Plaster Edges

Plaster or rendering is a layer added to wall to give straight surface. Plaster edges is the wall weak point, a small force could break the edge. There are several solutions for plaster edges: Regular edge, plaster trim and metal angle. Each of these solutions has advantages and disadvantages. Throughout this topic we will discuss the different solutions for plaster edges.

Plaster edge waving problem

Plaster Trim or Stop Bead

Plaster trim / stop bead is a rigid angle that fix to walls using steel mesh to Strengthen edges. Also plaster trim gives straight edges  as references to get straight surface. The trim have a nice round detail, therefore to keep nice details the trim has to install from tile’s level to ceiling level. Plaster trims are available in different heights, like 2.4 meter and 3 meters this according to producer. The following photo shows a plaster trim installed at a part of the edge only, resulting in a different detail for other parts. Plaster trims are available in different thickness and qualities, thicker trim resist more forces. Also choice plaster trim with wider steel mesh is better to increase trim bonding to wall.

Plaster stop beads are available in different profile and materials like Galvanized steel, Stainless steel, Aluminum, UPVC and vinyl. Metal and steel plaster trims are not recommended because it could rust easy, especially that plaster mortar has lime. lime corrodes metals and accuse rust. Plaster trims available in a certain length (approximately 2.4 – 3 m). Width of the steel mesh vary from 20 to 50 mm, the wider is more expensive but it will connect better to plaster. Good steel angle thickness from 2 to 3 mm in order to resist crushing.

Plaster trim height problem

Plaster trim disadvantage is maintenance, if the plaster trim break it’s hard to maintain. It will look ugly after maintenance, the following photo shows the plaster bead after maintenance process. The plaster trim has crushed while moving furniture, and maintaining works done by plaster craftsman then painter continue the works but still look ugly.

Plaster trim maintenance problem

Regular Edges

Regular edges is by creating the edge out of cement then to smoothing the edge either by small round or diagonal shape. The edge take shape in order to resist small forces. Edges in plaster or any other works like furniture are in place to get daily hits. Since plaster bead is hard to maintain, it’s not recommended installing it. This because when plaster trim broken, this mean plaster craftsman and painter need to fix it. And if there is no plaster trim, painter can fix all the damage by himself. 

The lower part of the wall could be round edges while the upper part straight, this will give a nice wall edge details. Also there are many other details for plaster edges. In the past they used to do a stone edges to avoid damage.

Plaster edge details

Metal Angles

Steel angle made from L shape profile, it used as corner protector at edges that could hit by heavy forces like car park and industrial spaces. The L angle available in profile of 3 cm each side and thickness of 5 mm, this allows it to resist heavy forces. Some models can install by cement mortar and other by bolts. Heavy forces will not crush the steel profile but forces will transfer to plaster around the angle, acute damaging at the wall. also some parking corner protectors are made of rubber to prevent transfer forces. The corner protectors can be fixed at the height exposed to hits only, average height between 75 and 100 centimeters.

Marble edges finishing

Decorations using marble are majestic, marbles’ colors, veins and glossiness and much to space beauty. Marble wall cladding appear elegant when it appear as it build out of marble blocks, try to avoid to appear as tile cladding. Although contemporary interior designers like to have lightweight materials feeling, this through appear the thickness of marble tiles. Edges connections affect feeling of marble materials, this topic will discuss some edges connections techniques. We could classify marble corners types as traditional method, 45 degree method, half on half method and fillet method. 

Traditional Marble Edges Connection

Traditional connection is to install marble as shown in the photo above, it’s simple connection and easy to install. However it’s simple, marble appear cheap as it’s a cladding of few centimeters. Usually marble’s face is polished or treated, but edges need to be polished at site. Some types of marble will polished at site and appear as it face. Other types like Crema Nova, Omani marble, black marble and granite or any high strength marble won’t give good results. Polishing high strength marble requires to polish using different grades sanding papers to get to smoother surface. If the results are unsatisfactory, craftsmen paint edges by lacquer to get glossiness, however lacquer won’t last long. Edges need to be polished before installing, to avoid ruin glossiness of other marble tiles during polishing. Therefore designers and craftsmen looking for other edges connection methods.

