Monthly Archives: May 2016

Plastering Mixing Drills Save Time

Let’s talk about why you might need a plastering mixing drill? If you’re not one of our A plastering mixer against a white backgroundnewbies to plastering, you no doubt already know a lot about drills…Let me get started all the same.

The plastering mixing drill is manufactured to handle the mixing of any liquid media. It doesn’t have to be plaster, so it’s a flexible piece of kit. You might want to use it for paint, tile cement or even mortar and if you get the right one with a powerful motor and a good paddle, then it can handle mixing up to 40kg of material.

Let’s look at an example tool so that if you’re new to this area, you can see exactly what I’m talking about.

Take the Alfra Eibenstock EHR23/2.2S Two Speed Stirrer 240v.

This machine is not only the most popular mixing machine on the market, but it’s got the most power. Its sturdy workhorse motor can handle anything from prefab mortar to flooring sealing compounds which obviously includes Gypsum.

It will also mix prefab plaster, cement lime, granulates and concrete-quartz containing epoxy resin. This is a machine that is capable of being responsive to a number of project needs. It’s got the motor to handle high viscosity materials up to 80kg batches, so why not!

As a professional plasterer, you know how important it is to have the right tools. At the end of the day, it’s hard enough to do this job as it is, without being let down by the promises of tool manufacturers who commit to this and that but do not follow through with any of their statements.

Simply put, why pay more? You can work this one hard all day long and it won’t let you down.

A great piece of kit that can handle a lot of different tasks. It’s durable and capable, just like any professional plasterer’s tools should be.

The NELA PlasticFlex Trowel Review

Although some of the traditionalists amongst you might not favour the plastic trowel, it’s A Nela plastic plastering trowelcertainly made a positive impact in the world of plastering tools. We regularly hear from customers about how they’ve enjoyed working with our plastic plastering trowels and how they’ve been able to handle a number of different finishes with them without needing to apply as much pressure as would be necessary with the steel trowel.

If you’re thinking of investing in one of our plastic plastering trowels – you can a great selection for sale on our website. One of our clients told us that he took a piece of wet and dry paper and ran over it to refine the edges. He said it didn’t really need it, but it did give him a chance to reassure himself that what he had in his hand was in prime condition. According to him, any ideas that the tool had any rough edges were soon assuaged by him and he got on with the job at hand and brought it to a successful conclusion.

Our plastering man had been given the job of applying plaster on the top of a plasterboard tacked ceiling. He used a 14 inch stainless steel trowel from our NELA range to apply the first coat – and it was a great success. He ran over an 18 inch next to ensure that the edges were as tidy as they should be.

Next he slapped on the 2nd coat and got that looking good around the edges followed by downing a cup of tea. (We all know that plastering is thirsty work!) It was only now that he reached for the NELA plastic trowel and he liked how it went. What you might find very interesting is that the only water he used was to keep the trowel clean.

As our client used both the NELA PlasticFlex and the NELA SuperFlex together, he came to the conclusion that there was very little that would set the plastering trowels apart. However, that he had been informed that the walls that he used his plastic on were far superior in finish to other walls. It was possible to keep the colour consistent with less A Nela Superflex plastering trowelwatermarks as not much water is needed to use the plastic plastering trowel.

The secret to getting the best from it is to practice using it. You’ll soon discover that you won’t need to keep splashing water everywhere which makes far less mess for clients.

It’s no surprise that it’s hard to find anybody out of us plasterers who like change. Changing tools brings about a risk that it’s going to take longer to perform the job. In fact, the job may even not go very well at all if the tool turns out to be unsuitable. There’s not a lot of time to practice outside of work nor the money to spend on experimenting with different tools. Nobody wants to get something wrong on a customer’s project. However, the plastic trowel is well worth a go. Even if you just try it out inside a small cupboard or perhaps on a very small ceiling. Once you get into the swing of it, it’s something that you’re going to love and you’ll find out why we are recommending it. We only recommend products that we truly believe in, and this is one of them.

Combining direct feedback that we’ve had from a number of clients with feedback that we’ve seen around the web about the plastic trowel, it appears that most plasterers are happy with it. There have been a couple of comments on how they aren’t quite as firm as the stainless steel, but swapping over during work isn’t time consuming – especially if you’re going to miss out on adding a lot of water to the wall or ceiling as you go. It will save a lot of mess and some clean up time too.

Another advantage offered is that the plastic plastering trowel doesn’t need to be worn in either. It’s ready to go pretty much immediately. Some people like to run their wet and dry paper over it to refine it, but generally you just whip that out and trowel on.

Plastering Machine Leasing vs Buying

For plastering companies, deciding whether to rent or buy machines should be considered A GB Flowman plastering machine against a grey wall.and weighed up carefully. Of course, in some instances it can make far more sense to buy a piece of machinery as opposed to renting it.

