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Do You Need to Get Your Wall Plastered or Skimmed?

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If you've decided to move ahead with a new extension in order to increase the size of your family home, then you will be involved in drawing up plans and will need to talk to a variety of different experts to help you. You must ensure that your design is capable and can pass inspection and you will also need to bring in a number of different contractors to perform various stages of the work. If you're thinking about the finished look and in particular how each wall will appear when the work is finally done, then you may be getting ready to talk to somebody about plastering. However, will your walls need to be plastered or, alternatively, should they be skimmed? You may have heard of both these terms and be a little confused about their definition.

What Does Plastering Involve?

Certainly, there are a number of different ways to finish an internal wall once the initial construction is complete. Some people may choose to leave the brickwork exposed if they are looking for a minimalist or more of an "industrial" finish, but in most cases, the wall will need to be smoothed over so that it can be subsequently papered or painted.

In the trade, this is known as plastering, and it will encompass a variety of different approaches. Skimming is the name given to one of these methods and does not relate to a completely different approach altogether.

Different Methods

Plasterers work with several different types of material, and you will need to discuss what type of finish you want, in order to help them make their selection. For example, they can work with lime plaster (which is a combination of water and lime) or cement (which is typically overlaid on brickwork or masonry). Alternatively, they can use an entirely different type of material known as gypsum, which is a mixture of calcium sulphate and water.

Skimming Application

If you're looking for a very fine finish as you may want to paper the surface or complete an intricate painting job, then you may have to apply a thin layer of plaster to an initial underlay. This is where skimming may come into the picture as it is essentially a thin coat applied to an initial layer of plaster. Usually, the tradesperson will use lime as their working solution, and much will depend on their proficiency, to help ensure that the final result is fully fit for the purpose.

Exterior Options

If you've ever looked at a layer of plaster applied to an external wall, you will notice that it has a rough texture. In this case, the project owner did not require a smooth external finish and thus skimming was not necessary.

Your Choice

Talk with your plastering contractor about your specific needs, as you continue to develop your new extension.