Plastering USA Style!

Let me begin by introducing myself! My name is Joseph Lefort, I’m from the smallest state in the USA called Rhode Island. I own a small construction company named AJ Drywall and Plastering mainly specialising in interior plastering, we also install acoustic ceilings and do light interior framing.
Our materials consist of what we call blue-board or imperial board which are used when applying a plaster finish or Sheetrock gypsum board for tape and mud. We have multiple manufacturers here in the states;

A few of the largest being; USG – United States Gypsum, GP – Georgia Pacific, NG – National Gypsum.

Here in New England we have 4 main plaster brands which all have slightly different applications and set times;

Imperial (2 hr set) – sandy when laid on and sets with a very hard finish that smooths like glass but difficult to texture with as it dries a bit darker,

Diamond (2 hr set ) – which is a bit softer and easier to work with cures very nicely and great to texture with as it dries ultra white,

Uni-kal (1-1/2 hr set or less) – very difficult to work with in my opinion, as it sets too quickly for large mixes and is mainly used as a 1 coat plaster as all others are a 2 coat plaster and finally,

X-caliber (2-1/2 hr set) – this gives an extended time for very large sets.

90% of the plastering work here in the States happens on the east coast in New England but you do find many other plastering companies scattered throughout the country on a limited basis. The balance of work in the States is mainly Drywall or Tape and joints.

Almost all residential work these days is done with board directly attached with screws to wood framing and commercial work on steel stud framing as in the 1960s, 70s was all lathe, slack lime, brown coat, wire mesh (Eml) systems.

Most of the rendering exterior work is to commercial buildings across the country or, in the south, in residential areas like Florida or west in California and is mainly an Eifs system (Sto, Parex, Dryvit) all other exterior siding is done in vinyl, wood shingle or brick.

As a closing thought, I’d like to see the plastering trade grow across the country – it seems tape and joint are slowly taking over and plaster is becoming a very specific trade in those areas where top dollar can be demanded from the select people who desire it.

All the best from the States,

Joseph Lefort AJ Drywall & Plastering


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