Construction Technology 1

House construction, fourth edition

by Mike Riley and Alison Cotgrave

Chapter 12: Internal Finishes

Internal walls and ceilings are generally finished with a plaster coating. In the case of stud walls and ceilings this will be created by cladding with plasterboard panels before finishing with a thin ‘skim’ coat of plaster. In the case of solid walls this may be accommodated with ‘dry lining’ when plasterboard is fixed to battens or plaster ‘dabs’ before being skimmed. Alternatively, two coats of plaster may be applied as seen above. This is becoming less common due to the required drying time, which slows construction. Note the use of the galvanised steel corner bead to allow the plasterer to create a sharp, straight corner.

Jacket Image

After the final application of plaster the finishing items such as architraves, skirting boards and electrical sockets and switches are fitted. These are termed ‘second fix’ items

Here we see a typical floor finish used in modern dwellings. The cementitious screed (formed from sand and cement) is placed over a layer of rigid insulation material, in this case polystyrene. The surface finished level and smooth using a metal ‘float’. This is a highly skilled job. Note the use of insulation at the edges of the screed: this allows the accommodation of differential movement and resists the passage of heat that might result in cold bridging.