Plaster Crack Repair. St Helens Tasmania

This job was done in St Helens Tasmania, on a 150 year old house. The room here was full of what we call crazy cracks through out the whole ceiling. It was not an option to re-sheet the ceiling as the owner wanted to keep the heritage style of the building, which is fair enough as it is a very old residence.

What we did here was to dig out any cracks that were big enough to do so, the small hairlines do not need this. Then once dug out we trowelled them back up with cornice cement to set hard again.

After the dug out cracks were set hard again all the cracks were then taped with a fibreglass joint taped called FibaFuse. The cracks were then given another coat of base and then a final coat of topping to allow for sanding.

As you can see the entire ceiling was nearly trowelled, as myself and the owner had a few jokes about, but this is what was needed to be done to maintain this lovely 150 year old buildings heritage. #ceilingcracks

Image may contain: indoor


Image may contain: indoor


Complete House Plastering. Bicheno

This is a rondo suspended ceiling on a raked angle from 3m down to 2.5m. Because usually 10ml plasterboard is used in residential housing, these metal battens, called furring channels are spaced at a maximum 450ml centres to comply with Australian Safety Standards. The blue colour board you can see in the background is for the bathroom, it is called “wetboard”, and is commonly used in any wet environments.

Image may contain: indoor


This is the finished sanded product. The angle you are looking at now between the wall and ceiling junctions was created using an adjustable PVC splade bead. This bead was then coated 3 times. 2 x base coats and 1 x top coat, this is also to comply with CSR Gyprocks warranty standards, trowelled any other way would void your warranty.

Image may contain: indoor

Image may contain: indoor

How To Install 6m Plasterboard.

Plasterboard Installation / Ceilings

Well then. You have become brave and decided well i can save some money here if i sheet my 12m lounge room ceiling myself. But your probably wondering well what do i need to do to install it correctly. Well here is some simple advice i hope helps you along the way. Firstly you need to measure you room and work out all the sheets you need to get, remembering the biggest plasterboard sheet size you can get is 6m long.

Once you have worked out how many sheets you need, you will then need to think about labour, as in how many friends you will need to get it done. If you have a plasterboard sheet lifter like the one pictured below, then you can get away with sheeting your ceiling with you and your mate. If you do not have one of these machines then the minimum you will need is 3 people, but 4 is recommended. You can how ever hire out these sheet lifters for around $50 a day so that is not bad value really compared to your mates wanting a carton of beer each and a free barbie.

Now to the sheeting part. Usually you will start against a back wall, never in the middle, sometimes you have too, but usually against a back wall. If your finish is a square set finish it is advised to take of the 50ml recess on the edge of the first sheet when you start, thus making your first sheet 1150ml wide and not the regular 1200ml. If it is cornice then you do not need to worry, as the cornice will cover the recessed edge. Before you throw up your first sheet you need to glue it with a product called Stud Adhesive. You can see some i installed on the ceilings below. Now the stud adhesive is placed on at 200ml, 400ml, leave the centre then 800ml and 1000ml. Look at the picture below to get a better understanding. The reason we do not glue the centre is because that is where we will be screwing the sheet, 2 x 25ml screws either side of the 600ml line. If i was to put glue there and then screw in the same place it would cause problems because as the glue drys it pulls the sheet harder to the battens and will pull the head of the screw through the paper faced plasterboard.

Now also if your room is longer then 6m you will need a butt join, that is where the ends of 2 sheets meet together in a ceiling or wall. Now as you can see, my example sheet below stops halfway between 2 metal ceiling battens(these battens are installed at 450ml centres for 10ml sheet and 600ml centres for 13ml sheet), the reason for this is so the ceiling can be backed blocked (will explain this in a later post) so it pitches up where the join meets. This allows the tradesman to trowel the butt join back to a flat level later. You will have to measure the plasterboard to make sure it does stop between 2 battens because it does not always work out that a full 6m will land in that position.

Now once its glued and cut to the right size you can throw the sheet up making sure you screw with 25ml screws for 10ml or 32ml screws for 13ml sheet, both ends of the sheet on each batten and 2 in the centre on either side of the 600ml line. Now this is the way its done in Hobart, Devonport and Burnie, but in Launceston it is screwed another way, but this way is fine, less sanding later.

