Basic Applications for Gypsum Plaster

  • Intermediate

Gypsum plaster is among the most commonly used material in the construction and home-remodeling niche. Gypsum is sourced from mineral rocks that contain rich deposits of calcium sulfate. Gypsum plaster is also called plaster of Paris. It is prepared from finely-grounded gypsum, which is heated to extremely high temperatures and then mixed with water. The resulting material, called gypsum plaster, is superior to cement and mortar in many ways.

Understanding Preference for Gypsum Plaster

Due to its compression under higher temperatures, gypsum plaster is less vulnerable to moisture seepage. Further, it is a more pliable material. It can be easily sanded and manipulated for various domestic uses. This makes gypsum plaster ideal for self-to-do projects. One of the biggest advantages of using gypsum plaster is its safety for domestic usage. Gypsum plaster does not emit any kind of chemical vapors. In terms of child safety, gypsum-based products are perhaps the safest construction material. This is underlined by the fact that different byproducts of gypsum processing are used as food additives, in the form of fertilizers and brewing ingredients.

1. Fireproofing Material for Home Improvement

Plaster of Paris is mixed with some other plaster-like materials, like alabaster, for making a cheaper, fireproofing material. This fireproof mix can be easily prepared at home. Upon drying, the mixture is harder than cement or mortar and has more thermal resistance. In fact, this fireproofing application has been used for many decades. This layer is applied during the preparation of walls for painting. Due to its drier consistency, the plaster releases a larger amount of water vapor when its surface temperature rises. The resulting vapor acts as a natural extinguisher for the surrounding fire. Even in cases of severe fire breakouts, a wall layered with gypsum plaster is able to slow down the spread of fire.

2. Drywall Material for Renovation

Drywall denotes interior walls/ceilings wherein gypsum plaster panels form the core ingredient. This is why drywalls are often referred to as compressed gypsum plasterboards. The panel is prepared for industrially-dried gypsum plaster. Homeowners often install drywalls as a part of their renovation projects. Drywalls are more resistant to moisture seepage issues like molding, staining, and corrosion. This makes them an ideal replacement for walls that are prone to plumbing or seasonal seepage. Further, drywall repairs are rather easy. When mixed with minimal water, gypsum plaster forms a thick, cement-like paste that can be used to tend minor drywall repairs.

3. Aesthetic Material for Interior Remodeling

Gypsum plaster is also used for decorating the ceilings of homes. It is used in the form of a material called gypsum-board. This material is excellent for creating drop ceilings. Such drop ceilings need minimal maintenance and are quite affordable. Homeowners searching for an undemanding way of decorating their ceilings can use plaster of Paris. The plaster can be easily molded in various shapes to adorn the walls or for creating focal points along with the ceiling. The plaster sold for this specific use is retailed separately since it dries much quicker than the usual, gypsum plaster.

4. Repair Material for Interior Home Improvement

Homeowners can use the plaster for executing basic repairs required during or after the renovation project. In fact, gypsum plaster is widely used as a substitute for cement-based or grout repairs in domestic spaces like the bathroom and kitchen. Edges of kitchen countertops often develop a worn-out look around the sink. These edges can be easily repaired with an application of gypsum plaster. This is seriously recommended when redecorating the kitchen since the countertop occupies a sizable area of the kitchen. Similarly, tile surfaces that have white-colored grout lines can be quickly mended for small cracks, using gypsum plaster. The plaster can be used even if the tiled surface has colored grout since easy-to-mix pigments are available in the market.