Gary Blackburn, Plaster Support Manager at British Gypsum, takes a look at some of the manufacturer’s product options and their benefits.
Choosing the right plaster for a refurbishment
Using a good quality plaster product not only enhances the professional finish of refurbishment projects – it can also help to improve life for occupants, too. That means the trade can offer extra value to customers by considering how the different plaster products available might match with their needs.
Improve indoor air quality
The majority of people spend most of their time indoors, whether they are sleeping, working or relaxing. Despite this, there is low awareness of the health problems that can be caused by the poor air quality of some indoor environments.
It’s not uncommon for people to complain about feeling ill following extended periods of time spent indoors and this can be the result of various airborne pollutants found in both our working and living spaces. These pollutants are called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and are naturally emitted into rooms by pets, cleaning products, furniture, carpets and paints. The most common VOC found indoors is formaldehyde, which can cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea and fatigue, as well as affecting breathing and concentration.
Walls and ceilings provide a large surface area exposed to the indoor environment and installing the right type of plaster products can help improve indoor air quality. The technology present within these products has been designed to decompose formaldehyde emissions into non-harmful inert compounds, which improves the air quality within buildings*.
Plaster products that include this technology can be painted with a breathable emulsion paint. The technology will last up to 50 years and will not re-emit formaldehyde over time. This type of plaster installation can provide long-lasting improvements to air quality and therefore offers a valuable advantage for building occupants, whether that be an entire home, a child’s bedroom, a school or even a care home
Provide a more durable finish
It can be frustrating when your walls receive a small amount of accidental damage, such as scratching, gouging or scuffs. This can build up, especially in places that get used by people most often, like hallways and stairwells, or areas where children play and run around. Having to repeatedly repair this everyday wear and tear can become costly for occupants and as one area is refurbished, another can then become damaged shortly afterwards.
Regular maintenance work can also be inconvenient. If parts of a building need to be closed, people and services have to be moved elsewhere. They also have the problem of dealing with dust, disruption, cleaning and redecorating.
The solution is to supply a more hardwearing finish that can resist minor impacts and accidental damage like knocks and scrapes. These finishes can dramatically increase resistance, making them far more durable than standard plasters. A cleaner, more pleasant environment is nicer for people to spend time in, so they are likely to stay there longer.
Durable plaster products will benefit occupants by helping to reduce the need for maintenance and therefore providing lower long-term costs.
Encourage creativity with magnetic plaster
A refurbishment doesn’t just have to iron out existing irregularities – it can also transform buildings so indoor environments can be used in new ways.
Magnetic plaster contains a mineral element that is attracted to magnets, enabling it to turn any wall into an interactive surface. It helps free up space as people can attach items directly to the wall, instead of needing to install additional shelves and noticeboards.
It’s ideal for schools and workplaces, as well as in homes, where it can be the perfect space-saving solution for kitchens or children’s bedrooms. The magnetic surface allows children to express their creative sides, while workers can organise their thoughts and host brainstorming sessions. It also offers a more flexible way of displaying pictures at home and can be changed around as many times as the homeowner likes, with no holes or mess.
Magnetic plaster can also be decorated with paint or wallpaper, including chalkboard paint, with minimal impact on the attraction of the magnets. The plaster attracts magnets but it won’t attract metal objects or affect Wi-Fi – think of it as being similar to a fridge door. One of the advantages of magnetic plaster is that it can be applied in a similar way to any standard skim finish, which makes it easy for plasterers to install.
All occupants are looking for quality workmanship with a smooth finish, but they can gain a host of other advantages compared to standard plaster. By choosing the best plaster for their buildings’ needs, tradespeople can offer more choice and add an extra dimension to their plastering service as well as securing higher value work.
You can find out more about enhanced performance plasters in your local merchants and DIY stores.
* Formaldehyde reduction is based on experimental data following ISO16000-23 standards from 0.4m² to 1.4m² installed/m³ room. Lifetime is based on a calculation assuming constant formaldehyde reduction with indoor formaldehyde concentration of 25μg/m³ for ceiling, drywall or combined drywall and ceiling configurations.
For further information on British Gypsum visit https://www.british-gypsum.com/