However, there can also be some advantages to renting a plastering machine. Here are some of the considerations for you to ponder on:

Rent before you own – if you’re planning on buying a piece of plastering kit, you and your team can try it before you buy it. You can gain familiarity and compare one model or brand against the next and in a far more hands-on way than just by viewing the model at our depot. This enables your ultimate purchase to be informed and for you to set your expectations in alignment with what’s on offer.

Tax Deductions – you’ll most probably already be aware that rental expenses can be deductible for your tax return. Whereas the purchase of a machine is considered a capital expense, which will be shown in your tax as a depreciation to be applied over the life of the equipment.

No Depreciation – the downside of purchasing anything is that it immediately depreciates in value. If you were to resell it later on down the line, you’ll receive less for it. With regards to renting, you won’t suffer from any depreciations, you’ll just simply return the item at the agreed return time.

Better Cash Flow – there’s no quibbling over the fact that new plastering equipment can be costly. Most plastering businesses are fairly small so the expenditure can make a significant impact on cash flow. However, renting or leasing a machine is an expense that is far smaller and therefore will impact the bottom line with less punch.

We recommend that you decide whether to buy or rent by considering how much you’ll use the plastering machine. If you need it at around a rate of 60-70% of the time, then it could make more sense to buy it. Otherwise renting may be a more cost effective option for you. Either way – the choice is yours.


Plastering Ceilings – From George to Victoria!

Working on ceilings can literally be a pain in the neck, but the results are stunning, A man in an orange shirt plastering a ceilingespecially when there are high ceilings and decorative effects involved.  The extent of plasterwork on the average ceiling is a quick skim and cornices, often very plain contemporary designs that blend the wall smoothly into the ceiling.  However, in large rooms and those with high ceilings plasterwork can be put to great effect, even just a slightly decorative cornice can elevate an otherwise plain room, and impart a sense of sophistication.

Generally, the best style of cornice for any given room will fit the period of the building itself, but a different era can be emulated with cornice and fibrous plasterwork in keeping with that time period.  Smaller modern rooms can be made to look significantly smaller with cornices that are too fancy, and large rooms with high ceilings look too sparse with plain plasterwork.  If you are lucky enough to have the space for it, there are some contemporary looks possible, with inlays and smooth curves as well as more art deco geometric designs that have a modern feel to them.  A high ceiling suits a tall cornice that will draw the eye upwards, enhancing the perspective and making the space seem bigger and more impressive.  Although there is a consistency in using the same cornice throughout the house, clever use of different examples from the same style can enhance the feel of some rooms, creating a softer feel in spaces like living rooms and entertainment rooms, and creating a brighter, taller space in kitchens and dining rooms.

The very fancy Georgian and Victorian cornices and fibrous plasterwork that can be seen in stately homes and on the Sunday night period drama are hard to pull off with a modern décor scheme, although a reserved Georgian style can make a nice juxtaposition with more contemporary furnishings and finishes.  These more ornate styles have fallen out of favour for the moment; the objective is usually a sleeker look with no frills.  Victorian styles are especially unfashionable as they tended to go overboard on the influences and mix patterns from different periods of history, resulting in a fussy appearance that is difficult to tie in to a modern decorative scheme.  Highly ornate plasterwork is often reserved for spaces such as ballrooms, palaces and stately homes and is rarely found in suburbia.  Illuminated cornice, bright and clear interior backgroundDespite this, there is work for the talented fibrous plasterer as moulded designs command a high price.

Restoration work is an area where fibrous plastering is in demand because regulations governing listed buildings often stipulate a faithful restoration of period features.  This extends to plasterwork on ceilings and walls, even externally in cases where pargeting was an original feature of the building.  It is important to understand the typical styles and motifs of the period in question to create a design that is in keeping as there are often no records of the original plasterwork; if you are lucky there may be a few photographs and the remnants of what was once there.  When recreating period plasterwork from scratch, as may be required in set dressing or restoration experience is the key to a good result.

Most domestic ceiling plastering involves very few frills, but by using a little imagination it can be possible to lift a room with some fibrous plasterwork and simple decoration and create a very special space in an otherwise unremarkable building.  Even if ceiling roses are inappropriate, the style of cornice used can really open up a small room so choose carefully according to the purpose and aspect of the room and the age of the building.

First Class Plastering Mixers at No Frills Prices

If you’re not the owner of a plastering mixer then there is something that you should know.EZE Mix plastering machine against a white background In the few seconds that it took you to read this far, you could have enjoyed the progress that a plastering mixer could have made on mixing up a batch of plaster for your business. You could have saved the serious amount of energy that manually mixing up 80kg of plaster uses.

It takes more than talent to get the top; It also takes smarts. You could be the type of tradesperson who wants to become part of today’s well equipped plastering crowd who make more income in less time, and there’s no better way to start than with a plastering mixer.

Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Mix up plaster in just a few minutes
  • Mix adhesives and reinforcing mortar
  • Can also mix up other soft materials and bagged materials

I’d like to call your attention to these two interesting but very different models. The M-tec M330 and the EZE Mix.

