Are you planning to renovate your home or commercial premises in York or add an extension to an existing building in the near future? Have your walls suffered damage from leaks or the result of historic DIY attempts?
At some stage, whatever kind of construction or improvements you are planning, your internal walls and ceilings will need plastering to provide a smooth surface that can be decorated. It's a great way of hiding uneven or ugly brickwork.
This is not a familiar term for many people, so here's a mini-guide on the subject, along with some notes on how we can help you get perfect results in your renovations and improvements.
Essentially, it's a way of covering walls without the need for wet plastering. Traditional plastering uses a wet mixture that's applied with a trowel. It's a skill - some would say an art - that takes time and effort when done properly.
Dry lining, on the other hand, avoids the need for traditional plastering by affixing premade boards to walls (or ceilings) to form a smooth surface that's ready for decorating. Once it has been primed and dried, you can paint or wallpaper your new walls.
Aside from a thin skim of plaster to hide marks made by the fixings and joints, it doesn't involve a thick layer of wet plaster, hence the term dry lining.
Also called drywall, plasterboard is made from a layer of compacted gypsum (calcium sulphate dihydrate) between two layers of heavy-duty paper.
This comes in standard sizes in the UK of 1.2 m by 2.4 m with thicknesses of 9.5 mm and 12.5 mm. This isn't a random choice: plasterboard is set at these dimensions to fit the standard stud spacing in the UK (for those who don't know, stud refers to the timber or metal frames that form internal walls and partition walls).
As it's rare for ceilings in domestic buildings in York to be higher than 2.4 m, a single board can be cut to the right height, meaning that there are fewer joins to contend with, resulting in a smooth finish.
Smaller sheets of 1.2 m by 0.9 m are available at some DIY and hardware stores, and these are designed to be fitted easily into car boots for DIY home improvement fans.
Although smaller, these boards still fit the standard stud wall sizes.
There are several reasons why dry lining might be chosen over wet plastering on an internal wall, so let's examine these in detail:
A professional plasterer can install plasterboard much more quickly than they could apply wet plaster to the same area. This means that the walls are ready for decorating much sooner.
There's no messy plaster to worry about. The boards are simply fixed into place and skimmed with a thin layer of plaster to cover any fixings and create a smooth finish. Jointing tape is applied to the cracks between each board.
Once installed, it's more or less ready to be painted or covered in wallpaper. The length of time varies, but as long as the jointing compound and the skim layer are dry, you can go ahead. This is in contrast to traditional plastering which takes between 2 and 4 weeks to dry completely.
You would also normally have to wait for several days to decorate blockwork or brick walls.
In a time when everyone in York needs to improve energy efficiency, this is a real bonus! Cavity wall dry lining creates a space that can be packed with insulation, boosting efficiency and reducing moisture and condensation within your house.
In addition, plasterboard can improve sound insulation which helps to reduce noise pollution. Some types of plasterboard are made specifically with a denser core for this reason.
Dryline cavity walls are perfect for covering electrical fittings and pipework, leaving you with a clear surface that's unspoiled by ugly fixtures and fittings.
Special foil-backed plasterboard can be fitted in high-humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens. This lowers the risk of water damage, mould, damp, and mildew.
Fire-resistant plasterboard can be fitted if preferred, providing up to an hour of protection in the event of a fire
Dry-lined walls are much easier to change than those coated with a thick layer of plaster. The boards can be simply removed relatively intact, while plaster has to be stripped - often a dusty and messy job!
It's relatively easy to alter the structure of a room by adding a wooden frame and attaching plasterboard.
There are several methods of attaching plasterboard, including screws, nails and adhesive dabs (some plasterers use a special mix of plaster for this job) that stick the plasterboards to brick or cinder blocks.
The so-called dot and dab method is questioned by some people as it creates air pockets that have been linked to certain problems including thermal bypass - cold outside air that flows through cracks and into the cavity, causing it to cool. This can lead to problems with damp and condensation.
However, the real problem lies in the quality of the workmanship of the building and the skill and efficiency of the plasterer. While building regulations have been tightened to eliminate these issues, the reality is that building contractors often cut corners for the sake of speed and reducing costs, resulting in poor-quality construction.
Top Notch Walls staff always provide a first-rate service and will ensure that any dot and dab work is completed to the highest specifications. To reduce the risk of any problems, it may be necessary to check the wall surface prior to attaching the plasterboard and fill any gaps.
Nails and screws are generally used when plasterboard panels are attached to wood frames, and insulation can be packed in the spaces between. The trickiest part is working around window and door frames, but this won't be a problem for professionals*, like Top Notch Walls!
Whichever technique is used, it must be undertaken with the utmost care to avoid damaging the board. When plasterboard is attached to the ceiling, screws or nails are used to keep it in place.
*If you are interested in learning how to dry line, maybe even taking up a career as a dry liner and plasterer, we would be pleased to offer you some advice. Contact us for more details!
In terms of materials alone, wet plastering is technically the cheaper option.
However, it requires skill, experience and time to get perfectly smooth surfaces, and even more expertise to create patterns and details. While this method is excellent for achieving a perfectly smooth finish or for creating patterns, the labour costs will be higher as the process will take much longer.
So, wet plastering is typically cheaper if you were to take the DIY route, whereas having your room plastered by a professional will cost more than getting them to fix up a few sheets of dry line plasterboard.
For more information on our prices, and for any other questions about plastering in York of any kind, get in touch today and we'll be only too glad to help you out.
Is dry lining the most suitable option for your walls?
It can be a tricky question, and, for most people, it comes down to the cost; putting up a few drywall panels would be generally faster and cheaper than getting an expert to apply traditional plaster. Even so, it's rarely as simple as this, and there are other factors to take into account before making this decision.
If you need help answering this question, we're here for you. Using our expertise, we'll talk you through the options and find the best course of action to suit your situation and your budget.
For Top Notch Walls in York, this isn't just a job, it's a way of life. We aim to provide the number-one service to all of our customers without exception.
When you are next considering any construction, renovation or improvement work, whether in an office, shop, commercial building or home, contact us for the very best advice and the highest quality work.
Absolutely, dry lining can improve the insulation of your home. At Top Notch Walls, we often recommend dry lining to our customers because it's an excellent way to reduce heat loss and keep homes warmer during colder months.
Yes, dry lining can contribute to soundproofing your rooms. As a part of our services at Top Notch Walls, we utilize specialized dry lining materials that can dampen sound and help reduce noise transfer between rooms.
Dry lining can be installed on a wide variety of walls, and that's what makes it so versatile. Here at Top Notch Walls, our experienced team is capable of installing dry lining on brick, block, concrete and even timber walls.
Yes, with the correct moisture-resistant dry lining materials, it can be used in both bathrooms and kitchens. At Top Notch Walls, we provide specialist dry lining installation to withstand humid environments and maintain longevity.