A global, historical building material, an informal, rural wall construction consisting of a framework of wattle covered and filled with daub, a plaster of clay, straw, animal dung, sand, mud and water.
The wattle part is the construction of horizontal slats pinned to the vertical wall frame that provides the key and support for lime plaster or mud wall finishes.
These strips may be extremely rustic, of indigenous twigs, rush, cane, willow or hewn laths, or especially sawn laths made of a pest resistant hard wood such as oak or chestnut. They are fixed to the vertical wall with gaps left between–either neat horizontal lines between sawn laths or in more random style between twigs etc.
When the daub, the plaster or mud mix, is applied it automatically fills these gaps; it is also pushed through so that it also holds to the edges of the laths at the back. As the daub dries it binds the structure together in a very strong and sound proof wall or framework. More layers of daub are added until the wall is as deep as is necessary for the particular project to be self-supporting.
The internal wall and ceiling structure of many period homes is made of lath and plaster, which is very similar: rows of chestnut, hazel or oak laths are fitted either side of a stud timber wall, which is filled with paper or wool insulation before the laths are covered, filled and sealed with lime plaster.
Lath and plaster (wattle and daub) walls and ceilings remain the most comfortable and sustainable of interior construction methods, usingonly local materials and mud mixes or lime based plaster both breathes and absorbs sound.
In a home built with mud or adobe walls, or lath and plaster interior construction, sound remains in the space where it’s made – it doesn’t ping around the house, off and through the walls as it does with hard plaster finishes.