ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF GYPSUM PLASTER
Plastering is one of the most ancient techniques used for finishing walls. Cement plaster was the go-to material for people looking to beautify their homes for a long time until gypsum arrived.
The last few decades have seen gypsum plaster or drywall taking over cement and lime plasters. People have started choosing it for more reasons than one, but it doesn’t come without drawbacks.
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using gypsum plaster
ADVANTAGES OF USING GYPSUM PLASTER FOR YOUR HOMES
The popularity of drywall has gone up tremendously in the recent past. Their performance has also lived up to the growing fanbase.
Here are the reasons gypsum plaster is gaining so much traction in the last few decades
Low thermal conductivity
Gypsum plaster offers low thermal conductivity, making it great for saving heating and cooling costs in a building.
Gypsum is the principal component of gypsum plaster. It is a readily available raw material, whereas natural sand, the vital ingredient for cement plaster, is hard to find and even banned in several countries.
No curing time
Gypsum plaster is ready-made and doesn’t require additional curing time. It also helps save resources such as the water needed for the process.
You can directly apply gypsum over the brick/wood base without it needing separate finishing. Also, gypsum plaster is easy to use and level, making it more flexible than the traditional plaster variants.
Easy to apply
A traditional cement plaster takes around 21 days to dry and settle. A gypsum plaster takes only three days for drying and setting. It is beneficial, especially when you are looking for multi-story constructions.
Efficient setting time
Plaster requires drying time before you can initiate the painting job on it. Gypsum plaster takes only around 30 minutes to set, much faster than the traditional cement finishing. It means that the painting job can start as soon as three to four days of gypsum application.
Gypsum plasters are very lightweight, meaning that their application barely adds weight to the overall construction. It ensures that the frames are better equipped to handle natural calamities and are more likely to hold their shape in the long run.
Gypsum plaster is highly fire-resistant and can hold fire for up to three hours.
Cement is known to react when it comes in contact with water. So its plaster ends up getting cracks once it dries. Gypsum plaster is more effective and suffers from few to no shrinkage cracks, making it a better alternative to mortar plaster.
Gypsum plaster walls are perfectly lined and leveled, unlike mortar plaster which requires a lot of labor to achieve smoothness. It helps create visually appealing living rooms with ease.
Here are the drawbacks of gypsum plaster -
It doesn’t perform well against water
We cannot use gypsum plaster for outer walls. These retain dampness and are not the most suitable for areas with walls that come in regular contact with water, such as bathrooms and toilets. Even though there are modified water-resistant, they do not perform as well as cement plaster.
If you compare cement plaster to gypsum plaster, the latter is costlier for the same thickness level in most conditions. But mortar plaster requires natural sand. So if it is difficult to procure, gypsum plaster may be an economical option for such areas.
Low shelf life
Gypsum, as a material, comes with a limited shelf life. You can keep gypsum plaster for up to 4 months, but if you take extra care, its life goes up to around ten months.
Drywall is the go-to material for locations with inadequate access to natural sand. But the high cost (higher for water-resistant variants) makes them a difficult option to choose for most households. Even otherwise, there are several reasons to choose it over the traditional mortar plaster.
The article is a part of our series “What is gypsum board: uses and benefits”