During the Industrial Revolution, plastering was one of the few industries with a unionized workforce. Plasters were mixed with water and clay to create a durable, waterproof surface. The mixture must be sufficiently plastic to hold its shape, but not too pliable or it will crack or distort. For this reason, sand and fine gravel were often added, as well as fibres and manure. Dropped ceilings often cover rough surfaces.
The Decline of Plastering
During the early to mid-2000s, the plastering and insulation business was dominated by thousands of privately owned firms. Large contracting companies with diversified operations in other sectors of the construction industry were also leading players. Despite these challenges, there were no major players with a share of over 5% in the industry. These companies were bolstered by the rise in housebuilding activity and rising household incomes.
In recent years, designers have increasingly rejected plastering in favour of other materials. While many people still believe that plaster walls should be flat and perfect Chester plasterers, a walk through any hospital from the middle of the 20th century will prove otherwise. Failing to adhere to these fundamental rules will lead to costly callbacks and further declines in the industry. Designers will look elsewhere for a better finish. Instead, plasterers should take pride in their work and stand up for their work.
Changing materials and manufacturing processes, especially with regard to fibreglass and foam, have resulted in the decline of the industry. While many of these methods have changed, their use is the same. Fibrous plaster is often more lightweight and durable, and fibreglass can be used in a variety of applications. In the past, traditional plaster was made with fibreglass and acetate, but today’s methods are mostly unchanged.
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