Lathe & plaster ceilings, remove or improve?

There is always the question with lathe and plaster ceilings whether to remove or repair them so hopefully, this article will help anyone decide what is the best solution.

When changing an older property into flats, often the existing lathe and plaster ceilings are removed when upgrading the separating floors to comply with the soundproofing standards of Part E but this is a mistake.  Not many people know that a lathe and plaster ceiling performs better for soundproofing than the usual plasterboard used to replace it.  Even when the new ceiling is decoupled with resilient bars.  If a lathe and plaster ceiling is in poor condition, it is better to repair it than to remove it.  After all, removal is an extremely dirty and dusty business as well as being labour intensive, so don’t remove it, repair it!

All separating floors in new flats and flats formed as a change of use have to be one hour fire resistant so with lathe and plaster ceilings, all that has to be done is simply screw up a layer of 15mm high density acoustic plasterboard or fireline board.  This will add mass to the ceiling and will be beneficial for blocking airborne noise, stabilise the original ceiling and still give the required amount of fire resistance to comply with Building Control.

Even if you are not converting a property into flats but simply fed up with constantly patching the ceiling because plaster keeps falling off, now you know the answer.  Repair and reinforce the ceiling with another layer of acoustic plasterboard or fireline board.  Not only will it stabilise the ceiling but also help reduce noise from above by improving the soundproofing of the ceiling.  If you are changing a property into flats you will also have to comply with Part E for the control of noise through the floor and more information on how to soundproof a floor to meet Part E can be viewed on our web site by going to


About Sound Service (Oxford) Ltd

UK Stockists and suppliers of a wide range of soundproofing and acoustic insulation materials for blocking and absorbing noise. We have been specialists in soundproofing and sound absorption since 1969 so one of the longest established businesses in the noise control industry.
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