Just one last thing. When sheeting ceilings that are bigger than 6m long, make sure that butt joins are staggered at LEAST 600ml apart from the previous sheet, you can have them inline if there is a 1200 sheet between them but sheets next to each other must be staggered minimum 600ml to make it easier to hide the joins when trowelling.

Ok, now you know how to throw up 6m long plasterboard sheets, enjoy and have fun with it, it is heavy work but it is not impossible for you to do on your own and save yourself 1000’s of dollars in the process. #plasterboard


Phillip Cordwell

note: photos below were taken at Sorell Springs near Oatlands at a sheep station cottage called Brooklands. Hi Jack 🙂



How Much Insulation Do I Need

How Much Insulation: Guide to work out quantities

Ok, so you have demolished all your walls in your bedroom and you are now ready to plaster them with new Gyprock plasterboard. One major component you should really consider is am i going to insulate. Me personally i would insulate every wall in my house and as we speak i am actually doing this to my own house now. I am using a soundproof insulation though which offers great noise reducing properties but is quite expensive per bag. Most new houses are insulated with R 2.0 wall batts and only on the external walls, which for me personally you might as well cop the extra expense and do the whole house while it is an empty shell. #insulatebeforeplaster

Anyway that is not the point i am trying to make here today. What i would like to discuss with you all is how much insulation do you actually need to buy to insulate your chosen room. Its simple really. You need to measure how many square meters the room actually is, remember i am only talking about walls here not the ceilings.

First thing you do, if its a square/rectangle room, is measure the width x length. Now say for example your bedroom is 6 metres long x 4 metres wide and the ceiling height is 2.7 meters high, a big bedroom hey, well then to get the square metres of the room you would add together 6 x 4, the room length and width, then x 2.7 the room height. So that would be 6 x 4 x 2.7 = 64.8 square meters. That will give you the total square metres for your walls in your bedroom. If you want to insulate the ceiling also, then you only times together the walls which is 6 x 4 = 24 square meters. For this example only we will stick with walls only, most people leave there existing ceiling and renew the walls only.

So after that calculation you need 64.8 square metres of insulation. This is great because when you buy insulation there is a sticker on the bag telling you how many square meters that bag will cover. See picture below.


You see on the bottom there the coverage is 4.5m2, well that is the only information you need to know to work out how many bags to buy. So for this example, mind you this insulation is the expensive soundbatts not the normal r2.0 wall batts, which have a much bigger coverage area per bag, we would divide our room by the coverage area of the bag.

Now lets calculate that: 64.8 square metres is your room and the coverage per bag in the photo is 4.5. SO 64.78/4.5 = 14.39. So for this example you would need 15 bags of the expensive R2.0 soundbatts to do the walls only in your bedroom. But that is if you use soundbatts because there is not as many per bag compared to normal R2.0 wall batts. I think from memory there is 6 per bag in sound batts and there is 22 per bag for normal batts.

Well i hope this helps you guys out when your trying to work how much insulation you need for your job, just remember work out the square meters and you can from that work out how many bags to buy…

Oh and if your not in a store to look at the bags, just get the rep to check the square meters it says on the bag of the insulation you want and you can do the math at home.

Anyway happy insulating everyone, this is a job i normally palm of to the apprentices lol, i have done plenty of insulating in my plastering lifetime. #howtoinsulate


Phillip Cordwell :

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How to BOND sheets to brick.

Ok new job today with something new to explain. I am working here at the St Helens Anchor Wheel Motel and i need to sheet PAINTED brick walls. This is known in my industry as Bonding. The picture on the left shows a brick wall that has been prepared to sheet. The right when its done. Now to bond the plaster to these bricks, first you must grind(use concrete cutting disc) the paint off back to original brick, because it will not stick to paint. Usually every couple of 200ml spots will do. Secondly you must mix water with bond crete(special bonding agent), and then mix that with cornice adhesive to get a sticky consistency. Once achieved you grab your 4inch blade and put daubs of the mixture onto the grinded back areas. Its advised you have all sheets cut and ready as the mixture sets quick, once all sheets placed onto brick wall, hit them hard with something straight, no not your level, i use a 2m steel tube, as you can see in background, and your done. You can prop the bottom with timber till mixture sets to ensure architraves go on straight. So thats it you have bonded brick walls and they will not fall off. 🙂

Phillip Cordwell –