Why skim plasterboard?

Discussion in 'Plastering and Rendering' started by frediaz, 17 Feb 2008.

  1. frediaz

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    Some plasterers skim plasterboard with 3-4 mm of plaster. But why is this necessary? is it not defeating the purpose of using platerboard to avoid the messy plastering job? I thought the filler used in tapered joints was enough to give a nice and smooth finish
     
  2. roughcaster

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    Fred,
    There is nothing wrong with plastering onto plasterboard, there is nothing wrong with taping plasterboard, but there is NO comparison between a "well"plastered p/board wall and a "well" taped p/board wall. The finish alone will tell you that. You can always tell that a wall has been taped, by the tale tale joints every 4'or so along the wall,and the marks where the filler covers every screw head. It doesn't matter how good the taper is. "Messy plastering job?" Doesn't have to be. Like any job,you have to have some mess but it doesn't go everywhere. You would be surprised. Most jobs that plasterers do in peoples houses are in rooms where the carpets are down, and there might be furniture etc nearby. Doing any job in somebody's house, as you would like it to be done in your house/my house is always a good way of thinking.

    Roughcaster.
     
  3. Richard C

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    I would always skim the boards; a decent plasterer will not create a great deal of mess & IMO, feather edge, taped & filled doesn't even compare as a finished job; + you will never get wall paper off it in the future!
     
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  4. roughcaster

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    Spot on as usual Richard. ;)

    Roughcaster.
     
  5. spongey

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    i agree with roughcaster and richardc

    taping and jointing in my opinion is for speed and speed only normally for commercial jobs!

    The finish you get is good but compared to the finish you get when a wall is properly skimmed there is definitely no comparison. :D
     
  6. Jimbo7

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    This is an interesting debate. Coming from Australia - I have NEVER seen a builder plaster over plasterboard. My understanding is that plasterboard was invented to avoid this unnecessary process! Same applies in the USA. Plasterboard has been used in this way (without a skim) for at least 30 years that I know of in these other countries due to nearly every house being timber frame but because its uptake here in the UK has been more gradual I suspect that wet plasterers are simply clinging to their trade.

    I really don't believe the finish is any better either. In fact my experience with trying to put fixings into stud walls that have had a skim coat is that the skim readily cracks immediately around the fixing point. Also, a slight knock also promotes cracking and chipping which you wouldn't otherwise get.

    To quote an Oz builder friend of mine - "why would you buy all that extra material, waste all that water, spend all that time mixing and applying a finish that isn't even necessary and run the risk of cracking."

    It seems to just be a UK practice or is every builder in the US and Australia wrong?
     
  7. noseall

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    it takes a fair bit of time to, mud and tape the joints, deal with the fixing heads and sand it all down.

    a decent spread can achieve a better result in almost the same time.

    anyone that thinks preparing a plasterboard, without skimming, is a fast job, think again.

    plus, the skimmed version will tolerate a heck of a lot more re-decoration than the non-skimmed.

    only a knob would opt for mud 'n' tape. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Richard C

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    Probably; we do like to do things properly here, so they look good & last a bit longer than the first layer of wallpaper (if that’s your bag)! ;)

    Just for info, I'm not a wet plasterer “clinging to my trade”, I’m a Professional Engineer who also happens to be a very good, self taught amateur plasterer, doing my bit here & there, usually without any payment.
     
  9. spongey

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    i can spot taped joints a mile away but you can't see the joints in a skimmed board unless the spread is a numpty.

    in reply to jimbo i have rehung rads, mirrors, skirts, all manor of fixings to skimmed boards and never had any cracks appear.
     
  10. JohnD

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    Hee hee hee!

    Are you saying that every builder and plasterer in UK is wrong? :LOL:
     
  11. kingandy2nd

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    I wouldn't say every builder in the US and Oz is wrong.... maybe they just don't know any better! :LOL:
     
  12. makitaman

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    Don't know about Oz but in the Staes its still quite unusual to paper the walls - at least in NJ where I lived. They prefer a quick coat of paint, but as has been said its as quick to skim the board as to tape and join it
     
  13. Micilin

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    PLasterboard was invented as a replacement for lathing plaster, not to avoid plastering.


    Timber framed building was not deemed suitable for UK climate until relatively recently, whereas it suited Oz quite well.

    To be fair to you, if you haven't been looking at skimmed walls vs joiinted walls, you probably don't have the eye to tell the difference but it is quite noticable. How can you hide a butt joint on a board, especially on a ceiling when you have to put 3mm on the join and nothing on the middle of the board? If you don't have the eye to spot 3mm ridges on a ceiling, then quality of finish is hardly likely to concern you!

    Jointing in winter and wet weather here is very time consuming, often taking several days, a week even, for it to take a sanding down. Once the temperature is above freezing, a skim coat will be finished within hours, regardless.

    The oposite is true, in that it is harder to skim in warmer weather such as Aussie summers have, so jointing is easier.

    The problems with fixings I just don't get, I'm afraid.

    The 'chipping and knocking ' I don't understand either. It is better to chip the skim than break the paper of the board.

    As for running the 'risk of cracking', it is not the finish that causes cracks, it is the boards underneath that move. The tape that covers the joints is usually the same if you tape or skim.

    The main reason in the UK for jointing rather than skimming is that is is cheaper to do , and easier to find the people to do it as it is less skilled work.

    Finally , as for clinging on to the trade, in the marketplace, the client dictates the finish, not the other way around. Traditionally, the UK builder /housebuyer prefers the superior finish of skimming. The move to boarding and jointing here is down primarily to cost and also to the shortage of skilled labour

    I know of NO builder who would not skim his boards if he could get it done as cheaply as tape and joint - ask a few of them and see if this is not so.
     
  14. makitaman

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    Timber framed building not suitable for uk until recently, you go to the nw usa, where it rains more, snows more and gets hotter summers and all the residential buildings are timber framed. Theres no right or wrong on this one, yes plastered boards are a better finish and what we're used to/expect. If you went to the usa and suggested that for an extra $300 we could plaster your boards they'd think you were a Republican................
     
  15. Micilin

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    If you notice, i said "deemed suitable" -consumers did not trust them and more imprtantly, neither did insurance companies.

    Insurers wanted to cover "traditional bricks and mortar" only (try getting a quote) or they would up your premium.

    This was not just for maintenance, but the risk of fire - a timber framed house burning down in ten -fifteen minutes (seven minutes on a recent site induction) does not give a s good a risk to underwrite for contents, structure or loss of life.
     

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