18th Nov 2022 -

Whether you are looking to give a property a beautiful, distinctive look, or to reduce the risks of moisture damage, render provides a simple solution. Normally based around cement and sand, render is tailored for external walls, giving a smooth coating that can be dyed or painted in a range of colours. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explore the benefits of rendering, the types sold in the UK, and how traditional render would be applied to the wall of a building.

What is Render?

Within construction, render is a cement-based product applied to the walls of a building. This is typically the outer walls. This is used to give a consistent and attractive look and to provide weather resistance. Across the world there is a large range of render types available, lending itself to the different architectural styles of the UK, southern Europe, America, and more. Render is usually affordable, and can be repaired with new patches when needed.

How is Render Made?

Render will always feature both cement and sharp sand combined with water, and can also include lime within the UK. Cement is a binder that is used within mortar, which render is a type of, and also in concrete. Adding lime to the mixture will make it easier for working and minimise the risks of cracking on a finished surface. A traditional mix will involve 6 parts sharp sand, 1 part cement, and 1 part lime. Options like Portland cement would be typically used, though there are other options – such as those intended for quick drying.

What Are the Uses of Render?

Rendering is used for external walls. When looking to give a smooth coating to interior walls plaster will normally be used, but this has a slightly different mix ratio. Render can be used for aesthetic purposes, with coloured dyes sometimes added to give walls a smooth appearance in a range of colours. Rendered walls can also be painted over to give a property a range of looks. Render can be combined with bricks, with some houses opting for one wall of bricks and another that has been rendered. Another use for render is masking joins within walls, such as the change between an original building and an extension, or areas of brick that have had to be repaired or replaced.

Rendering can also add durability to a property by boosting its water resistance. Render, particularly when lime is included within the mixture, can help to protect and keep the walls of a property insulated from rain and other weather. It can also add strength to a wall. For those installing external insulation on a property, render will need to be used over it to create a smooth finish. External wall insulation is used on properties without cavity walls or ones where the cavity walls are unsuitable for insulation.

The tops of coloured houses in a row.

Is Render Waterproof?

While rendering is intended to offer resistance against the elements, it will not be truly waterproof. However, there are waterproof renders available, where admixtures will have been added to offer thorough resistance. In areas with a high level of wind-driven rain, opting for a specialist waterproofing render may be necessary to ensure long-term performance.

What Types of Render Are Available?

When looking to render external walls there will be a few choices available to you, including traditional cement mixes and other, more modern solutions:

  • Sand and Cement Render: This is the standard method, which will use similar mortar to those building a wall to create a consistent and attractive surface on the outside of a building. With lime added this can resist some of the problems with cracking that might otherwise occur. This is an affordable and popular solution, with a variety of coloured options available, or plain options that can be painted over.
  • Polymer Render: This is a cement render that has polymers added to the mix, intended to make a strong and flexible coat that boasts water resistance. It will be sold pre-mixed, in a range of colours.
  • Acrylic Render: Acrylic render is applied as a thin finish, normally on top of a different render. These can be used to offer a great, colourful look or textured finish, and will also offer increased durability.
  • Monocouche Render: This newer render, whose name is French for “one coat”, is designed to offer strong cement render and colour in one single coat, which is easy to apply and boasts excellent durability. Monocouche will come with a higher price tag than other more traditional options but is otherwise an excellent choice.

How is Render Applied?

For traditional render, whether buying the separate elements yourself or opting for a pre-mixed product, you will first need to clean and dry your wall. Render will be applied as two coats, with battens placed across the wall to break it up into more manageable sections – as well as to mark out the needed 5mm of mortar. Trowels will be used to spread the mortar, which will be scratched to ensure the second coat can attach. Render beads will sometimes be used to ensure smooth rendering around corners. The second coat will be 10mm, applied about half an hour after the first. The battens will then be removed and filled with render. A flat tool called a float will then be used to smooth the surface over. Some will also opt to use a regular sponge to ensure there are no holes in the wall.

Our Range of Render Supplies For Sale

Building Materials Nationwide offers a range of render products for sale through our website. Alongside our range of cement and aggregates, we offer a range of specialist rendering products, with pre-mixed base coatsfinishes, and silicone render options. We aim to remove the hassle of sourcing building materials, with a huge catalogue of products, nationwide delivery, and competitive pricing. For customers within the building industry, we offer trade accounts through our website. Trade accounts give access to our express delivery options, a massive product range, and a dedicated account manager. Sign up today through our website.

What Do You Need?

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