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Since man first moved from caves, the ability to turn limestone, rock and clay into forged walls changed the way we lived and what man thought of as home. From this first moment, it is without a doubt that plaster has been a home building hero for thousands of years.
Likewise, since the dawn of man, myths have existed. Sometimes these false beliefs were born from part truths twisted over time, but other times they were created from pure fantasy.
When building homes moved from wet plaster to lightweight paper-faced plasterboard, along came the creation of fables that refused to fade. So what is real and what is fake when it comes to working with plasterboard and plastering compounds?
Pro Plaster’s research and development lead Dale Brennan and building industry expert Perry Richardson have taken the worst offending myths and turned them into (plaster) dust, so you can consider yourself informed.
Truth: Many builders believe that their warranty will be void if they don't use the 'whole system' when installing plasterboard. But the reality is, outside of the tested fire system, there is no manufacturer-specific system for installing and finishing plasterboard products in Australia.
This may come as a surprise, especially when there are so many requirements to meet on a project. When juggling the clients' demands and sourcing the right materials and suppliers, you still need to meet health and safety needs, especially for governing bodies, to keep your warranty intact.
Building industry expert Perry Richardson explains, 'It's just like purchasing a new car. Manufacturers only specify which type of fuel will run your new purchase, not a specific brand of fuel. Any brand that meets Australian standards is acceptable and will not void the warranty on your vehicle. It's the same with plasterboard'.
However, the building and construction industry is subject to constant regulation changes, so having a working warranty and guarantee is essential. Choosing quality assured products that meet the construction requirements on your project will ensure peace of mind should something go wrong.
Pro Plaster's research and development lead Dale Brennan adds, 'Quality assurance is the reason that all wet and dry Pro Plaster compounds are manufactured in Australia for Australian conditions and to Australian standards. Manufacturing locally means we can control the quality of what we produce. Our products come with a warranty, work for any job, and seamlessly fit into any system, giving you flexibility without compromising reliability.
Don't just take Perry and Dale's word. What do tradies on the tools think?
We asked Taylar Gainer from Redline Commercial, a Brisbane based plastering company that specialises in multi-residential developments and government fit-outs, why he and his team of 80 employees favour Pro Plaster products. 'We do lots of large scale projects and use the compounds, tape and externals from Pro Plaster - they supply the perfect quality compound. The service from Pro Plaster is second to none - it's really efficient. They deliver direct, and the service is on hand straightaway for anything we need. For a company of our size, it's made things more efficient and taken a bit of stress off. I would recommend Pro Plaster product and service to anyone doing what we do.'
Truth: As the saying goes, 'bigger isn't always better. Sticking to well-known big brands doesn't ensure you get the best quality or price. If anything, you could be missing out.
Perry reveals, 'Many builders expect the big guys to deliver in all areas. But in the end, it's important to find the right supplies for your job site and have confidence that these will give you the best result'.
'The Pro Plaster range is fit for purpose, suitable for all applications with many of our products used for everything from embedding tape, finishing corner bead and fasteners, to topping and texturing. All Pro Plaster products offer strong bonding and adhesion whilst being easy to sand, delivering a high-quality finish. Pro Plaster's compounds work on any brand of plasterboard,' Dale points out, 'Our product guarantee is the same as our competitors' on their compounds'.
It's not just the product itself but the impact on the environment. Look for suppliers that offer environmentally friendly packaging. Flatpack cartons are not only more affordable, saving you money. But they are easier to store onsite, and best of all, they are recyclable, helping reduce waste and your carbon footprint on the planet.
So, what do the tradies think?
Truth: While an all-in-one system may seem like the easy option, the fact is that specialist brands offer tailored solutions. These provide a better outcome, especially for projects with complex design elements or finish requirements.
‘Many new to the trade often believe that an all-in-one solution is best or the only option available. But in reality, specialist brands offer tailored solutions that are compatible with your specific requirements, says Perry, ‘One of the main benefits of going with a specialist brand is choice. You can choose the right products with the highest quality compounds for each project, meaning the difference between smooth sailing with seamless finishes or a knock-on of issues when you don’t get the expected results.
When choosing a tailored system, you must ensure the compounds you use provide consistency from batch to batch and have been tested for formula integrity, foreign particles and adhesion. You should be able to identify the resistance factor which will minimise pocking and if it has been developed with temperature performance in mind, especially for extreme Australian conditions.
Dale agrees, ‘All Pro Plaster products are Australian-made and developed and tested in-house for Australian conditions. We dedicate above industry average time and resources towards R&D to develop specific solutions for specific challenges and applications that Aussie plasterers face across Australia’s vastly varied climate zones’.
He continues, ‘Pro Plaster offer multiple products for different applications, suitable for any job type, whether it’s a base coat cement, finishing and topping products or a DIY range for truly bespoke solutions – something that all-in-one just can’t provide’.
And do tradies agree?
Adam from Future Interior Linings recently used a tailored system from Pro Plaster. He found that using just one system wasn't feasible on a large and complex high-end renovation and extension project.
'This was one of the most exciting projects. There were a lot of curved walls and massive skylights - lots of challenging aspects. We do a lot of custom work, and our clients like to push the boundaries and do things differently. I heard about Pro Plaster from a couple of other plasterers, we use Pro Plaster products because they give us the quality finish that we need. I would recommend them to anyone.'
While some myths continue to linger on in the building world, we hope that these few will fade now that you know the real deal when it comes to the power of plaster.
To find out how Pro Plaster can help you on your next job and see their large range of plastering solutions, visit Pro Plaster.
Brand promotion: This article was compiled with contributions from Pro Plaster.