Traditional Marble Edges Connection
Traditional Marble Edges Connection
Traditional Marble Edges Connection
Traditional Marble Edges Connection, Gaza

45 degrees Marble Edges Connection

45 degrees edges connection fit marbles that have veins, it gives the continuity of surfaces  appearing as a marble block. This connection doesn’t need to polish edges as in traditional connection. Implement this connection by trimming both edges at 45 degree then to install them together. The connection will be very thin, and require to fill either by tiles grout or marble adhesive. When edge cut at a 45 degree thin as pencil, soft marble will cut perfectly, but high strength marble will fragment. Alignment is another problem face this connection, where if angle is less than 90 degrees craftsman can’t install it. Therefore craftsman like to make narrower than 45 degrees to align easier, however it will fragment easier during edge cutting. Also 45 degrees connection used for ceramic and some types of porcelain, when tiles body is different than tiles face.

45 degrees Marble Edges Connection
45 degrees Marble Edges Connection
45 degrees Marble Edges Connection
45 degrees Marble Edges Connection, Gaza 2016

Half on Half Marble Edges Connection

All of the above connections have disadvantages make designers looking for new solutions. Half on half is a new connection method that require a groove at on end or by two ends. Advantage of half on half that craftsman could modify the edge after installation, where it will show a nice detail. Shade and shadow appear the beauty of this connection, as a tiny edge effect either in outdoor or indoor. This connection is expensive compared to previous connections because it requires a skilled craftsmen and wet table saw.

Half on Half Marble Edges Connection, Gaza 2016
Half on Half Marble Edges Connection, the two ways to implement this method, Gaza 2016
Half on Half Marble Edges Connection
Half on Half Marble Edges Connection, Gaza 2016

Fillet Marble Edges Connection

Fillet method is by creating a 45 degrees connection then to polish the edge either on angle or round edge. This method will give safe edges, hard to break and will not allow people to notice where the connection is. This connection requires well polishing of the edge to appear nice, and since this it need to polish a marble workshop. Then this connection is suitable for kitchen top and freestanding applications.

 Fillet Marble Edges Connection
Fillet Marble Edges Connection
 Fillet Marble Edges Connection
Fillet Marble Edges Connection, Gaza 2016
Why we don’t use tiles trim for marble?

We can, however tiles trim look cheap compared to marble lavishness. Simply it doesn’t fit marble.

How to select marble edge type for building elevation?

It’s a game of scale. Basically view difference where close view like ground floor need to be well implemented. On the other hand, marble installed at far distance from eye will not appear if it’s not well polished. Generally in far distance from eyes use simple edges connections, and expensive connections at close distance.

How to install Palestinian Stones edges

Palestinian stone usually has rough surface, i prefer to install it half on half. In traditional edges case, make sure to rough the edges like in the right hand side wall.Palestinian stone edges

Stairs Hidden Lighting

Stairs with hidden Light, Alrayyes 2019
Stairs with hidden Light, Alrayyes 2019

The staircase is the focal point inside any space, designers like to make staircase the aesthetic element of the space. Staircase is expensive because it large scale especially when cladding with marble or granite. Also designers like to enhance the beauty of the staircase by adding some elements and design techniques. Stairs Lighting is one of the most important techniques. Lighting could be target on the steps or hidden inside the steps, other designs depend on handrail lighting. This topic will discuss stairs hidden lighting type and its construction details.

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Aluminum Handrails

Glass and aluminum rectangular handrail system in champagne color. Gaza 2018

Aluminum handrails become to expand in the market since 2013. Compared to other materials like wood and steel, Aluminum does not require periodic maintenance. Handrail maintenance is not an easy mission, where it requires carefully sanding all details then painting them. Although Comparing aluminum handrails with stainless steel handrails. Aluminum installing by screws while stainless steel require welding, this make aluminum is the best choice for handrails. 

Aluminum Handrail Profile

Producers have developed aluminum handrails design to fit both classic and modern style. Handirail profile available in rectangular and circular shapes and sizes. Handirail is available in 5 cm diameter to fit an adult hand, and available in 3 cm use for children and as handle at pool edge. Profile’s thickness of aluminum layers range from 2 to 3 mm we recommend 3 mm for large spaces between posts.

classic aluminum handrail

Aluminum Handrail Accessories

Aluminum handrail system have all need fitting from angles that twist 360 degree. The system manufacturers compete to produce angle fitting that look simple, neat and doesn’t install by screws. Any handrail system first post is wider to enhance handrail strength, also it’s unique to increase beauty. Another system fitting is profile end cap and cover used to hide connection between floor and posts. Since aluminum won’t rust, it’s not rational to use steel screw. It’s better to use Stainless steel 304 screws to avoid any rusting.

Aluminum handrail fitting
Aluminum handrail fitting

Aluminum Handrail Finishing

In the same hand aluminum handrail can painting in any RAL paint, also available in Anodize colors. Some profile is available in rough texture and different colors, also in crystal style profiles. Some handrail systems designed to integrate it with other materials like glass and wood. It enhances the beauty of handrail system.

