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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:28 pm 
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I have searched the forum and found similar topics with varied answers, but I'd like to get some opinion on my own.

I'm doing up a house I've taken over recently. It's a beach front terrace cottage that was never fully finished. Most of the walls, internal and external, only have the scratch coats on and the floor needs done.
I've got a plasterer in for the walls and floor. The guy is a friend of my dad and has been plastering for nearly 50 years, however I was a bit struck when he requested building sand instead of plastering sand for the job. I ordered it in based on his judgement and also didn't mind that it costed much less. I got 3 tons of building sand delivered for him last week, starting the job next week. I did a bit of research online trying to find people saying that building sand can work fine for plaster work but I've come across more negative perspectives on it than anything, so now I am slightly nervous.

I need to hear some other thoughts. I've seen some the guys' other work and it all looks perfect to me, I don't know if the sand was different, but he has no reason to ask for the incorrect sand for my project.

I've questioned the plasterer, but he's said he's used building sand all his life, he's a bit of an 'aul boy' and to be honest I don't want to offend him by questioning his methods too much. At the same time I don't want to be sitting in the living room in a few years watching the plaster fall of the walls! It would be a pain in the arse to shift this sand again as the area is quite remote and I have no other use right now for 3 tons!

So what is your opinion, keeping in mind this sand is going to be used for a few more scratches and mostly finish coats. Not sure if it matters, but I have requested an uneven/rough finish on the interior to maintain an authentic Irish cottage look. Also will the sea air have much of a different effect on the building sand plaster?

I'm sure there will be a lot of you (maybe most!) that will say obviously plastering sand should be used, but is the use of building sand entirely doomed? If so, why? And what can I do to maybe alleviate that problem without having to get rid of 3 tons of sand.

Also I'd like to request a bit of history on the use of plastering sand if anyone knows. I mean was plastering sand available for domestic construction use 50-60 years ago?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Depends on the regional area regarding types of sand as they vary.

In my area we would never use building sand, red or yellow for plastering, we always ask for and use plastering sand, it has a good amount of grit to hold it together, but not to much to make it unworkable.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:00 pm 
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Always building sand in my area(east Scotland)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:27 pm 
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Always sharp sand for render applied as backing & skim coat finish over.
If external have always used 50% Sharp mixed 50% Soft (Building)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:49 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
Always building sand in my area(east Scotland)


Thanks for replies so far. Stevie, when you say always building sand in your area do you mean local contractors generally choose it over plastering sand? Or you purchase it for your own jobs?

I understand plastering sand is (as the name label suggests) meant to be more suitable, but surely it hasn't always been so readily available.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Shushke wrote:
steviejoiner74 wrote:
Always building sand in my area(east Scotland)


Thanks for replies so far. Stevie, when you say always building sand in your area do you mean local contractors generally choose it over plastering sand? Or you purchase it for your own jobs?

I understand plastering sand is (as the name label suggests) meant to be more suitable, but surely it hasn't always been so readily available.


I think that confusion may lie here in what's being classed as plastering sand. In my area there are two types of sand(3 if you count concrete sand but that has aggregates in it)
There is building sand used in mixes of brick/block mortar and rendering/roughcasting and sharp sand that's used for prepping driveways,Laying slabs etc. I've never seen anything other than building sand used to render.
Local terminology will be different the length of the uk so be careful what you think is being used and get the guy to clarify what's being used and why. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:02 pm 
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My local quarry has many sands but the one they recommend for plastering / rendering is their washed sand.
They state "Washed Sand is 99% Silica lignite free sand, suitable for internal plastering & external rendering. As the product is washed and classified it is free from clay and silts and will therefore not crack in the frost."

http://www.mbwilkes.com/store/sands-was ... -grit.html

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Maidment Properties - Bathroom and Kitchen Specialists - Dorset


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