In this part of the article, we will talk about the unusual properties and nuances of using foam and polyurethane stucco decors. We will compare them with gypsum counterparts. We will separately touch upon the issues of the specification of polymer profiles and the choice of products for specific conditions..
Cornices, moldings and skirting boards have been used for interior decoration for a long time. However, if earlier gypsum casting in the interior was considered a luxury, then with the advent of stucco molding made of polymers, the situation has changed radically. The material has become several times cheaper, and for installation it is not necessary to invite highly paid highly specialized craftsmen. Many homeowners, when making repairs, are quite successful in installing decorative profiles themselves. True, in this relatively simple matter, there are nuances that it is better to know about in advance.
Modern polymer stucco molding is made of expanded polystyrene and polyurethane foam. Many firms use various modified plastics, the composition of which may be classified. The decors are made using multicomponent casting (PPU) or extrusion (PPS). Details can be colored, primed, with a film layer.
How polymer stucco products differ from gypsum
There are several consumer and physical advantages of polymer decorative profiles:
- lower cost (due to the industrial method of production);
- no need to wait for production – available in warehouses;
- low weight (can be used on suspended and frame systems, sometimes over finishing layers);
- easily assembled and processed (cutting, soldering, grinding);
- are not afraid of moisture (they are also used in bathrooms, swimming pools, on facades);
- do not lose shape, do not crack, can bend;
- installation work is relatively clean.
It is believed that a big plus of gypsum and cement-containing stucco products is exclusivity inaccessible to factory profiles. But with a special desire, some manufacturers can order polymer decors according to individual sketches..
Like their plaster “ancestors”, polymer decors help to create unique interiors with a special, distinct style. We can talk about this for a long time. But if we take into account only the practical issues of finishing the premises, then there are also a lot of them..
Molded molded products make it possible to technologically separate various materials that do not fit together very well with each other. For example, wallpaper and decorative plaster on the same plane, wall tiles and ceiling painting. They will also help if you need to distinguish between similar materials, but with different textures..
Many decors make finishing work much easier. So, if you use cornices in the corners of the walls, as well as ceiling skirting boards, then you do not need to carefully “take out” the most complex, deep part of the inner corners with putty. In these places, the technology can be somewhat simplified, for example, when facing surfaces with plasterboard, do not use full-fledged reinforcement.
Cornices, moldings and skirting boards are used to bridge technological gaps. In essence, they work like flip-flops. A vivid example is the abutment of the stretch ceiling to the walls, as an option, you can mention the polyurethane casing, wide polymer floor plinths.
Technical spatial structures are created from polymer molded parts. Large products can serve as channels for engineering lines (laying is carried out in the voids of moldings). Some curtain rods are designed so that they can act as a self-sufficient box for hidden lighting.
There are brackets and consoles made of polyurethane that can perform load-bearing functions, for example, work as shelf holders.
How to choose stucco
As you already understood, in the prices of leading manufacturers you can find a full range of products for all occasions: friezes, plinths, consoles, edging, borders, curtain rods for indirect lighting, columns, rosettes, domes, statues, pilasters … Molded models can be profiles with a smooth or ornamental surface, straight or curved (for arches). For some collections, special accessories are offered (transitions, inner and outer corners, plugs).
When choosing a stucco molding, it is important to pay attention to the section of the decor. Flat products are needed for walls, corner elements are placed under the ceiling. In corner profiles, we recommend taking a closer look at the contact area. So, when working near a suspended ceiling or if you want to create hidden lighting, the mounting is carried out only on the wall, which means that the vertical shelf must be large. Sometimes it is much larger than the horizontal ceiling, and the contact area is double – for reliable fixation.
A separate topic is the so-called flexes. These are elastic products from a different material, which visually do not differ in any way from standard parts. They are intended for finishing curved and radial structures, for example, if you need to go with a ceiling plinth to a rounded section of a suspended ceiling, or, for example, completely frame an oval.
When comparing models and series, do not forget about density. It is better not to use polystyrene on the walls, since it can easily deform under mechanical stress. Here it is better to look at plastic or polyurethane, ideally with a durable film layer. But there are no such restrictions for ceilings..
Attention! Poor-quality stucco profiles often have defects in the volumetric pattern, indistinct edges and ends. In one batch, the profiles can be with a “walking” cross-sectional diameter, it is extremely difficult to beautifully join them.
As for the sizes of stucco decors for a particular room, color schemes, texture of profiles, the number of details – the main thing here is not to lose a sense of proportion.
If you use polymer decorative elements correctly, then they will not be a burden for the finisher, but will help to solve a number of urgent technical problems. It’s good that we figured out how stucco works, it remains to learn how to mount it. In the second part of the article, we will consider all the nuances of installing ceiling plinths.