Going back to the times when people used to build houses with muds. Every Sunday they had to redo the same process in order to give their houses a fresh touch. That used to be one of those earliest forms of plastering. Fast forward to today, technology has come a long way and there are so many experiments being performed, in order to build more safe and strong constructions. For example, ready-mix plaster. Basically, a blend of Portland cement, fine graded sand, and water-soluble, high-quality polymer additives, in the right proportions. You just mix the water, and it is ready to use. However, just like they say, the older the better, some still believe in leveraging conventional plaster.
Well, let us clear out one point. That by using conventional plaster, is your construction going to fall out compared to the ones built with ready-mix plaster? Of course not! However, there are some reasons why people compared these two. So, this post is all about ready-mix plaster vs conventional plaster, and in the end, you can decide what could be the best choice! So, let’s get started!
Our minimum expectations from a quality plaster
The final look:
It should provide a smooth and even surface. Because what goes further is painting, tilling, texturing, etc. So, the base needs to be rock solid with a fine finish.
It should be secured:
Plaster basically a layer of protection from external atmospheric conditions like heavy rain, dust, etc.
Now what happens with conventional cement is that contractors buy sand and cement from the market. When required, they mix it, add water to create the entire paste, and then apply it to the surfaces. It may sound like an easy process, but here the amount is very much important. Just like cooking, each ingredient has its own importance and if anything is overdone or has less amount, it will not give the desired end results.
Now let’s discuss the role of each ingredient
Considering the cooking example is talked about above, sand plays the role of salt here. The one key ingredient which decides the texture, smoothness, and solidness of plasters. And the construction industry depends a lot on geographic situations, like in India, it is not easy to obtain the same sand quality throughout.
Also, the available sand in the market is ungraded, has organic material, and silt content which impacts the quality of plaster heavily. In plasters, sand is the key aspect that may get ignored due to this. For consistent quality & best results, sand must be graded as per IS 15477:2019 standards and free from silt and organic content.
Only a mix of sand and cement has limitations in providing a long life to the structure. However, the most important role of cement is to provide protection from external weather conditions. In this case, special additives and polymers are available in the market which can enhance the weather resistance of plasters by enhancing the water-resistance capabilities and can add more years to the life of a structure. And that’s how polymerized plasters are more durable than ordinary ones which directly impacts the maintenance cost in the future.
Storage and material handling
It is of course not like bought and used. It needs to be stored in a balanced environment since the mixing ingredients are exposed to contamination of foreign particles which are available in abundance on a construction site. Spillage and contamination may hamper the quality of the project.
On the contrary, packed material would not need that much storage space and would remain protected against any environmental condition.
This stage is when the final performance begins. It involves many aspects of performance like time of application, adoption of new practices, etc. Let’s discuss it one by one.
If it is conventional plaster, one person needs to bring sand and cement on-site and mix it thoroughly, then the application starts. This part may become time-consuming compared to simply bringing ready mix plaster bags to the site and applying them after mixing with water.
You need to allocate separate manpower for cleaning the sand particles which are left. While in the case of ready mix plaster, the material is already premixed. Also, ready mix material’s sand grading quality is better than manually mixed one Hence it provides smooth plaster.
In ready-mix plaster, polymer content has a higher adhesion tendency on the substrate than the conventional sand cement mix. As a result, the high retention rate of the material is obtained in each delivery on the substrate by the applicator while using a ready mix plaster. Eventually, It saves time and helps in completing the construction. In general, the time of mixing and application are both higher in the case of the conventional method of plastering as compared to ready mix plaster.
Polymeric content of ready mix plaster provides high water retention which reduces the need for long curing periods compared to the conventional method of plastering. In a conventional method, applicators cure the plastered surface for a time of the week. With ready mix plaster, you can achieve it in say 3-4 days’ time. It saves lots of time and water used.
Ready-mix plaster is produced in an automated plant where the raw materials are mixed under a stringent quality atmosphere. In the case of manual mixing on-site in conventional plaster, it is hard to achieve quality every time as expected.
Below is a summary of the comparison of the conventional method of plastering and using ready-mix plasters.
|Quality sand (Graded & silt free)||No||Yes|
The above attributes include all the necessary information that one may look forward to when making a choice. And it is clear that adopting the new advanced method which is ready-mix plaster, may provide you quality, durable results with low maintenance than conventional plasters.
The immediate benefits like manpower savings, swift application, storage space-saving, are one of the major attributes that add years to the life of your structure. This ultimately makes ready mix plasters an economical choice compared to the conventional method of plaster. So, what you think about it? Let us know in the comment section below.