Lath and Plaster – Ceiling & Wall Repair
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Period properties often have lath and plaster ceilings and walls. These will require expert upkeep and maintenance, such as those provided in our services. If the property you own or manage has lath and plaster features, please contact us for specialist repair or restoration work. We complete every job with care, consideration and expertise that ensure your walls and ceilings are fully restored.
What Is Lath and Plaster?
Lath and plaster is a traditional building technique and finishing process for interior walls and ceilings. It was most commonly used between the 1700s and the 1900s, before being supplanted by gypsum plaster and plasterboard in construction projects in the 1930s. This is why you are more likely to find the technique used in historic buildings, rather than modern builds.
What Is Lath and Plaster Made ofAs an application, lath and plaster traditionally consists of narrow strips of wood (laths), which are nailed horizontally across wall studs or ceiling joists. These lath strips are then covered in coatings of plaster. The strips of timber used to make laths will ordinarily be made from oak or chestnut and will be fixed by hand. Riven timber is highly recommended for this purpose, as it is hand split along the grain and is generally stronger. However, it is less flexible than sawn. Riven timber also offers a larger surface area and physical key for plasters to adhere to, making it more appropriate for ceiling repairs. Lime plasters will generally be used, and are pushed through spaces to fill the inside of the wall. This forms keys that hold the plaster in place.
Our Work with Traditional Lath and Plaster
Our experienced team work to provide traditional lath and plaster services in the UK. This includes restoration and repair work on lath and plaster ceilings, walls, and external lime plastering and render. We work with local companies and contractors who specialise in heritage and restoration work, as well as the owners of the properties in question.
Once the project has been assigned a Project Surveyor, we will carry out a site assessment and provide the property owner or manager with a report of our findings.
We will work with these individuals to understand the project’s objectives and challenges and then determine the correct solution.
We ensure that expert lath craftsmanship is employed across every project, drawing from years of heritage and restoration experience. To learn more about how we can assist with your project, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Why Choose Lath and Plaster for Projects?
Common reasons for carrying out lath and plaster repair work include fire damage, water ingress, and preserving the building’s integrity. It is considered vital to preserve the fabric of a building using this method if said building is of historic importance.
The most important reasons for choosing lath and plaster, however, are the fact that:
- It is able to absorb noise
- It is known for its inherent fire resistance (it can deter the spread of fire)
- It can stabilise the internal humidity of a building
The latter of these points is related to the fact that lime plastering onto laths allows moisture to be absorbed and released, making it “breathable”. When set, it becomes extremely hard and its durability ensures it will last thousands of years, reducing the risk of cracking.
Maintaining Lath and Plaster
The lifespan of lath and plaster, whether in a wall or a ceiling, can extend across several centuries – but this is only if it is well-maintained. It is also likely that the materials will require repair work in that time in order to keep them in their best condition. If you would like advice on how to keep a lath and plaster ceiling, or on preserving and repairing lath and plaster walls, please see our pages.
It is also worth noting that we can offer baseline and annual plaster survey inspections for suspended fibrous and lath and lime plaster in historic buildings. As these are susceptible to moisture, vibration, and extremes of temperature, it is good practice – particularly for public access buildings – to maintain a record of regular checks. More information can be found on our page on historic plasterwork surveys and reports.
Examples of Finished Projects
The work projects we have completed can be found across the UK, and this includes a number of lath and plaster construction and renovation pieces. Private residences make use of this work in particular, but this does not mean it cannot extend to properties outside of this specification.
Examples of projects that have used lath and plaster can be found in our portfolio of projects, and show that we have the tools and skills required to carry out this work. It also demonstrates that we are able to replicate any design or architectural style needed, for any property type.
Get a Quote on Fine Restoration Work
If you are in need of a reliable, professional firm with many years of experience in the finishing and repair or restoration of lath and plaster walls or ceilings, we can help. Our work may be applied to a variety of building types and styles, and each property we visit is treated with individual consideration and care. This ensures that your own specifications are made a priority throughout the project.
This care and consideration will also extend to the project’s budget. We will always offer you an estimate on the work that needs to be done before beginning, and will not continue until the price is agreed. Once it is, we will set to work on returning your property’s features to their former glory.
Our Bespoke Decorative Ceiling Work
We are often called to produce both ready-prepared and bespoke decorative ceiling panels, tiles, mouldings, and other features to complete the design and aesthetic appeal of public and private properties. How this will be achieved depends on the requirements and specifications of the project.
If a project requires ornate features in a bespoke design that has never existed until now, our team will fashion a mould for the product’s creation from a hand-finished model. For bespoke requests that will be used to restore the original features of the interior of an older property, we also offer a match-to-existing service.
Our match-to-existing service is done using an impression mould, also known as a “site squeeze”, on a section of a decorative feature and using this to form the basis of a replica mould. This mould will then be used in the manufacture of a replacement section. We can tell you more about this when you get in touch with us to use this service.
For a Quote on Skilfully Crafted Decorative Ceiling Features
If your interior will only be complete once it has been fitted with its ideal decorative features, including those that will adorn its ceiling, contact our team today. One of our members of staff will be glad to speak with you about the requirements of your project. You can also receive an estimate for the work that will need to be done.
Our dedicated master craftsmen will complete each piece to the design ideas and specifications that you have set. As a result, you will receive finely and accurately-moulded finishes that you need for your property, whether you are carrying out restoration work on an interior damaged by time or neglect or bringing a classic aesthetic appeal to a new build.