Coving questions

9 Sep 2007
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United Kingdom

I’m looking to put up coving up in a bedroom and wondered what type is best: polystyrene or plaster? What are the pros and cons of each? In my local B&Q I see they have some polystyrene coving pre-cut for corners; this does appeal me since I've never put up coving before and that would seem to make life much easier.

A question: is polystyrene coving easy to cut down to size? Going by my past experience with polystyrene trying to snap a piece in half results in an uneven mess.

All tips much appreciated.

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Coving is only marginally more fashionable than Artex at the moment but if you really must have the stuff then, in my view, plaster every time.

Never used it but the polystyrene stuff always looks exactly what it is, a bit of Sunday afternoon DIY.
The price difference when I looked was negligible between polystyrene & plaster filled coving.

Also polystyrene is far easier for one person to hold up, plaster filled is much better in that it takes more knocks, makes for a better finish etc. esp on corners.

A mitre block, the instructions & a bit of practise & you'll certainly save a fair bit as those corners are not so cheap, and besides - are you 100% sure that al your corners are exactly 90 degrees?

IMO use the plaster filled coving, cut your own corners and fill little gaps then sand down - you'll never know once it has been painted.
i`ve used plaster cornice and the finish is a 100% better than the poly my grandad used, but be careful when mitreing the corners, they aren`t 90 degrees like skirting board, but you get a awesome little device called a cornice cutter, you can buy one for coving to, it`s just a v shaped metal device that fits on the cornice/coving and you just follow the one side of the v, depending on internal external mitre, and it`ll line up perfectly, my walls were all over the shop so the joints that didn`t line up i just used plaster board joint cement to fill the gaps as its really easy to rub down, and once painted you wouldn`t know the difference, i much prefer cornice to coving too, use nails above and below to hold it in place while the adhesive goes off.....
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use nails above and below to hold it in place while the adhesive goes off.....
Use the recommended adhesive, mixed to the correct consistency & you don’t need any nails to hold it in place; it will grab & hold after just a few seconds.

You will find free cutting templates for internal & external corners on the Gyproc fact sheet that the stockist should keep (or they used to anyway!); they are only a paper templates but work just as well.

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