Traditionally, the field of plastering was divided into two methods: Solid plastering and fibrous plastering. However, dry lining has become extremely popular in the UK over the last 15 years because it is quick and easy to do when compared to using the normal two coat plaster system. In effect, dry lining is the application of plasterboard to a variety of surfaces such as masonry, metal or timber by using different fixings for each individual background.
The main reason why dry lining is used is because masonry and metal are not considered to be acceptable as a finish since neither substance is particularly pleasing to look at nor can they produce a finish as true as that provided by plaster. Unlike traditional plastering, dry lining does not require a huge amount of water and less technical expertise is required in order to fit it. Manufacturers create enormous quantities of plasterboard which is available in a range of thicknesses and lengths. It is common for insulation to be glued to the back of plasterboard in order to improve its thermal properties.
Wet Plaster or Dry Lining?
Plasterboard has been on the scene since the 1940s and it has not negatively affected specialist plasterers. The main advantage of dry lining is that it takes half the time to complete a job in this manner because you don’t have to wait until the plaster dries. This is especially the case during winter when the drying process can cause a delay of several weeks on sites in extreme cases. Therefore, dry lining is a necessary skill for modern day plasterers as it increases the speed of a job and reduces the time it takes.
However, wet plastering is still better suited to fixing items such as radiators and shelves and it also leaves a more aesthetically pleasing coat which is perfect for painting. Additionally, wet plastering covers up blemishes better which makes junctions and doorways look neater. For this task, a skilled plasterer is required.
How Dry Lining Differs From Traditional Plastering
The most obvious difference is the level of skill involved. Those with a very limited knowledge of plastering will be able for dry lining whereas more experience is needed in order to master wet plastering. Most NVQ and City & Guild courses will focus on traditional plastering methods though you can pick up dry lining on site. As plasterboard and the process of dry lining have been around for over 70 years and have never come close to endangering the traditional form of wet plastering, it is clear that the skill and end product provided by it is highly valued.
While dry lining has grown in popularity during the last 15 years or so because of the convenience it offers, it will never adequately replace traditional solid and fibrous plastering so you don’t have to worry about plastering skills becoming obsolete. Trust in the courses offered by NVQ and City & Guilds because they will give you all the skills required to become a success in the field of plastering.