Can I buy lathe?

Postby u2fan » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:37 pm

Hi. We have a 1930's property and have removed the lathe and plaster ceiling in the dining room area of the kitchen/dining room.

The most obvious way to replace the ceiling would be to plasterboard. However, my husband would prefer to re-lathe and plaster the area. We know this would be highly labour intensive but it will not cost us anything other than materials.

We have 2 questions (a) Is it possible to purchase lathes nowadays from a builders merchant and (b) Do lathes have to be of hardwood (eg oak or ash) rather than softwood as less likely to rot from the moisture in the plaster?

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Postby the specialist » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:10 pm

Hi - not sure why you would want to use lathes in a 1930's house. If you've never done it before You will find it to be difficult to plaster. You mention lathes rotting due to moisture in the plaster. The moisture in the plaster will dry out long befor timber of any kind would start to rot.
You would have to use a soft wood in any event - hardwoods are more resistant to moisture so you won't get much suction.
Has your husband done any plastering before?
the specialist
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Postby kbrownie » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:38 pm

I'm sure you can, but not done any for along time and really not used at all now.
The lath was usually about 25-30mm wide and about 5-6mm thick and 1200mm long, I'd be supprised if it's origins were from a hard wood, it does involve 3 coats of plaster.
Not sure where you would get a lot of detail of supplier, you could call local builders merchant or timber yards. I'd be interested how you went on, I would also give English Hertiage a call they may have some handy info for you.
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Postby swidders » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:02 am

Since your husband is keen to use original methods, is he also going to use lime based plaster and sand mixed with horsehair? Would love to hear how he gets on.

If you can't get the lathes, you could make them yourselves - hire a bandsaw and cut 25" thick timber into 5mm deep strips.

Although not strictly 1930's, when fuel was aplenty, it may be worth shoving insulation between the joist while the ceiling is down (both heat and noise).
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Postby u2fan » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:35 pm

Hi Thanks for all your advice. No luck at builders merchants but English Heritage provided info that enabled us to find local suppliers. I think we will be using lime plaster without horse hair. Will probably ask a plasterer friend to do the final skim coat.
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Postby kbrownie » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:07 pm

hi u2fan,
glad to hear that you have sourced a supplier and admire the fact your having ago at this type of project.
Hope you enjoy and best of luck
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Postby TheDoctor5 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:24 pm

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