Metal lath dates from the late 19th century and is used extensively today with plaster and stucco in home and commercial construction. In addition to providing a matrix to which the stucco can adhere, metal lath adds strength and rigidity. Metal lath can be stapled directly to studs, and is capable of bending to easily form corners and curves. Three coats of plaster are required when using metal lath.
Several types of metal lath have been developed for a variety of applications:
Expanded metal lath is made by slitting and pulling apart a thin sheet of metal, which produces diamond-shape holes through which the plaster can form keys.
Ribbed lath is made from slit and expanded metal with V-shaped ribs which give it more stiffness, and is designed to span larger distance between framing supports
Self-furring lath is an expanded metal lath which is dimpled to hold itself off from a solid surface
Wire lath is made from welded or woven wires and is similar to hardware cloth
Paper backed wire lath is wire lath with building paper attached
Strip laths is metal lath that is several inches wide and is often used to reinforce joints and on corners
Corner lath is pre-bent for use in making corners
Wire mesh used on inside corners to prevent cracking is called Cornerite.
----- adapted from wikipedia
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