There are many types of render finishes. Most of them can be classified as traditional finishes. The others are contemporary or modern finishes. The traditional options include lime render, sand and cement render, clay render and pebble dash. The contemporary options include polymer render, acrylic render and spray-stone render.
- Lime render finishes are breathable, the material is flexible and can be used externally and internally, it works on most substrates, the look is traditional and aesthetic, maintenance is low and it is a durable environment friendly solution. Lime render is soft and the application demands deftness. It is expensive and calls for properly graded and washed aggregates.
- Sand and cement renders are hard and strong, relatively cheap, the application is quite easy, curing takes little time and the mixing can be done offsite. However, it is inflexible and quite rigid, thereby vulnerable to cracks. The wall has to be dry permanently and it is not appropriate below damp course. Maintenance is a task.
- Clay render is eco friendly. Repairing or reworking it is easy. The affordable option is also a local solution as the material can be sourced from within the region in many parts of the country. Clay render is not very resistant to erosion, it needs additional protection from rain driven by strong winds and the performance varies.
- Pebble dash is not exactly one of the render finishes but a decorative or aesthetic enhancement. You may choose one of the three types of pebble dash: wet dash, harl or harling and Tyrolean render. Each has its merits and demerits. You ought to compare them in the context of your house or building and come up with an appropriate choice.
- Polymer renders may be of silicon, nylon and glass fibre. Silicon is water resistant, to an extent of being a repellent. It will actually repel water from the surface of the finish or render itself. Your walls will be effectively shielded from rain and moisture. Nylon and or glass fibre is a durable base coat. It can be used on all the external walls of the entire building. The mesh enhances the strength of the base render.
- Acrylic renders are a contemporary alternative. They are attractive and can be applied on an existing render in many cases. Spraystone render is a type of acrylic finish using plastic and glass. This is a flexible option. Spraystone renders can be made to look like granite or marble finish.