Glossary – Walls & Ceilings

It is always important to pay attention to the details and finishes of your home, but this is particularly true during the final stages of your refurbishment or redecoration project . It really does make a difference to the durability and longevity of the work. We have collated a few of the words and phrases you may come across when discussing the walls and ceiling of your home with your decorator.

Lath and plaster: Traditionally walls and ceilings were made using hand split laths, or strips of timber, keyed together with plaster. Since the mid 20th century, this method has mostly been replaced by plasterboard, but it is still regularly found when renovating heritage houses.

Plaster skimming: Skimming creates a thin layer over the top of plasterboard or existing paint, making a smooth, seamless surface ready for painting or wall papering. It has many of the advantages of a traditional solid plaster finish such as robustness, acoustic enhancement and, of course, a smooth, flat finish.

Render: This is a waterproof layer used mostly on the exterior of a building, made of sand, concrete and lime. It is mostly applied for aesthetic reasons, either to create a very smooth finish, or a particular texture. It can take up to a month to set fully.

Hardibacker board: is a cement-based board used as an underlay for tile and stone, especially in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Primer: Also known as an undercoat, the primer is a base coating applied before painting. Priming allows the paint to adhere better to the surface and increases the durability f the paint finis. It also provides additional protection for the material being painted.