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Types of Plaster Metal Lath

What is Metal Lath?

Metal lath, also known as steel lath or expanded metal lath, is a building material that is mainly used as a backing for plaster or other similar finishes. It is a thin, flat sheet of metal that has been cut and expanded to create a diamond-shaped pattern of holes. The lath is typically made from galvanized steel, which helps to prevent rust and corrosion, and is used in both interior and exterior walls and ceilings.

The diamond-shaped pattern of the lath provides a secure surface to which the plaster can adhere, and also helps to create a stronger bond between the finish and the wall or ceiling underneath. The lath also helps to create a "key" or mechanical bond between the finish and the substrate, which helps to prevent cracking and peeling of the finish over time.

What is Metal Lath Used for?

Plaster metal lath is used to prevent or decrease wall crackings is either pumped or trowel application. Mesh metal lath used as support for plaster lath in ceilings and walls; this material is also used in building facades to support plaster finishes.

Metal lath is also sometimes used to support poured concrete ceilings (shown here) - unlikely to provide sufficient strength for thick pours unless additional reinforcement is used.

Depending on the age of the building, we may find a mixture of several types of plaster supports, wood lath, gypsum board lath, and metal lath. Wall or ceiling or plaster crack patterns may be present along the borders of metal lath segments, especially if the lath is not securely nailed in place.

Metal lath for plaster systems is divided into four groups with different properties for different applications.

Types of Plaster Metal Lath, Metal Lath Plaster

Plaster Metal Lath

▲ Expanded metal lath

Diamond mesh gypsum lath made from metal sheets cut in a diamond pattern and drawn into an expanded shape.Modern diamond mesh lath is sold in a variety of metals, including galvanized, stainless steel, treated to ASTM 653, and in a variety of pre-formed shapes, including


  • Flat diamond mesh slats

Diamond mesh lath is used for exterior stucco and stonework on the exterior sheathing and as a plaster base for masonry walls

  • Corrugated Diamond Lath

  • V-Groove Diamond Mesh Lath - According to the current revision of ASTM C1063, metal lath applied to solid substrates must have a ¼" self-furred feature built into the lath panel. (AMICO 2019)

  • Paper-backed metal lath for factory applications (galvanized)

▲ Extended Rib Lath 

Extended rib lath is similar to diamond mesh but with added reinforcing ribs. Lath is used to install stone and tile on walls or plaster on interior ceilings. The heavier ribbed slats allow for installation spans of 19" oc instead of the standard 16" oc.

Ribbed slats are currently sold as 1/8" flat ribbed slats and 3/8 high ribbed slats for ceilings and soffits per ASTM C1063.

▲ Wire Lath 

Wire lath (braided or welded wire - also known as "chicken wire") 

Wire lath, also known as chicken wire or poultry netting, is a type of mesh that is made from thin, flexible wire. It is typically made from galvanized steel or aluminum, and is used in a variety of construction and DIY applications.

One of the most common uses for wire lath is as a reinforcing material in stucco and plaster walls. It is used in the same way as metal lath, by attaching the wire mesh to the wall or ceiling as a backing for the plaster or stucco finish. The wire mesh provides a surface for the finish to adhere to, and also helps to create a stronger bond between the finish and the wall or ceiling underneath. In addition, wire lath also helps to distribute the weight of the finish more evenly across the wall or ceiling, which can help to prevent cracking and peeling of the finish over time.

Another common use for wire lath is as a fencing material, particularly for poultry or other small animals. The wire mesh is cut to size and attached to wooden or metal posts to create a fence or enclosure. The small openings in the mesh help to keep the animals inside while allowing air and light to pass through.

Types of Plaster Metal Lath, Metal Lath Plaster

Plaster Metal Lath

▲ Slats 

Slats is popular early in the history of metal lathe use and often used in commercial projects when shot or gun-applied mortar or cement grout became common) 

▲ Spray-on slats

Spray-applied slats were used primarily on the West Coast [of the United States] where the mortar was sprayed onto the surface of the slats to increase the thickness of the mortar.

Kraft paper is used at the factory to prevent overspray of the mortar. The space between the kraft strips allows the paper to be visually aligned so that the ribs can be mechanically attached to the substrate.

Ribbed strips are typically attached directly to vertical framing members and do not include solid board substrates.

About Linchuan

Linchuan focus on supplying metal lath plaster including diamond metal lath, rib metal lath and strip metal lath at low wholesale price.

Ordering any metal mesh products from us, you will get high quality and long-lasting, reliable metal lath at cheap price. If you're looking for metal lath for your construction projects, please contact us for further information.

Types of Plaster Metal Lath, Metal Lath Plaster