What is the difference between Map and Plaster?

What is Map and Plaster?

Map and plaster are among the most basic products used for plastering work. They are both mixtures of sand, cement and mineral elements which mix to create firm and durable surfaces. Although these two products are often confused with each other, there are notable differences between them that should be considered when choosing which product to use.

Origin and Normal Use of Map and Plaster

Map (plaster of Paris) is the product originally used in plastering. It was invented in the 11th century, and was used for most plastering jobs for centuries. It is a mixture composed of fine sand with cement which gives it greater strength and resistance after drying. It is most often used in interior applications, such as drywall and walls. Plaster, or stucco, is a very popular product created by the Romans for decorative and artistic plastering work. It is thinner and softer than map and stands out for its greater flexibility and solubility. It contains more cement than the map and moistens more easily to facilitate its handling. It is generally used for decorative wall finishes and intricate embellishments.

Differences Between Map and Plaster

There are several differences between plaster and map which are important to take into account before choosing the product for plastering work. The main :

Resistance and Durability

  • Map is more resistant and durable than Plaster and is therefore more suitable for applications requiring greater durability.
  • Plaster is more often used for decorative finishes, unlike its counterpart.

Ease and Speed ​​of Use

  • Map is more difficult and takes longer to spread than Plaster.
  • Plaster is more flexible and easier to use because it moistens more easily and remains malleable until it dries.

Final render

  • Map is grayer, thicker, heavier and less flexible than Plaster, and produces a very identical result between different uses.
  • Plaster is thinner and softer, and can be easier to sculpt and model, which more often results in a more decorative and artistic result.

Common Points Between Map and Plaster

Although map and plaster differ, there are commonalities between them:

  • Both mixtures mix with water to obtain a suitable consistency for application.
  • Both products lend themselves well to a variety of applications including interior and exterior walls, ceilings, beams and many other plastering jobs.
  • They are both very common and relatively inexpensive.

Choosing the Right Product for Plastering Work

When it comes to choosing between map and plaster for plastering work, it is important to take into account the type of work to be carried out and the final result. If the job requires considerable strength or lasting repair, map is the best choice. If the work requires decorative finishes or embellishment, a more artistic finish is sought and plaster may be more appropriate.

Use of Map and Plaster with Caution

Map and plaster are very sticky products and can cause irritation and allergies if applied too much together. It is therefore important to use the map and plaster carefully, wearing gloves and protective clothing to avoid contaminating skin and clothing. It is also important to properly ventilate the room where you work because products can release harmful contaminants if you have not taken adequate measures to avoid prolonged exposure.


Map and plaster are the main base products used to carry out plastering work. Although they share several commonalities, notable differences exist between these two products. This is why it is important to understand the differences between these two products and the appropriate uses for each in order to select the product best suited to the work to be undertaken. It is also very important to use them carefully to avoid irritation and allergies caused by these products.

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