What Are Lath And Plaster Walls? Tampa General Contractor Explains How To Remodel Old Homes


Before drywall existed, a layer of lath and plaster was applied to the interior walls to prepare them for painting. Depending on the age of your home, there are different stages of lath and plaster coating that your home could have. 


The oldest type is wood lath. This consists of plaster being applied to wood slats and tar paper, which results in water damage and deterioration of the wood over time. 


Another type is wire lath being coated with plaster. 


The third and most recent type is built with a layer of gypsum board and plaster. This type of install is extremely thick and very challenging to remove. 


The removal of any of these installs involves multiple steps; including patching, replacing, and matching. 


Existing plaster thickness can vary depending on what method was used to install it. For thicker plaster, it can be more complicated to patch and replace with new drywall. So your drywall budget might increase. 


​​Matching the width of the plaster is extremely challenging when patching. Because the width is not exactly the same in every area, it can take a larger amount of drywall finishing to match. 


A common issue with these removals is matching the finish of the wall. Not many drywall installers know how to do a sand finish, so it’s recommended that you ask your painter to complete your sand finish. 


Older homes will commonly have one of those types of lath and plaster application, so it’s important to identify which one your home has if you’re renovating. 


If you have a remodeling question or inquires about remodeling your space in the Tampa Bay Area, please send an email to homeloveconstruction@gmail.com 


-Brad Bachand

Transcribed/Published by Emily Lavechia

Emily Lavechia