Professional Plastering Services in Brooklyn
Plaster was a popular form of wall finish for many Brooklyn homes. Anything built up until the 1940s has the chance of using this building approach. If you have lath walls on your property, there is an excellent chance this old-school construction technique is present.
Builders used closely-spaced thin wood strips attached to the studs to create a wall foundation. Multiple plaster coatings would go on top of this lath to form the flat structure, creating a smooth and even surface.
The 1950s brought drywall panels, tape, and joint compound because the installation work became faster and cheaper. If you still have plaster, regular inspections and maintenance are often necessary to prevent it from cracking.
Some installation companies use the term “plaster” for installing or repairing sheetrock or drywall. At King Installation, we can help you with both options.
Benefits of Using Plaster in Your Home
Traditional plaster walls used horsehair fibers, sand, and powdered lime to create a hard structure for a building. A minimum of three coats was often necessary to finish the work, creating a rock-hard coating about an inch in thickness.
That’s why older homes have more usable space even when the structure is smaller. The plaster provides an insulative layer without the need for additional tools.
Plaster dampens noise transfers between rooms, which is why an older Brooklyn home is quieter than one building using modern drywall techniques.
If you have plaster, it may be wise to keep it because of its fire-resistance benefits. It also contains trowel marks, sometimes slight, giving each room a distinctive character. This feature was essential for homes that used arches or curvature as part of the design.
A professionally installed plaster wall could last for more than a century with adequate craftsmanship and care. Unfortunately, that result is rare for most homeowners today.
Concerns to Consider When Keeping Traditional Plaster Viable
Plaster may provide several benefits that make it worth keeping around. It also creates some specific disadvantages that could have you thinking about an upgrade to your Brooklyn home.
- Plaster is brittle. As houses settle, the hard walls start cracking. You can sometimes see large chunks fall from the lath if the movement is significant. Drywall tends to have this happen around door and window frames instead of along an entire section of the home.
- Retrofit hassles. Retrofitting an older plaster wall with updated wiring or plumbing requires cutting into the wall. The studs often have several inches of fallen product that blocks the space needed for specialists to work.
- Insulation problems. The R-value of insulation changed in the 1970s as energy efficiency standards improved. Many homeowners had fiber insulation blown into their walls as a cost-effective way to meet the new coding requirements. It is not unusual to see some walls have uneven distribution, creating unexpected heating and cooling patterns.
- Moisture issues. If moisture leaks on the wood lath in your wall, it can increase the risk of the plaster releasing from the structure.
Unless the wood lath in your wall received damage, most plaster repair services involve filling the small cracks that form by skimming a new layer over the surface. Our team also uses the standard three-step method for filling large spots when loose sections must get removed.
Can I Update Plaster Walls to Drywall?
Most older Brooklyn homes can update from lath and plaster to modern sheetrock by installing the new panels on top of the existing structure. It isn’t the most energy-efficient approach, but the job gets done without a significant mess.
The best way to update an older home is to remove the plaster wall entirely. Our team takes each structure down to the studs, allowing you to update the insulation and wiring to today’s best practices. Once that work is complete, we install new drywall panels using joint compound to ensure a smooth, even surface.
You have the option to add plaster walls to your home instead of drywall, but the cost difference is significant. Drywall is about $15 cheaper per square foot, which is why it is our recommended best practice.
If your home could use an update to its walls, contact our team at King Installation today. Our professional plastering services can repair sections, molding, and doors to create a seamless look you’ll love. Our skilled technicians can install new drywall, fix cracks, and more for an affordable price. Contact us about your project today, and we’ll be happy to put together a no-obligation quote to review!