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Advantages of using Gypsum plaster vs Sand Cement plaster

Advantages of using Gypsum plaster vs Sand Cement plaster

Selecting the right material and methodology to finish internal walls is the key towards achieving the best in quality finish while achieving desired performance.

The options available for internal plastering are:

  • Conventional sand cement plaster
  • POP (basic stucco product)
  • Gypsum Plaster (formulated POP plaster)

Comparison against various attributes

Sand Cement Plaster vs Gypsum Plaster

  • Environmental Impact: Availability of River sand has become a major issue in most of the states in India. Time and again National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken action against illegal sand mining which are harmful to nature. Some prominent news in the recent past are listed below:

Also consider the fact that non-availability of river sand significantly increases the prices while also impeding the construction speed.

Compare this with use of Gypsum plaster, which are completely recyclable and hence pose no threat to the environment. Gypsum plaster main constituent is Plaster Of Paris or POP(stucco) which is obtained after heating the gypsum rock. Upon addition of water it goes back to its original form providing required strength.


    • Water, a critical resource: Sand Cement plaster require at least 7 days of water curing. According to this article an average of 0.44 gm of water is required for curing per gm of cement. Water is slowly becoming a very valuable resource and the amount of water saved in curing can have a significant impact on your cost.Compare this with Gypsum plaster which doesn’t require any water curing thus saving you the time of waiting for further work while also saving money.


    • Shrinkage Cracks: You may have observed shrinkage cracks on a Sand Cement plastered surface. It occurs because of the heat of hydration released during drying of sand cement plaster leading to hairline cracks formation in medium term (8-10 months) Gypsum plaster doesn’t have any heat of hydration and hence doesn’t have any crack formation*.


    • Application Methodology: Plaster Mortar needs to be mixed in 1: 4 (Cement : Sand ) proportions. Ensuring appropriate mix is a big challenge. While mixing of material there is a high probability of contamination, loss of cement paste, and incorrect water cement ratio. Gypsum Plaster needs to be mixed with water and can be applied directly to any surface (bricks, blocks and RCC) thus providing you with uniform mixture for the whole construction time giving you control over quality.


    • Setting Time: Sand Cement Plaster requires at least fifteen days for plaster to set and attain full strength; this includes drying time of sand cement plaster post adequate curing. Sand screening is also a major challenge at construction site. Gypsum plaster sets within 30 minutes, attains full strength in 78 hours.


  • Final finish: Final finish of sand cement plaster is rough, coarse and requires to be further finished to make it line leveled and smooth enough to receive paint over it.With Gypsum Plaster the surface is already line and leveled, and is smooth enough to receive paint over it.

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