Let’s start with the M-tec M330 . As you know, Mtec are a well-respected design and manufacturing company based in Germany. Their products are popular and well tested in the plastering industry and they have been found to be consistently reliable and durable.

The M-tec M330 is a compact mixing pump that produces a particularly high quality mix. In fact, it can mix any machine mixable plaster whether for interior or exterior usage. It’s also been designed to be easy to clean no matter what mix you’ve used. Its PU mixing chamber cuts down on both cleaning and maintenance time.

Here are some of the most outstanding points about this machine that shouldn’t be overlooked:

  • It’s a popular and well tested model that has very limited maintenance needs
  • Available in 415 volt for construction site adaptability
  • A reliable and powerful machine that you can count on for high quality results
  • Large wheels for easy manoeuvrability
  • Easy to dismantle for movement around construction site


All this and more – I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s well worth a look at and you can find out more about the Mtec-M330 rendering machine here.

One thing is for sure, compared to the Mtec-M330 the EZE Mix has its work cut out. What the EZE Mix offers above and beyond the Mtec-M330 is that it’s easy on the budget. It is of German engineer design quality but it has been built to give maximum value at minimum cost.

But let’s take a closer look.

An EZE M-tec M330 plastering machine with its top openThe EZE Mix has been designed to work with the EZE 24 lightweight projection machine and has adjustable legs to enable it to sit on top. It is available in 110v and can also be used in its own right to mix plaster, pre-bagged sand and cement, hard wall, basecoats and scratch renders. It even comes complete with a water pump, water solenoid and a flow tube.

Capable of holding up to 50kg in its hopper, it will deal with particles up to a maximum of 3mm with no problems.

With a weight of just 140kg, it can be transported to construction sites without any bother. Its large wheels make it easy to move around.

The way I look at it is this: If you’re ready to commit to your business and to make an investment, then you should get one of these machines. It’s going to help you out beyond what you thought was possible in terms of getting your materials ready to render.

If you want to take advantage of this remarkable opportunity then just give us a call today. Alternatively if you’re in the Cheltenham area, then come in and visit us. One of our representatives will show you the machines and you can see for yourself the quality and what they are capable of achieving.

Plastering Over the Cracks

Cracks in plaster can have many causes, and sometimes these can be of a structural Crack i the plaster on a wall of an old buildingnature, which means some structural assessment and work will have to take place before the plaster can be repaired.  Ignoring structural reasons for plaster cracking and simply re-skimming the wall will only lead to the cracks re-appearing, so try to rule out any issues caused by damp or by the age of the property.  Sometimes older buildings are prone to plaster cracks due to the wooden and brick construction, as wooden floor joists can sag over time with the weight of internal brick walls.

Replacing roof tiles with heavier ones can also lead to plaster cracking as the load on the basic structure of the building is increased.  Areas around bay windows are especially prone to damage from shifting load in the home.  The drainage around the building is also a major factor in structural stability, as soft ground on one side of the property can see half the building settling further into the ground (an issue for older homes with shallow foundations) leading to cracks in the plaster.  Drainage on sloping ground with a clay soil can also lead to water entering a building when air vents are placed too close to the ground or may become blocked, causing damp and therefore cracks in the plaster.

Finally, plastering over older lime plasters with a modern gypsum based product can lead to cracking as the two layers have different properties and can move independently of one another, causing cracks in the top layer of plaster that may spread to the coats underneath.  If you intend to re-plaster a room that has lime based plaster on it, the best course of action for a lasting finish is to strip the plaster back to the brickwork and start from fresh.  This may be more work, but the final result will not be prone to cracking caused by the difference in plasters.

Some cracks in plaster may be caused by drilling into a wall, and these can be repaired fairly easily, as the cause is not structural, nor will it happen again unless more drilling takes place.  Larger cracks can be repaired by cutting the crack into a v-shape and filling in cutting plasterboard plaster hand with dirty sawwith a gypsum based plaster filler, as the increased contact area between the existing plaster and the filler improves the bonding and gives a longer lasting result than just filling in a crack as it is.

In new builds where plasterboard is used and finished directly on to, there should not be any problems with cracked plaster from structural or application issues, provided the job has been done properly; cracked plaster is a common problem in older buildings due to the construction and often several layers of plaster being applied over many years straight on top of each other.  Of course, the decision on what work can be done is made by the homeowner and depends on their budget, but with sound advice from a plasterer the end result can be exactly what they want.  It is tempting to cut corners and simply plaster over cracks when the cause is obviously structural or down to old plaster as the base layer, but the homeowner needs to be aware that the cracks will come back if not properly sorted out.  After all, if the cracks come back the homeowner is unlikely to use the same plasterer to fix it again as they won’t trust the work, but with a decent explanation of the causes and solutions to their cracked plaster they can make an informed decision, even if this does mean taking a short cut and spending more money in the long run.