Aluminum Handrail Installation

Installing the handrail system require well-trained craftsmen, to calculate and determine the height and corners. Installing handrail post to floor can be either by screws for light uses and using anchors for heavy use. Opening in marble for anchors require to drill very sensitive to avoid breaking marble. Then install anchor with marble adhesive to increase the handrail system strength.

History of Building Materials

A Timeline study about building materials, this study was presented in Lighthouse center of design in Glasgow – Scotland. The study was a part of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition who designed the Lighthouse center.

History of building materials
History of building materials, by Z. Alrayyes 2011

History of Building Materials

Ages before, vernacular architecture in all around the world depended on building materials from earth and surrounding areas. For instance In Palestine using limestone and clay bricks, In London using bricks and Portland stones. Also In northern countries using pine wood to build ,In north pole using ice as building materials. Throughout another climate like Arab gulf woven animal hair to build tents, In Algeria they were digging and carving underground houses. Hassan Fathi the Egyptian architect who have the concepts to create buildings from what earth have, ending up with a great architecture appearance and concepts. Architecture in each area of the world had it own character, building materials was one of the affecting factors beside ideology and climate …etc.

Architecture from Geology

In architecture and civil engineering building materials classify according to tension and compression strengths. If tension strength is higher than compression strength it called strength materials and visa versa. Bamboo and steel are tension materials where it resists high tension forces while it bends at a little compression forces. On the other hand, stones and bricks are compression materials, also a little tension force can ruin the material structure. These specifications of materials require certain rules to resist forces, in order to create architecture. These rules call engineering, building codes contain formulas, rules and methods of construction of different materials. When forming and engineering  materials to buildings, it will give a different result at each area, climate and users social behaviors. These differences in architecture have a special beauty, where people travel the world to see different architecture and culture.

Building Materials in Modern Architecture

After the industrial revolution and appearance of engines and shipping ships. Building materials can easily transport from one country to another. Nowadays markets are full of imported building materials. People in the Middle-East use the same materials people use in Switzerland. This means that architecture in China is similar to Middle Africa and Russia for instance. Wondering how people after several decades will look at our architecture.

Methods of ceiling marble cladding

Marble ceiling cladding gives the architecture feeling of marble masses, the building appear as a piece of marble. However there are several types to install marble at ceilings, each method has advantages and disadvantages. Through this article we will discuss ceiling cladding methods,then you can make a decision about which method to use.

There are three methods of installing marble at ceilings. A method before casting the slab and two methods after casting the slab, one of them is using mechanical system. We will discuss the mechanical way of installing in another topic.

Before casting slab method

it’s the most common and simplest way of installing. Where marble place on the wooden framework, and it installs a steel inside the marble. Marble adhesive used to connect marble tiles together. This method sounds easy but it doesn’t reach a good result because it may move during concrete casting. Tiles could move, then it is recommended to put a mortar over the marble to enhance the bond and to protect marble adhesive from ruin by sun rays.

A problem facing this method, frameworks surface is hard to get it leveled, and any defect will appear clearly. Solving this problem can be either by chamfer the tiles edges, then it’s hard to notice its not level. Another alternative is to adopt the wood frame level, either by putting an over layer plywood to re-level the surface. For professional it’s recommended to make cladding surface lower than the rest of the slab by 5 cm. Then put sand into this area and arrange marble tiles as its verse tiling, then you can control the level precisely. 

marble cladding for ceilings methods
During working at marble cladding for ceiling, and before installing it rips blocks and steel bars. Gaza 2018
This craftsman, install Travertine tiles for ceiling cladding, using before casting method. He uses small marble pieces to gather tiles at same level by marble adhesive. Gaza, ORIGIN DESIGN, 2019
marble cladding for ceilings defects
marble cladding for ceilings defects, Gaza 2018

After casting slab – by casting method

This method has a better quality than the previous method, but it is not suitable for a large area. By making a new framework underneath the slab and by leaving the thickness of the marble and a space for cement mortar. Then steel wire will connect to the marble tile, after that arrange marble at the framework. Then connecting the marble wires to a steel mesh connecting to the concrete slab, and then it’s ready for concrete casting. We need to cast the concrete from the top, this by opening a 10 cm open at the concrete slab. But be aware to add more water to the concrete and extra cement to have a good concrete suitable for this job. It’s better to open several openings for casting at the slab. Because we need concrete to reach the top and air will get out through them.

After Casting method, Gaza 2018

As much as marble has a brilliant appearance at ceiling but also installing it is not an easy job, and it’s hard to fix and defects after installing.