How to Get Professional Results: Mastering the Art of Using Metal Lath with Stucco
Using metal lath for stucco installation is a great, cost-effective way to create a strong surface. Properly preparing the metal lath is the key to success, as taking the time to plan out the process and understand different materials needed can help avoid costly mistakes and potential problems down the road. With this guide, you’ll be able to use metal lath with confidence to create a strong, beautiful surface.
The first step to using a metal lath properly with stucco is to prepare the surface. All surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and laid with a base layer of plywood sheathing. Attaching the plywood to the exterior surface requires the use of brackets and bolts. Once the sheathing is laid, a moisture barrier should be applied. This will protect the plywood from water damage and wood decay. Building paper should then be laid over the moisture barrier to create a waterproof area and should have a two-inch seam at least for flood prevention.
Next, you should install the metal lath. This can be done using two-inch nails, which should be hammered 16 inches apart both horizontally and vertically. When installing the metal lath onto the sheathing, remember to overlap the seams just like you did with the building paper, and ensure that the diamond mesh is facing up. It is important to choose the correct type of lath (self-furring or not) and be sure to hammer it with the correct type of nail (roofing nail, etc.). If your lath is not self-furring, furring strips should be nailed into place once everything else is applied.
The metal lath should be hung horizontally, with joints laid in a brick pattern. The seam between the first two panels will fall right in the middle, and the next two should be placed directly above it. Once installed, the metal lath should follow these two rules: make sure the mesh feels rough when you run your hand down it, and smooth when you run your hand up it. If it is not, it is not properly installed and needs to be corrected.
The last step is to apply the stucco. This is the fun part, and making sure you have set up the metal lath properly will ensure you get a strong, beautiful surface. If any of the metal lath begins to show through the stucco, be sure to correct it as soon as possible.
Using metal lath to install stucco can seem daunting, but following these steps can ensure success. Take time to prepare the surfaces correctly, purchase the correct type of materials, and remember to overlap all the seams and nail metal lath correctly in order to ensure the strongest surface possible. With metal lath and stucco, you can create a beautiful, longer lasting surface!