in pools. Because plaster is quite a soft material, even after it dries, it is suitable for finishing rather than for any load bearing means. It is available in many colours and textures.
If you are having your home wet plastered, this is simply where the plaster is applied to the walls or ceiling while wet and it will harden after it has been applied. This is also known as solid plastering. Some surfaces that plaster can be applied to include brick, stone, concrete and sheet lining (such as plasterboard).
Plaster can be used in older style, period homes such as Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and Federation homes. It can also be used in modern homes to create sleek, modern lines. Types of plastering include:
Solid (wet) plastering
Lathe and plaster
Ornamental plastering is the use of plastering to create decorative effects such as leaves, vines, flowers, and even complete designs. You are only limited by your imagination and the skill of your plasterer.
Gyprock® plasterboard is a machine made sheet that is made up of a gypsum core encased in a strong liner board. It is used to create walls and ceilings that are strong, smooth and durable. Gyprock® plasterboard comes in a number of varieties to suit your needs, including products that can be used in wet areas, varieties that provide insulation against noise, and a variety for fire protection.
Plasterboard sheets should be installed by a professional as they need to be fitted horizontally on walls and at right angles to ceiling joists. A professional will be able to minimize the number of joins between the sheets.
Gyprock® cornices are also available for the wall ceiling/junction, and plaster usually supplied as a powder and then mixed with water is used for patching and smoothing rough surfaces.
Plasterboard is easily paintable to whatever colour you desire and is very cost-effective. Gyprock® plasterboard is also easy to repair should it become damaged.
Plaster as a Pool Surface
Plaster as a pool surface can last for up to 25 years without maintenance. If you are using plaster as a pool surface, it is important that the water used to fill the pool is free of chemicals that may stain the finish. The pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness levels must also be kept at the correct levels otherwise the water will cause damage to the plaster. The pool plaster should be cured underwater and it will need to be brushed daily from the fourth day after application until thirty days have expired. This is so that minerals and other sediments are removed.
Many pools have fiberglass laid over cement plaster that has been applied to the concrete shell of the pool. If you choose to use fiberglass, you will need to wait for 28 days after the plaster has been applied so that the plaster can cure properly.
Hiring a Plasterer
There are a number of questions that you should ask when hiring any trade professional. Firstly, you will need to know if they will do the type of work that you need done. Specialist work such as restoring the plaster in your period home may well require a dedicated tradesperson.
Depending on where you live your plasterer may also need to be licensed to carry out the work. There is more information about the licensing requirements for plasterers by state on Licensedtrades.com.au.
Ask the professional what experience they have and also for contactable references. You will also need to get at least three quotes. Finally, be comfortable that the professional you choose will be able to get the job done to your satisfaction.
How Much Does a Plasterer Cost?
Plasterers will work out their rate based on the area involved, with hard plaster costing in the region of $45 to $90 per square metre. You can expect to be quoted a flat fee for a room or house - a figure which does not include removal of existing plaster and does not take into account difficult access.
* Gyprock® is a trade mark of CSR limited and is under license.
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