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Article Date: 1st September 2017

Catnic - Ensuring Plasterbead & Mesh Contribute to the Perfect Finish

Plasterbead and Mesh - Plasterers’ Beads - Plaster or Render

Catnic - Plaster Bead and Mesh

Product quality and suitability go hand in hand with good workmanship, when it comes to achieving long-lasting performance and aesthetics: And for building components such as plasterbead and mesh, the devil really is in the detail. Here Catnic provides guidance to ensure products chosen are fit for purpose.

When it comes to plastering, the industry offers a wealth of support and guidance. You simply have to enter the term into Google to see the plethora of information and ‘how to’ guides from product selection to installation techniques available. However, do the same for plasterbead and mesh and it becomes immediately apparent that there really is a lack of information out there.

Given that plasterers’ beads and mesh have a vital function in the plastering process – this really needs to be addressed. When you stop to consider their role, plasterbead and mesh are absolute necessities; preventing a plaster layer surface from cracking and increasing the durability and longevity of the plaster. They also offer a reliable method of achieving the slick, professional finish that clients expect of internal spaces and rendered facades.

Therefore, accurate selection is absolutely crucial. Although it might sound simple enough – start with the basics and check that the product has a CE marking. This means the manufacturer has declared conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve that CE marking. Professionals have a duty of care to ensure that the products selected are legal and will perform as intended.

Specifiers and contractors then need to consider the location and atmospheric conditions of the building when selecting the correct material finish. Both can have a significant impact on whether or not the installation will perform and last as expected. Anyone requiring guidance should look to BS EN 13914-1:2005, which covers the design, preparation and application of external rendering and internal plastering. This advises the use of stainless steel and PVCu in conditions of high humidity and/or salt laden atmospheres. The use of an incorrect material type carries a risk of corrosion and brings the likelihood of staining through the plaster or render, resulting in the need for expensive remedial repair and replacement work to correct the problem.

Internally, galvanized steel is a more appropriate choice, although for high moisture interior environments, stainless steel and PVC-u could also be considered for interior fit outs. Once the material type has been decided upon, it then becomes an issue of product quality.

In the past, the vast majority of contractors might not have considered there to be much differentiation between one brand of plasterer’s bead to another. With ‘equal or equivalent’ to specifications reinforcing this idea – the door is left open for quality compromises that can fall short of the initial design intention. When faced with a range of plasterbead and mesh to choose from – always opt for a reputable manufacturer. In addition, a simple but effective means of establishing quality is checking rigidity. The more rigid a plasterbead is, the easier it is to retain the plumbline and achieve a precise finish.

Once the product has been selected, another important factor to take into account is the type of fixing. Best practice means avoiding mixing different material types. For example, if a stainless steel plasterbead has been chosen – avoid using zinc mechanical fixings. This could potentially result in a chemical reaction that leads to the breakdown of the fixing and ultimately the plasterbead could break away from the surface.

Chemical reactions that can affect the success of the project can also occur during the installation process itself. For example, it is important not to over trowel the nose of exposed plasterbead. If the plaster is being applied using a steel trowel against a galvanized section of plasterbead then there is a risk that the zinc coating could be damaged – again increasing the likelihood that the installation will suffer from issues later down the line.

Moreover, strength and support is another key area to consider, particularly for drywall applications in high traffic areas. It is advisable to use edging bead for a really robust finish and limit any potential damage. When dealing with large sections of external render, best practice also dictates installing adequate movement bead panels, no more than 5 metres apart and never over a structural control joint. This will allow for any necessary movement of the building without damaging the render finish.

Today there is a wide range of precision made components available to select from to meet the requirements of any indoor and outdoor project. Whether it is plasterbead and mesh, expanded metal mesh, rib lath, wall accessories, coil mesh or arch formers – it is important to remember that there will be a viable option.

Always look to a trusted manufacturer that can offer a comprehensive portfolio of products including PVC-u, stainless and galvanized steel ranges as well as a high level of technical support to ensure the product selected is fit for purpose, of good quality and able to provide a precise and lasting finish.

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