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Plasterers Terminology

Blown: This is when plaster/render has separated from its original surface. It will become hollow and also cracks likely to appear.

Bonding: This is a lightweight backing plaster used mostly to fill large holes and gaps and also to level various surfaces.

Cement-based plasters: Used on areas susceptible to damp but also walls that need thicker coverage. Ideal for exterior walls.

Dot and Dab: Known in the trade as dry-wall. A bagged powder that when mixed with water is used to adhere plasterboard sheets to walls. Can not be used on ceilings!

Duplex board: Plasterboard with a thin foil type backing. When used on ceilings and walls helps to prevent airborne moisture passing through and condensing.

Finishing plaster: Multi-finish and Board finish are just a couple of finishing plasters which are used to achieve smooth wall and ceiling finishes.

Float: A tool used for smoothing and rubbing down plaster.

Grounds: Lengths of timber fixed vertically to the wall. Plaster is then applied and using the grounds it is ruled off with a straight edge and kept to a uniform plane.

Hawk: Used by plasterers to keep there supply of plaster at arms reach.

PVA bonding: White glue diluted with water to help plaster adhere to the walls and prevent it from setting to quick.

Render: Render is used externally and internally. Mostly made of a sand/cement mixture.Used for many external finishes and damp proofing when correct admixtures are included.

Scarifier: A tool to key/scratch the base layer of plaster to enable following layers to adhere.

Screed: A final surface finish made of sand cement and sometimes fibres to level and smooth sub-floors.

Scrim: A mesh like roll of tape used for reinforcing plasterboard joints and reduce the risk of cracking.

Splash brush: A big paint brush for keeping the plaster moist while trowelling.

Water-proofer: Admixture for sand/cement mix which if used correctly once cured protects from the penetration of damp.

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