Lath and Plaster


The interior walls and ceilings at The Racecourse Inn are constructed of lath and plaster,?a common construction technique used until the 1950s, when plasterboard was developed.? ?The technique involves nailing?timber laths to timber studding, with traditional lime renders, mixed with horse hair?(or equivalent) used as a backing coat. ? The lath is typically about two inches wide by four feet long by 1/4 inch thick, and spaced a quarter of an inch from the next batton. ?Temporary lath guides were placed at the uprights, and plaster was then applied to a wooden board and dragged upwards, filling the gaps. ?A finishing coat of fine putty lime & plaster is applied to create a silky smooth, egg shell finish.

Lath-and-plaster is superior to materials such as plasterboard for its?sound-proofing properties, and is stronger, reducing the risk of cracking. Traditional lime plaster is much denser than the gypsum from which plasterboard is made, and?this helps absorb low-frequency sound. ? The dining room at The Racecourse Inn, with its barrel vaulted ceiling, is an excellent example of the skill required in applying lath and plaster.
The image below, from Woolmers Estate, illustrates the technique.
Lath and plaster

Lath and plaster