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The Different Types Of Wire Found In Lath

There are a wide range of different wires that are used in the lathing process of stucco these days, so I wanted to write this post to discuss some of the different kinds available and what they are used for.

Certain types of wire are better suited for different things and knowing which type of lath to go with will make the job a whole lot easier to do.

17 Gauge Wire:

This particular wire is commonly used in the three coat stucco system and is a fairly strong kind of wire. It is furred, which means that it sticks off of the wall a little bit (about a quarter inch or so) so that the stucco mix can “key” in behind it.

In order to achieve this, the wire is crimped by a machine, so when it is rolled out along the wall, it will stand off of it a bit.

  • It has horizontal markings (in some cases) to provide a fast and easy way to eyeball the nailing pattern, according to your region’s specific code
  • Comes in furred and non-furred
    • Typical furring is either 1/4 or 3/8 of an inch off the wall
  • The dimensions are roughly 3 feet tall by 150 feet long (can vary by manufacturer)
  • Is typically a galvanized wire that is zinc coated on the outside
  • Is commonly inch and a half hexagons

20 Gauge Wire:

This wire is the same as the 17 gauge, but a little thinner and flimsier. It is used in 1 coat stucco applications most of the time.

  • Can be furred and non-furred as well
    • Furring is typically 1/4 of an inch
  • Come in 3 foot by 150 foot rolls
  • Galvanized wire
  • 1″ hexagonal mesh evenly spaced

High Rib Lath:

This type of wire lath is intended for ceilings and soffits. The design is made to hold the plaster in place, while minimizing the amount of fallouts.

  • Is usually 3/8 of an inch for stucco
  • Can be used to span 24″ OC or less (check manufacturer’s specs.)
  • Can have different patterns and sizes of mesh
  • Can be found in a number of different depths for different applications
  • Is about 2 feet wide and 6-8 feet in length

Expanded Metal Lath:

This particular lath has a much smaller pattern in the wire itself. It allows the cement to bond to it very well and is usually used for patches, transitions and uneven surfaces.

  • Available in furred and non-furred styles
  • Typically galvanized wire
  • Makes for a very strong base when the cement and wire are joined

Paperback Stucco Wire:

This type of wire has the paper attached to it already and is used for open stud applications mostly. It has a bottom and top edge that are designed to fit on top of one another and overlap the paper and wire simultaneously.

  • Used on open stud type of applications
  • Wire is furred

Nailing Patterns For Wire:

Nailing off nearly all types of wire is the same, in essence, depending on your local building codes and engineering specs. Most wire requires you to nail it off at a 6 and 12 interval. This means that nails and/or staples around the edges and at vertical seams will require a fastener every 6 inches and every 12″ on the studs.

Nailing Pattern For Wire

Nailing Pattern For Wire

About the Author The Stucco Guy

My name is Ryan and I have been in the construction trades for many years now and I feel that there is a huge "knowledge gap" when it comes to particular trades.... like stucco. I made this site to inform others about the simplicity of the art and that many people can do stucco themselves, if they put their minds to it. I hope you find the information here useful and please don't hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

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