The Difference Between Three-Coat and One-Coat Stucco Processes

The Difference Between Three-Coat and One-Coat Stucco Processes

April 14, 2021

Stucco can be a beautiful option for a textured finish for your home or commercial building. There are many different textures that can be applied as a finish to give your building a distinct look, or allow it to blend in nicely with the surrounding area. But when it comes to the process of stucco installation, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

There is much more to stucco than just the textured finish we see on the exterior. Under that texture is at least one other layer. This “primer” layer gives stucco a solid base upon which to create the final texture and enhances durability, allowing it to last longer.

There are two different types of stucco processes. One is called three-coat stucco, and the other is called one-coat stucco. Here we will go into detail about the difference between a three-coat and a one-coat stucco process and which would work best for you in Bluffton, SC.

Three-coat stucco

Originally, stucco was always applied using a three-coat process. This involves three layers, with the outer layer being a textured finish.

The bottom layer is comprised of asphalt-infused paper and chicken wire spread out over a weather resistant barrier. That is covered with a “scratch coat” mixture of Portland cement, lime, sand and water, which is roughly textured with horizontal lines before a brown coat is applied with a long trowel. Then it’s ready for the final finish to be applied in the texture of your choosing.

The biggest advantage of this is that it is stronger and more durable than one-coat stucco, as it’s twice as thick. This comes at a cost, however, as it’s more expensive and takes much longer to complete this process than it does the one-coat stucco process.

One-coat stucco

The name given to one-coat stucco is actually a misnomer, as it really consists of two individual coats. Originally it involved mixing a colored finish coat into the initial blend, but the result was uneven and inconsistent, so the method was changed to involve a second top coat finish.

This process combines the scratch coat and the brown coat into one premixed blend. This allows for a job to be completed in a few days, or sometimes even as quickly as a few hours. It uses less labor and is more cost effective than three coat stucco, leading to a boom in popularity in recent years.

The downside to this process is that it is thinner and therefore more easily damaged. It’s also not as durable as three-coat stucco.

Trust the professionals

There are pros and cons to both three-coat and one-coat stucco processes. Contact the experienced professionals at Spring Construction today to learn more about the difference between a three-coat and one-coat stucco process and which would work best for your Bluffton, SC property. We’ve been working with area home and business owners for over a decade and specialize in stucco installation and repair services. We look forward to working with you soon!

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