How do I choose the best stucco material? (with photos)

The plaster is applied with a trowel.

When choosing stucco material, consider the type of building, the climate, and your budget. There are several types of stucco available, including traditional stucco, acrylic stucco, cement stucco, synthetic stucco, and variations of each. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to know them all to choose the best stucco flooring.

A traditional stucco exterior is virtually maintenance free.

Traditional stucco is a mixture of lime, water and cement, and is very common on the exterior of homes because it requires virtually no maintenance. Traditional stucco siding is created by covering the wooden exterior walls with tar paper, then wire mesh, and finally three layers of stucco. It is easily maintained by simply filling in the cracks with more plaster or repairing only what needs to be fixed. Traditional plaster can be applied to flat or curved surfaces.

Traditional plaster is porous and should be avoided in humid climates.

If you’re concerned about cost, traditional stucco might be your best choice because it’s cheaper than most other stucco materials. However, traditional stucco has some drawbacks. For example, it’s porous and can handle some moisture, but it doesn’t hold up well in very humid climates because it softens and crumbles.

Acrylic stucco material is designed for flexibility, breathability and strength, with no known carcinogens and no volatile organic compounds. It is unaffected by moisture and will not peel or crack, making this material suitable for all weather conditions. Just like traditional stucco, acrylic stucco can be colored and textured for added beauty and can be placed on both curved and flat surfaces, but is more expensive. If the weather is a concern and you have enough money in your budget, acrylic stucco may be the best choice for you.

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Synthetic stucco material is also called external insulation and finish system (EIFS) and is a polymer-based laminate applied in two layers over a rigid insulation board attached to a wall. Synthetic stucco is expensive and has a reputation for poor performance. Synthetic plaster can only be applied to flat surfaces. It is also more difficult to repair destroyed areas because the insulation board underneath them must be replaced. Synthetic stucco is used more in industrial buildings than homes, so it may not be the best choice for you.

Cement stucco is similar to traditional stucco, but can be applied directly to existing brick or cement. A popular use for cement stucco is for application around the foundation of a house or building to make the foundation more attractive and virtually maintenance free. Older homes may have foundation repairs that show age or were made with a completely different material than the older foundation, such as patches of concrete over brick. To even out the foundation, cement plaster can be applied over the entire surface. If you need a stucco material to cover a brick or cement surface, cement stucco may be the best choice.

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