Plaster coving vs polystyrene coving

plaster coving polystyrene coving

Should you use plaster coving or polystyrene coving for your next project?

There are a number of coving materials to choose from, including plaster coving and polystyrene coving. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but the ideal fit depends on the job at hand.

Adding coving to your room is a great way to enhance home décor. It’s also an effective way of hiding settlement cracks between walls and ceilings. Find out which type of coving is best for you.

Which coving material is right for you?

Polystyrene coving

Polystyrene coving is often thought to be the cheaper choice, so it’s ideal for smaller budgets or if you just want a smaller, plain profile. Polystyrene coving is a more lightweight material, but it’s also quite soft and delicate. This material is easily damaged and requires great care to fit.  

Polystyrene coving is also more absorbent than plaster coving, so it tends to need more coats of paint to achieve a smooth finish. In terms of cost effectiveness, polystyrene coving can be less expensive than other materials. However, you risk having to replace any broken or damaged pieces.

Plaster coving

Plaster coving, including paper covered plaster coving, is a more traditional coving material. The material is better value for large and attractive profiles, plus there are more profiles to choose from. So you can create more authentic period-style finish with detailed, unique patterns.

Plaster coving is generally heavier and more brittle. Installation is best done by two people with good knowledge of how to fit coving. On the plus side, plaster coving has a naturally bright and smooth finish, so it doesn’t need so many coats of paint. This is especially true for paper coated plaster coving, which needs comparatively less coats of paint.

Plaster coving is often thought to be the most attractive choice. Various mouldings like ceiling roses and door surrounds can be used to help you create a consistent design for the entire room.

Coving material from Artex

Check out our full range of coving products and accessories. We provide a range of Gyproc cove moulding materials, in several profiles. Artex Easifix Cove is ideal for anyone with less experience and comes with detailed instructions for installation.

Once you’ve chosen the right material for you, take a look at our help and advice section for tips on how to put up coving.